Facebook Pages Update: What it means for your business

FacebookWell, today’s the day… if you haven’t taken the time to update your business Facebook page, it’s going to automatically switch over to the new Timeline style.

Even though it’s last minute, it’s not too late to put together something that can look good. The two main bits you’re going to get squared away are your cover image and your profile picture.

Your Cover Image

The Timeline cover image is the first thing anyone will see when they come to your business page. It’s kind of hard to miss, since it takes up the entire top of the screen. (The official dimensions are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.) There are some rules Facebook wants you to follow, but they shouldn’t be hard to stick to (especially if you’re trying to do something quick).

The main rule is: No calls to action. The cover image isn’t an ad space–it’s branding space. Your image should be something eye-catching that projects the feeling you want people to get when they think of your business. If you have a shot of the outside of your shop (if you have a physical location that’s kind of pretty), you can use that. If you have a snapshot of some happy customers, even better (and if you know them by name, you can tag them when you upload the photo and they’ll be sure to show it off to their friends).

If all else fails, a quick browse through any stock photo service for “abstract backgrounds” or anything else you’d like will provide you with ideas and options. Remember, you’re looking to fill that space and catch people’s attention (preferably while warming them up to your business)–you can worry about perfection and the full details of your message over the weekend.

Your Profile Pic

The profile picture appears every time you post as your business and in other people’s timelines when they “Like” your page. That means that it’s the most publicly viewed thing on your page by default. It’s on the small side, about 180 pixels square, but it’s got a lot of power.

The profile picture should be something recognizable as connected to your business. If you have a square-ish logo, this is where you’d use it, without question. If your logo is more on the rectangular side, you’re going to have to do some more work. Be sure to check that any text in your profile picture is readable… and if it’s not, don’t use a version with that text.

If all else fails, you can go with your own smiling face. Especially if you’re front and center with your customers on a regular basis.

Everything Else

If you haven’t come up with a plan for how to best use your Timeline yet, everything else can wait.

There are a lot of new features you can take advantage of (like being able to place business milestones anywhere along the line) and some old tricks that don’t work quite the same anymore (no more custom landing pages, but you can still point people directly to special tabs/apps). At some point you’re going to have to take the time to familiarize yourself with what’s going on or bring on someone to help out who already knows.

There have been a whole lot posts online about the quirks, benefits, and potential of Facebook’s new Timeline layout. You should check them out. To get you started, here’s a recent one, complete with infographic, from Edelman Digital.

About KierDuros

Hi, I'm Kier. I've been on the web since there's been a web to be on. In that time I've used it to tell stories--both my own and other people's--and help numerous organizations and businesses find their niche while making the best use of available technology.