Your business Facebook Page is about to get a redesign, including a big image at the top and a more organized display of posts below. Take a look at Facebook’s announcement page for details and click the “preview” button there to see what your page would look like if the switch were made today. Also, check out this local business Facebook page that’s already made the change. You can switch your page now if you want. Facebook will convert all pages on March 30.
Here the key points for local businesses:
Top images: A large (851 x 315 pixels) “cover photo” tops the page with what’s now your profile photo below it. You could select a large photo of your product, your work or your store. You can also use a graphic treatment, such as a company name and/or logo. What you can’t do, Facebook says, is turn the cover photo into an advertisement.
The cover photo cannot:
- Have price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
- Have contact information such as a website or mailing address or information that should go in your Page’s About section.
- Reference Facebook features or actions, such as Like or Share, or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
- Have a call to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
This doesn’t mean you can’t offer discounts or announce sales. It just means that those calls to action must occur elsewhere (such as in tabs and apps) and not on your main photo.
Posts: Your posts will now appear on a Timeline and Facebook has given you more control over the display. You can “pin” a post at the top for up to seven days, make some posts larger than others, and choose not to display other people’s posts. On the other hand, a visitor to your Page will see posts about your business made by their Facebook friends on the right side. That’s out of your control. You can choose to hide or delete posts from your Timeline, so now would be a good time to do some housekeeping to make sure your Page displays the posts that best show your business.
Tabs and apps: In the current look, if you’re running apps — for instance to generate coupons on Facebook — users find their way to the app via little navigation icons on the left side of the Page. With the changes, apps (up to 4) will be displayed more prominently as images under the cover image. If you’re trying to attract attention to coupons, that’s good. (You can use up to 12 total apps, but the others will be displayed in a drop down menu.) A map image will also appear in this area, another improvement for local businesses. If you’re using a popular type of app that forces first-time visitors to land on a special offers page (the “Welcome tab”), that’s not going to be there anymore.
Direct messaging: Also new, a Message button next to the Like button under the cover image. If you turn on this feature, customers will be able to contact your Page administrator with a private message and he or she can respond. It does not create the power for you to initiate the messaging. Many Facebook users already contact local businesses with individual questions by posting in public – this private messaging may encourage more use of Facebook for customer service.
Bottom line: These changes will present your business in a more attractive and polished way on Facebook. Just remember that Facebook users typically don’t return very often to your page after giving it a Like; they read your posts in their New Feed, so the burden is still on you to create interesting posts to catch your customers’ eyes.
*This article was updated on March 2.