New Facebook Page Design to Roll Out on March 30, 2012
By Julie King | March 1, 2012
On March 30, 2012 Facebook will roll out a new design for Facebook Pages that will mirror the timelines design that replaced personal profiles last year.
All businesses and organizations that use Facebook Pages will be affected. While you can opt in now, you will not be able to opt out when the new design goes live at the end of the month.
It is a good idea to optimize your Page for the new design before it is released. These seven tips will help you make the most of the new Facebook Page layout.
Go bold on your cover art image.
Since a picture is worth a thousand words, creating a strong cover image that connects to the core of your brand is essential. A single, powerful photograph can have a lot of impact, but you will need to find one that fits the space. There are a variety of sources for stock photography images, from free images available at the Creative Commons (make sure their copyright applies to your organization) and stock image sites like CanStockPhoto, Dreamstime and iStockPhoto.
Cover art images cannot have promotions, discounts or graphics that encourage people to "like" your page. The optimal image is 851 x 315 pixels, although smaller images are possible (the minimum allowed size is 399 pixel wide).
You will get the best results if you optimize your image off-line and then upload it. However, if you like you can always upload a larger image and reposition that image in the space provided. Two free online image editing tools that can help you create a strong visual impact are Avary's image editor and Pixlr's photo editor.
Square up your profile picture
In the new Facebook Page layout your profile picture will be positioned in a square over your cover art image, so if you currently use the previously recommended 'long' image for impact, you should update this to something matched to the new square space. Since you can use an image now as cover art, it makes sense to include your business logo in this space.
Your new profile photo needs to be at least 180 pixels square and the image you upload will have a blank white outer border added to it. Creating a simple single pixel frame around the profile image for your Facebook Page can increase its impact.
Put your most important apps first
The new layout presents Facebook apps like your photo albums, events and the number of people who like your page. You include up to 12 apps, but be careful in how you order them, as only the first four will display in the 'quazi menu' that shows when your Facebook Page first loads.
Post updates regularly
The new timeline format emphasizes inactivity if you do not post frequently to your page, so it makes sense to develop a content plan where you post relevant updates to your page on a regular basis.
Organize and curate posts on your page
You can highlight select content on your page by clicking on the star and pencil icons. Clicking the star button will give an item more prominence, while tools in the pencil icon include the ability to hide items, delete items and mark items as spam.
Be sure to delete spam messages that are posted to your page, as they reflect poorly on your company and may imply an endorsement you do not want to give.
Be a whiz at admin
A new admin panel lets you handle most page administration tasks from a single place. You will want to be sure to monitor your admin panel for private messages, which are new to Facebook Pages.
Use third party management tools
Scheduling and maintaining posts updates to a variety of social networks is time-consuming. Tools like HootSuite, which let you schedule posts in advance, can save time. Be sure to monitor posts made to your different social media channels, so that you can respond to positive engagement and remove inappropriate or spammy comments.
Watch the video tutorial that shows you how to set-up your Facebook Page for the new layout.
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