Here at Skunkworks, we help our clients establish a social media presence by designing branded Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and/or LinkedIn accounts. We recommend platforms that suit the client’s particular business. For example, if most of their business comes through referrals from other professionals, we recommend a LinkedIn presence. If they are looking to expand their audience broadly, we’ve been recommending Facebook because that’s where you’ll find Canadians. While a social media presence generally succeeds according to how well it is maintained, there are times when more considerable overhauls are required. For Facebook, now is one of those times.
On March 30, 2012, Facebook is forcing all Company Pages to adopt the new Facebook Timeline display. Firms with existing Facebook pages will need to commit to some significant renovations.
Timeline Facebook changes include:
- “Facebook spotlight pages” will now be able to be resized from 520px to up to 810px wide; allowing page content to be arranged in a way that is less cluttered. This will also allow for that extra white space that every designer loves.
- Apart from the “Photos” tab (which will always appear first), only three other tab panels will be viewable at any given time. For example, you will be able to have Photos, Maps, your Spotlight Page and the “Like-Counter” showing at the top of your page, while the remaining apps will be hidden below the top 4 tabs. Users will have to click on the downward arrow (highlighted in orange in the screenshot below) to access other tabs.
- Since app tabs will be displayed at a larger size (111 x 74 pixels) on the tab panel, custom tab icons can be designed for the “Spotlight Page” or any other apps that display unappealing default icons. Here’s your chance to use creativity to capture your audience and convince them to check out the different apps on your Facebook page.
- It will no longer be possible to set a specific landing page (like the “Spotlight Page”) – the Timeline will be the landing page by default. That’s why it’s important to redesign a custom tab icon that will convert clicks to the “Spotlight Page” tab. The only way to automatically redirect users to an application will be by setting up an advertising campaign for a Facebook promotion or new application. On the bright side, Facebook Advertising can have its benefits (check out Jeremy’s post laying out his preliminary observations on law firm advertising through Facebook).
- Similar to marking a blog post “sticky”, you’ll be able to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline for up to 7 days. It’s like having a “featured post of the week” that can be used to display a cool image, a call-to-action, a promotion or a branding message. The possibilities are limitless.
- Speaking of cool visuals, you will now be able to “highlight” a post so that it appears across the two columns of your Page’s Timeline. So if your post includes an appealing photo, you might want to click on the little star icon beside the Edit/Remove button to turn it into a highlight!
- Finally, companies will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This will be a great way to avoid the proliferation of long comment threads that are irrelevant to other users.
How will this look? Here’s an idea:
Are you ready for the change? If not, you can contact Skunkworks Creative Group to help you polish your Facebook page for the big Timeline launch!