It’s no mystery that Facebook has single-handedly dominated the social media space for years. What once was a stomping ground for college students has now become a billion dollar entity used by webmasters and business owners to reach thousands of people and attract them to their brands.
Do you have a Facebook Page for your brand? If so, you may have noticed that Facebook switched from its original design to a new Timeline format back in March. The change, though not welcomed by all, allowed Page owners to take advantage of some interesting new features.
Whether you already run a Page or you are starting from scratch, this tutorial will give you some great tips on maximizing it to achieve optimal results.
If you are just getting started, take some time before deciding on a page name. Your name is an important component of your Page and Facebook will not allow you to change it once you reach 200 likes.
When selecting a page name, think long term. What name will fit your business even if your goals change? Does it communicate the essence of your brand? Most people use their brand/website name so users can easily locate their Page.
Facebook lists some Page name guidelines here.
The cover photo is the largest image on your Facebook Page measuring 851 pixels by 315 pixels. Use this area to portray a pictorial representation of your brand.
Here are some good examples of businesses that use the cover image wisely:
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/mysocialidentity
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/SocialStarsUK
Smart Women’s Institute
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/smartwomeninstitute
The cover photo does not need to be as elaborate as the above examples. As long as it defines your website and captivates your fans, it will be effective.
Though the above cover photos contain brand messaging, they do not display advertising language or list website information. Facebook has a strict policy that describes how you can use your cover image and what is prohibited.
According to Facebook, the cover image should not include:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website.”
- Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
- References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
- Calls-to-action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
- Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property.
The profile picture is the smaller image located at the left-lower corner of the cover image. Facebook uses this image to represent your Page when it is displayed on other pages and alongside your posts in the newsfeed.
Facebook suggests using your company logo but the design is entirely up to you. If you are branding yourself, a professional photo would be ideal. Social media expert Mari Smith combines the two with a small logo in the lower corner of her profile picture.
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/marismith
Though Facebook will resize the photos to fit the profile image box, it recommends uploading a photo that is 180 x 180 px. It should also look presentable scaled to 32 x 32 since this is the size of the thumbnail images that will accompany your posts.
The About section is located directly below your profile photo. Edit this information by clicking “Edit Page” in the Admin panel and highlighting “Update info”
When clicked, it will take you to this page:
The text you enter into the “About” field on this info page will be visible directly below the profile photo on your Facebook Page.
The text you enter in the remaining fields will be visible when users click your “About” link which is located directly below your “About” information on your Page.
Note: The tabs featured on the info page will vary depending on the type of fan page you select (i.e. service, local business, etc.)
Your About blurb should contain a link to your website and all relevant company information (phone number, address, etc.), if applicable. Use this space to showcase one of your top benefits or to direct people to your site. Do not overtly advertise but make the copy creative and captivating enough so people want to find out more about your website.
Applications allow Page owners to detail specific information for their fans. Businesses use these tabs to display games, events, welcome pages, free downloads, products, testimonials, links to additional social profiles and so much more.
Treat applications as small web pages within the framework of your Facebook Page. Use them for special offers, interesting content or as another means to generate interest around your website or social properties.
Facebook allows users to create up to 12 apps, though only 4 are displayed on the front page. For users to see more than 4 apps, they must click on the small arrow next to the apps to open the window. You can change the position of the apps to display the most important; however, Facebook does not allow you to move the Photos app.
To create applications, use one of the following services. They offer free trials and affordable plans if you want to upgrade.
Looking for ideas? Get some inspiration by browsing around some Facebook Pages to identify how brands and websites are using their applications to generate buzz and traffic to their websites.
In the coming weeks, we will discuss posting and how to use them to increase engagement and grow your fan base. Today, I want to go over the basic mechanics of a post and its features.
- Clicking the star icon will expand the size of a post to the entire width of the timeline. Use this function to draw attention to a specific post.
- Change a post’s date to move it around on the timeline.
- Click “Pin to top” to feature a post on the top of your timeline for up to seven days. Remove it before the seven days or it will automatically return to its original position.
- Add milestones, questions, or events to new posts along with location, images, video and photos. Schedule your posts for the future or backdate to make them appear at an earlier date.
Milestones are important events/accomplishments websites want to feature for their fans. A milestone post will appear larger than the others and extend to the entire width of the Timeline.
Coca Cola established a milestone depicting the year it was founded.
Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/cocacola
Additional Facebook Page Features:
- Admins – Page owners can assign five levels of admins: Manager, Content Creator, Moderator, Advertiser, and Insights Analyst. This is important for security reasons since each will possess differing levels of permissions.
Find them here: Admin Panel > Edit Page > Admin Roles
- Admin Panel and Activity Log – Your admin panel tracks your fans’ activities. The Activity Log allows you to make changes to their posts directly from one interface. Locate these panels directly above your cover image. If they are not visible, click the button “Show” to reveal your panels.
- Direct Messages – Fans can contact you directly via your Facebook Page and carry on a back and forth conversation. Note: You cannot message your fans until they initiate contact with you first.
This information should get you up and running with your Facebook Page. Stay tuned for future posts where I will discuss how to attract fans and use the platform to grow your business and website!
Here is some detailed information and additional resources provided by Facebook: