The New Facebook Page: All The Juicy Details

The new Facebook Pages I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting for the launch of the new Facebook Pages for a few weeks.

So it finally happened yesterday and as expected, there are quite a few changes raising eyebrows, some likes and dislikes. As it usually happens with Facebook.

This post is to list and explain each one of those changes, how they will affect the way you manage your Facebook Page and the new possibilities for customization, engaging and communicating better with your fans.

Let’s get started!

When do we get it?

The new pages are available now, if you go to your page right now you will see a banner on top and instructions on how to publish. This is optional at the moment and Facebook is giving you a grace period of 30 days to work on your content before going live with it. The new format will be forced on March 30. Whether you’re ready or not.

Facebook Page preview

From here you can preview the timeline and also take a tour with all the new features.

Structure

We already knew that Pages were going to be turned into Timelines, in the same format as your current personal profile, so there is no surprise there.

Don’t take this lightly, this is a great opportunity to communicate and engage in a whole different way. I want you to think of two key terms: Image-centric and storytelling. No rocket science here, this is the reason other social networks such as Pinterest or Instagram have become so popular. It’s just a more engaging way to communicate your message.

We know most of the interaction with pages really happens on the News Feed rather than the actual page but, will this improve pageviews on your page? We’ll have to wait and see.

Branding

This is usually the first people want to know.

Facebook Page Cover Photo

Cover Photo

The cover photo is the new landing experience. Facebook is giving you access to prime real estate to customize your page and improve on user experience. Before you jump into this, there a couple of things you need to consider before uploading your Cover Photo:

  • The specs: 850 x 315px, which is a lot more space than you had before to customize your page
  • There are some restrictions on what you can do with this. You can’t use it for calls-to-action, promotions, website promotion and other things like that. Here is the full list of items you can’t include on your image (too bad, I already had some crazy ideas running in my head)

Other than that, get creative and really leverage this space. Please don’t use an image of your cat performing ninja tricks…

Profile Pic

Your usual profile pic or “avatar” on the sidebar is gone. If you had one of those tall images, chances are is not looking too good now. You need to adjust that image, which has been moved to the top just like it is on your personal profile.

Views & Apps

This is important. One of the concerns people had was what is going to happen to tabs.

Facebook Page Views & Apps

Custom Tabs and Apps are more prominent now since they’ve been moved to the top just below your cover photo. You can organize the order of these elements so people see what’s more relevant. The only one you can’t move is “Photos” but other than that, you can display your apps/tabs however you want.

You can see a little button with an arrow pointing down on the right, this drops a panel where you can see the rest of your tabs, you can also arrange the order there.

Also note that you need to update the icons for your custom tabs and apps. The new dimensions are 111 x 74px.

Having a custom tab will have much more visibility now. We all know those tabs didn’t get much action before, unless it was a landing tab.

No more Landing Tabs

This is probably the biggest concern for Page owners at the moment. The possibility to setting up a default landing destination for non-fans is gone. From now on, all visitors will land on the Timeline by default. This means welcome landing tabs are gone.

You will have to come up with new creative ways to deliver a better user experience for first-time visitors. A welcome video pinned to the top of the timeline sounds like a good idea, and of course the good use of the cover photo.

New specs for Custom Tabs

Understand that you can still have Custom Tabs, they just can’t be set as “Landing”.

On a more positive note, now you have a lot more real estate to play with on your custom tabs. The width that used to be 520px is now 810px. For those of you that have tabs already in place with the 520px, they have been centered to the page as you can see in this image.

Facebook new custom tab

You can have a max of 12 Apps running on your page.

Content

Pins

This is also key to improve engagement on your page. There is always a post on your page with more relevancy, something that wish you had control over and keep at the top of your page. If your page is active, those posts can rapidly be move down and get lost in the middle of your wall.

Facebook Page - Pin your featured posts

Now you can “pin” a post so it stays on top. Think of it as a sticky post on your blog, your featured content.

You need to hover over the pencil tool on the post you want and click on “Pin to Top”. Look at the following image:

And here is the result, the post now will remain on top and a little ribbon has been added in the corner.

Highlights

You can also highlight a post within your timeline, by clicking on the star when you hover over the post, it will change the dimension to a full width. If you post your blog content on your page, this is a good way to make it stand out from other posts. This is also great to highlight milestones in your page.

Facebook Page Highlight Posts

Hide

Although this was already available on the old wall, I see many people not making use of it. You are responsible for curating and administrating the content on your timeline and part of that is also hiding posts that are repetitive, for example when people share your post and mentions the page, while this is obviously good for you, sometimes having the post 4 or 5 times on the timeline is not very good for the user.

