Facebook users with brand pages may have noticed an announcement at the top of their pages this morning, alerting them that New Facebook Pages are coming soon. You can preview your page and try out the new features now ahead of the full switchover, which is scheduled for March 30.
The main benefits, according to the Introducing New Facebook Pages resource, are the ability to brand pages with a unique cover photo, pinned posts at the top of the page to highlight quality content, and private messaging between pages and fans.
The larger cover photo and pinned posts are features similar to Twitter’s enhanced brand pages. As we learned from brands sharing their experience with that format on Twitter, there are a few important tips and tricks for businesses who want to make the most of the new banner-style image without confusing fans:
- Pictures should be creative and engaging; straight promotional material was not as interesting to users on Twitter.
- Brand page cover pictures are not clickable; text links here may confuse fans.
- The pinned content spot is a great place to showcase video.
Brands have one month to get ready for the changeover to the new design on Facebook. Here are the new features, which you can see by taking the Preview offered in Facebook’s announcement banner on your business page.
Facebook Cover Photo for Brand Pages
Cover photos for brands are the same size as those for personal profiles, so you’re going to need an image 850 px wide by 315 px tall. These images can be changed or updated as often as you would like.
According to Facebook, cover images may not contain:
- Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website".
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section.
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
- Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends".
Other stipulations: “Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties' intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.”
Adjust Brand Profile Picture
The profile picture now sits with the top half laid over the cover picture, so use contrast to showcase the profile image. Images must be at least 180 pixels wide and can be centered after uploading. Use a square image for best results.
Highlight Important Apps at the Top of the Page
By default, photos are always the first app displayed along the top of the profile. Brands can now choose which other apps to highlight. Red Bull, for example, has their redbull.tv app prominently displayed in the second spot.
The goal here is to display your best content or elements that keep users engaged and on page. Facebook will allow you to highlight a maximum of 12 apps, with only the first four showing (including photos) by default.
Review Your Timeline and Pin a Post
As with personal Timelines, the new brand page design allows you to expand posts to feature them more prominently on the page. Hover over a post and use the star icon to feature, or the pencil icon to hide or delete, posts.
Using the star icon to feature a post creates what Facebook calls a “Milestone.” These expanded posts display at 843 pixels wide by 403 pixels tall, so keep that in mind when choosing which content to highlight.
Brands can now pin a post to the top of their feed. In the above example, Louis Vuitton has chosen to pin a video, an interactive element users will find engaging.
Redesigned Admin Panel Displays Recent Activity, Messages
A new admin panel for brand pages contains data on Recent Activity, New Messages, New Likes, and a link to Insights. Companies can turn the messaging feature off in Admin Settings.
Take the tour by signing into Facebook and visiting the page you Admin. Users can choose to publish now, or wait until March 30. Before publishing, make sure you’ve prepared:
- 850x315 Cover Picture
- Square Profile Picture, at least 180 px wide
- Pinned post to showcase top content
- Which posts to feature more prominently on your timeline
A few other features you may want to check out:
- Change the dates of your Page’s posts
- Prevent posts by everyone from appearing on your page, turn off the ability for people to post on your page’s timeline, or remove the Recent Posts by Others box from your page.
- Learn more about Sponsored Stories.
What do you think of the new Facebook brand page design? Let us know in the comments!