All businesses are switching over to the new timeline profile on March 30. Here are five important things you should know before your profile is switched over.
1. Default “Welcome Pages”are gone.
In the old Facebook, you could create a custom tab and have all users who have not yet liked your page go there first. This custom tab usually had reasons to follow the brand and an arrow of some sort pointing to the like button.
This default landing page functionality is gone. Custom tabs still exist, but your Facebook wall / Timeline is now always the default landing area.
2. Cover photos are new.
In the old Facebook, your profile photo was the main photo on your page. It was about 180 pixels wide and 400 pixels tall. The new Timeline profile gives you 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall of space to use for anything you want, except the following which Facebook explicitly discourages:
- 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.”
There is still plenty of room to get creative. Your cover photo should make a statement about your brand using as little text as possible.
3. Other people’s posts don’t show by default.
By default, when other people post on your Timeline, it doesn’t appear in the feed; rather it goes into a little box called “Recent Posts by Others.”
This gives you much more control over what appears on your Timeline. You also have the ability to “highlight” posts by others to feature them in your Timeline.
4. Your profile picture is a little different.
Your profile picture is now a square to the bottom left of your cover photo. This photo is what is used as a thumbnail for when your posts show up in someone’s feed. This image must be at least 180 x 180 pixels. A logo usually works best here, something people can easily identify even when shrunk down very small.
5. Custom tabs now have a LOT more room.
Custom tabs now have 810 pixels of horizontal space to fill. You can create anything to go in these areas, even micro-websites. This means your in-Facebook applications can be much larger and more user friendly.
When buying likes through Facebook advertising, custom tabs are still a great place to drive traffic to, and can significantly reduce your cost per like. You can fill a custom tab with all the reasons one should follow and “like” your brand, and make one of those big arrows point up to the like button. This is usually much more effective than driving someone straight to your wall.