Another example is when people post on your page for self-promotion reasons, or what we know as Facebook Spam. As your page becomes more and more popular, these things happen more frequently.

Get used to hiding posts.

About

The “About” section that used to live below your profile pic is now more prominent, since it was moved to the top. If you ignored this piece of content before, I suggest you get your creative juices going and write up a kick ass description of your page.

Administration

You can now administrate your page without going to a different page. The “Admin Panel” gets displayed on top of your page. Obviously only page administrators can see this.

Facebook Page Admin Panel

From the admin panel you can access:

  • Notifications
  • New Likes
  • Insights
  • Messages (we’ll talk about this in a second)

Communications

Also new, now users can send a message to a page privately, just as if you were messaging a friend. This should also be important to improve your communications.

As I said before, this feature is accesible from the admin panel. This feature is optional, Pages can opt-out by disabling the messaging system in your page settings.

I think that pretty much covers everything.

Final Thought

I think there are great opportunities here to communicate your message in a more engaging way. As I said before, you are been pushed to step up your branding and exploring new ways of presenting it by telling its story and being more image-centric.

So what do you think of the new changes? How are you planning to use all those new features? Share your thoughts in the comments and, feel free to ask any questions.

Connect with me on the SocialMouths Facebook Page.

Additional resources: Facebook has put together this video mini course for Pages to help you get familiar with the new layout.

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  • http://twitter.com/6SuitcaseTravel Theresa

    Thanks for all the information! Especially the sizes of the cover pic and tab icons. Now to tweak everything so it looks like I know what I’m doing! ;)

  • http://dannybrown.me Danny Brown

    Great overview, mate. Have to admit, I was dubious about Pages moving to the Timeline design, but it looks like Facebook might just pull this off. :)

  • http://www.theskooloflife.com Srinivas Rao

    Nice. I love it. Gonna have to get mine redesigned :)

  • http://www.ricardobueno.com Ricardo Bueno

    So what app(s) do you use to create those custom tabs? I remember way back when using the Custom FBML app but you can’t edit the icon. 

  • http://www.johnpaulaguiar.com John Paul

    Nice walk thru, I’m with Danny. Wasn’t feeling the new update, but now not so much.

    Best parts I like are the more branding opps and the Pin feature and the bigger custom tab size.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    Everything continues to be iFrames and the process to setting up your app is the same. The only thing that changed is the specs of the actual tab space and the fact that you can’t set up any tabs for default landing.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joyce-Zoldak/100000417138112 Joyce Zoldak

    Thanks for the post – very helpful to see it all layed out like this. I’m ure glad I procrastinated so long on that welcome page as I would have been ticked went it went the way of the dodo!

    I am, however, still having trouble with a very basic feature in the new timeline layout. My organization is open different hours on different days of the week and the new timeline has generalized the “About Section” to prominently display just one of our closing times.
      
    Example:
     
    We’re open…
     
    Sun-Wed: 11:00 am to 6 pm
    Thu-Sat: 11:00 am to 8 pm
     
    The About summary that appears on the front page, under my cover photo now says, “Open until 8 p.m.” — totally disregarding the alternate 6 p.m. close time.

    Any thoughts on how to fix this?

  • mylingo.org

    Thanks for the tips especially on images and landgin pages 

  • http://www.facebook.com/mary0929 Mary Zychowski

    Great post! I think the new layout is brilliant for businesses! Love how the apps now have an opportunity to “shine”. Keeping it fresh, a new creative twist : )

  • http://www.prepaidplans.com.au PrepaidPlans

    Plenty of positives. More creative space is great. I suppose they are making it more like a website within a website. Time to invest more time in Facebook I guess.

  • Linda Nelson

    Love it!

  • whenpigsfly

    Thanks for laying this all out, Francisco. I’ve wanted someone to do this and haven’t had time to figure it all out on my own. I’m thinking I’ll go into my design program and create a really cool photo montage to add to the large photo section at the top. I do think this could be a fun way to change things up on a regular basis. I’m still not too sure how often people will go to the actual fan page. It does seem like almost all interactions are in the newsfeed.

  • http://www.marsdorian.com/ Mars Dorian

    And I just created my new landing page ;)

  • Kgarcia

    As always Francisco your content and updates ROCK!!  Thanks again for all the useful info.

  • http://www.lorirtaylor.com/ LoriRTaylor

    Great post Francisco as usual – Facebook loves to keep us on our toes doesn’t it?  Dance monkeys – bang bang at the toes.  :)

  • http://just-ask-kim.com/ Kimberly Castleberry

    My page over at http://fb.com/AskKim has 13 apps running and 3 open boxes. I’m not sure that the 12 app limit is accurate. 

