New Facebook page design – 5 game changers your small business needs to know about

by on March 7, 2012

New Facebook design cover imageIt feels like just yesterday I was posting about a new Facebook design  (actually it was pretty much exactly one year ago).

Well, they’ve gone and done it again. 

Your small business needs to revisit its page and make some important changes before the new Facebook design officially goes live at the end of March.

Not sure if you’ve seen the new look yet, but it’s VERY different visually. My first thought was that it looked messy, but it’s already growing on me. It will just take some getting used to I’m sure.

What about all that work you put into creating a banner and getting your photo strip just right? I’m sorry my darlings – you can chuck all of that in the trash.

But let’s make the most of it, shall we? With the changes come new opportunities.

There are plenty of fantastic online resources to help you get the nuts and bolts of the new Facebook design (scroll down to the bottom of the post to access these). In this post, I want to get into what this all means for your small business marketing on Facebook.

Let’s look at some of the changes that will have the most impact on your small biz…

Cover photo

The biggest and most noticeable change with the new design – a large (850px wide x 315px high) image that takes up a major chunk of real estate at the top of your profile page. Before you get all excited about what you’re going to promote there, hang on.

There are a bunch of very specific Facebook rules around what kind of content can go here. Absolutely NO promotional information allowed here – no calls to action, no contact information, price or purchase information, no references to social action (eg. “Like” or “Share”). Website URLS. Nope. Discounts or promotions. No way. (Check out these guidelines from Facebook).

So it’s time to get creative with this cover area to maximize its impact for your small business branding. Looking for inspiration? These 2 posts both compile links to examples for the new Facebook page design:

No more landing page

This for me is most impactful change in terms of Facebook marketing strategy. You are no longer able to choose a tab as a landing page for new visitors. No more encouraging people to join your page, introducing yourself or offering a special gift in return for getting the like. At least not when people first land on your page. You can still have all that information in your tabs – but it’s now a matter of attracting attention to it.

Powerful tabs

The tab section has also changed dramatically. Tabs have become icons at the top of your page, and far less of them automatically show up. Now only 5 show up automatically – for the rest you’ll have to click to expand the menu.

What this means for your marketing strategy is that you will have to think about which 3 tabs you want at the top (About and Photos are non-negotiable). What tabs contain the most pertinent information for your page likers? Rearrange your tabs so that your best information is right at the top.

You will also have to think about the look of the tabs. Since they are now images (111 px wide x 74px height), you can draw attention to your tabs with nice visuals –upload a custom image for any tab you want.

You can change your page name!

This is an exciting opportunity with the new Facebook design. Previously, there was no way to change your page name once it was set. This was particularly problematic for small businesses that underwent some brand changes. Now’s your chance to set your page name to what you really want it to be.

If you want to change your name, just use this form to make the request to Facebook.

Drawing attention to a post

This is one new feature that I’m really excited about. You are now able to pin a specific post (“pin to top”), which will keep it at the very top of your Facebook page for the next 7 days. Perfect for special promotions, events or anything else going on with your biz that you want maximum exposure for.

You can also highlight a post which will keep it where it is in the stream, but make it bigger.

Additional Facebook redesign resources:

The new Facebook design is definitely the hottest topic right now in social media marketing. If you’re looking for specific details as to all the changes with the Facebook page design, these posts are a great place to start:

1. Facebook’s official training for the new design
2. An introduction to the new Facebook timelines for pages from Webonize
3. The New Facebook Page: All The Juicy Details from SocialMouths
4. The Complete Guide to Setting Up the New Facebook Page Design from Hubspot

Would love to hear your thoughts about the new Facebook design. And if you’ve jazzed up your Facebook page, leave a link in the comments so we can check you out. I’m planning to do up a post in the near future with some cover photo inspiration from other small businesses – if you leave a link to your page below, I’ll be happy to include your small biz in the post!

 

Comments, likes and tweets are always appreciated! Did I mention that I LOVE your feedback?

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