Be honest. Did you click ‘Update Now’ and switch to the new Facebook Page layout without doing your homework on how to use it properly?
Don’t feel too bad – the majority of people did exactly the same thing.
Facebook has been progressively rolling out its new timeline format for Pages since March. Any late adopters who haven’t opted in will have their Pages automatically transferred to the new format by 23 June. Many organisations have already made the switch to the new layout via a quick button click following a suggestion from Facebook.
But, the majority of Page owners seem to have moved to the new format without finding out what the changes mean for them, and doing the necessary housekeeping.
We’ll be covering the new Facebook Pages format in detail at the upcoming Facebook for Nonprofits workshop on Friday 20 June – telling you everything you need to know, and showing you how to do it. Here’s a sneak peak into the first 3 things you need to know right now.
#1 Check your cover photo
As you know, your cover photo is the prime real estate on your Facebook Page. The total size of the cover photo has not changed (851 x 315). Nor has the size of the profile picture (load at 180 x 180, displays at 160 x 160), but the profile picture now appears higher, and slightly to the left, potentially covering key words or images in your cover photo that were visible before.
The Page name, Like, Follow and Share buttons are now imposed over your cover photo at the bottom, so ensure there is no logo, text, calls to action, or distracting elements of your image in the bottom 65 pixels.
#2 Tweak your About section
Facebook has done everyone a favour by automatically flashing your URL in your About section – which was one of the most basic blunders that Page owners were previously making. As it now features in its own dedicated space, you should remove your website URL from the general text wording, freeing up an extra line to describe what you do. You also need to check you have the correct URL featured. Don't laugh - I've seen it.
#3 Prioritise sections (blocks) in the left hand column.
The left hand column has become increasingly important. Key elements of your page have been relocated there – including your Apps Tabs. And if you aren't already creating and using custom apps tabs – we need to talk.
The sections (blocks) that appear in your left hand column include People, About, Apps, Photos, Reviews, Posts to Page & Likes.
You should prioritise these to get the most important sections, based on your specific organisation, as high as possible on the Page. For example, if you are a nonprofit running a coffee shop enterprise, Reviews might be very important to elevate – selling the merits of your fantastic brew. If you are a member-based association, photos might be very important. If you are running terrific Apps with competitions, e-news sign-ups and more, then you will want to prioritise the Apps section (and prioritise the individual Apps within the section – which we'll be covering at the workshop).
You can manage your sections by clicking on the pencil icon in any of the left hand column sections, which will bring up the Manage Sections window.
The only sections that cannot be moved are the People and About sections, which must remain in the top spots. Other than that you can reorder at will. This is not something that is set in stone. Smart marketers will prioritise the photo section when new images are available, prioritise the reviews section when a great 5-star review is received, and prioritise the apps section when running a competition.
This is just a tiny taste of all the changes and things you need to know about the new Facebook Pages layout. The changes are, for the most part, very positive. Smart marketers will take the time to learn how to avoid pitfalls and get the maximum advantage from the changes.
A limited number of tickets are still available for the all-day Facebook for Nonprofits workshop on Friday 20 June, where we shall go through the changes in far greater depth, with practical tips and directions on what you need to do. A special offer for people who read this blog is available. Simply enter the promotional code ‘letsbefrank’ at the checkout to receive $50 off a single All Day Workshop ticket. Valid until tickets are sold out.