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New Changes to Facebook Business Pages

Does your business have a Facebook Page? Then you’ve probably noticed by now that Facebook has rolled out changes to the way Company pages work. Don’t be afraid, it’ll be all right. Here are some tips to help you get through these drastic changes.

1. Timeline Layout
If you have a personal Facebook account, then you probably have a general idea how Timeline works. With Timeline,  Facebook now bears very few similarities to Google+, which currently uses the standard format of showing the most recent updates first. Unlike Google+, Timeline uses an algorithm to assess the most important moments of your life, which can then be edited to your satisfaction. Unwanted updates can be hidden. Timeline layout is divided into two main columns, with a line down the middle representing the passage of time.

2. Cover  Photo
Another big and highly visible change is the cover photo. Where you once had to install a special “welcome page” app and tab, you now get space for a header image that spans the top most portion of your Company Page.  The photo’s default dimensions are 850 pixels by 315 pixels which allows your page to have a large showcase image, which you might think would be great for your brand. However, there is a catch: over at their Help Centre, they’ve enumerated a number of restrictions for Cover Photos. These restrictions are:

Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivise people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.

Basically, they’re saying you can’t have a cover photo that’s a company letterhead, nor can you have a cover photo that’s treated like an advertisement.

3. Profile Image
For over a year now, profile photos were set at 200pixels wide and at a height of 500 pixels. People and Businesses capitalised on this design by creating vertical banners for themselves The new size is 180 pixels by 180 pixels and appears next to every post in the news feed as a 30 pixel by 30 pixel picture. This means that instead of creating banners, the profile picture is best used for your logo.

4.  Reduced Tab Visibility
One of the biggest changes is the removal of the default landing tab and the reduced visibility of special apps that you’ve acquired from 3rd party providers and installed on your page. Applications are still available and if you have created a custom welcome tab or added any other special application, it hasn’t disappeared. You now have 12 applications you can showcase and only the four applications that you move to the top row will appear prominently. You cannot change the position of the photos, so technically you only have three applications that you have control over in that top row .

6. Highlighting Stories
Instead of apps and landing pages, you’ll need to master “pinning” stories. This will be the strategy of choice for marketers for highlighting a company’s latest product, service or promotion. This is similar to a “sticky” on a blog, so that it can be seen in two locations within Timeline: One is as the top item on the Timeline, as well as within its chronological place within the Timeline (meaning the date when it was originally posted). Once this post is “unpinned” it disappears from the top of the Timeline but can still be found within the chronology.

Many people are lamenting the disappearance of the default landing tab and the other major changes, but that is the risk of developing something that relies almost entirely on Facebook, which is a free service. So the best thing that you can do instead of complaining is adapt, learn and master this new set of features…at least until the next change!

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