  • http://www.robertburnell.com/ Robert Burnell

    You’re the man!!! This post gets right to the point about the changes. Although I used another one of your posts to create the “old” landing page which actually came out well. I think this new look is great. More of a web 2.0 kinda look. 

  • http://scottwkelley.com/blog Scott W Kelley

    Thanks again Francisco, your information and content has much value and I am thankful for it! Rolling up my sleeves!

  • http://www.simbarusseau.com/ Witnessing Life

    Really informative piece Francisco. Thanks for taking the time to write this up and walk us through the steps. 

  • http://www.prepaidplans.com.au PrepaidPlans

    If you have done the preview and moved on, how do you then come back and turn the new look on?

  • Burnzme88

    Thank you for sharing, definitely facebook is one of the best place to campaign since many people are into it and it is an easy. Learn more how to build rapport with you business partners through “>social media

  • http://www.facebook.com/sushil.raju7 Sushil Krishna

    Thanks for this great information.

  • Valdenorjunior

    The ‘profile picture’ for my apps, are not updating. I still got the old size and even after adding the picture from settings it does not show the new one. Is this managed from another place? 

  • Valdenorjunior

    The cover photo for my apps are not being updated. How do I fix it to the new size?
    Thanks,. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/samara.bowling Samara AmbrosiaHair Bowling

    I love this article the only problem is facebook resizes the app page icons. So you end up with a smaller icon with that ugly blue color around them. I tried making the icons bigger to see if it will offset it and the icons are still resized.

  • AnnMullen

    I’ve been getting used to my personal Timeline and thinking about my clients. I wish we still had the landing pages as such. There is a welcome page, but I guess it is not going to pop up. What to do? What to do?

  • Laurademeo

    Thanks Francisco, great article.  I like the new timeline, but think FB is catering to bigger brands now.

  • http://www.fun-and-fab-gift-basket-ideas.com/ Jackie

    Thanks for all this information and especially for explaining it all in such an easy to understand way. I have had a landing page on my to do list for weeks, very very glad it’s one thing I didn’t get round to doing :)  

  • http://www.scottfox.com/ Scott Fox, Click Millionaires

    Nice post, Francisco.  Thanks for sharing these details about the new Timeline.

    I’ll include it in a round-up of new Facebook how to posts on my blog soon, too.

  • http://twitter.com/JimmyPicanza Jimmy Picanza

    Did not know about Pins and Highlights. Thanks for sharing.

  • Mkal

    Is it possible to change the tab images of existing tabs?  You only mention the custom tabs but I don’t know if you mean the custom tabs already in use.

  • http://www.socialdon.com/ Facebook Statistics

    Great article which guides about a new change on Facebook. Such interesting parts i liked on it which tells about facebook statistics.

  • http://pizzaspotz.com/ Brian

    Landing pages are indeed gone as they were before. But you can always link the facebook icon on your website directly to your former landing page. There you have a way to encourage likes etc.

    Since posts pinned can only stay pinned for seven days, a welcome video pinned will have to be repinned every week. It will be fun to learn all the new ways to capture the interest of our fans.

  • Ozio Media

    The latest update of the Facebook page structure looks really great. Thanks for the great review. It might be better if Facebook were more up-front about the changes that they make. Then less tech savvy users, who probably are the majority, would be less worried that the effort they put into their business’ FB page isn’t lost. Most likely, marketers will find that the control over their content that this allows will be a great improvement to using Facebook as a promotional tool.

  • E Kelly008

    Thanks for explaining all of this! I have been hesitant to get the new platform, so this is helping me to ease into it. I do enjoy that there is more room to be creative especially with the cover photo. Facebook needed to put themselves out there at this time where social media is blowing up and this was a great way to do it. 

  • http://www.socialmouths.com/ Francisco Rosales

    I’m glad you found it helpful. You know that by the end of March, they will roll this out, right? 

  • http://profiles.google.com/gaubavibhu2008 vibhu gauba

    New facebook page desigs  i personally dont like them at all !

    Regards
    http://www.baltimoreflowers.info

  • http://www.seekably.com/ Suraj KV

    Very Nice article.

  • David

    Hi Fransisco, I was just wondering if you knew why or if you had a theory why Facebook won’t allow references to user interface elements and calls to action on the cover photo?

  • http://www.windows8news.com/ Dortha Milner

    There a couple of things you need to consider before uploading your Cover Photo.

  • http://www.wholesalefishingworms.com/ Carman South

    As I said before, you are been pushed to step up your branding and
    exploring new ways of presenting it by telling its story and being more
    image-centric.

  • http://www.totalcateringequipment.co.uk/ totalcateringequipment

    This should also be important to improve your communications.

  • http://www.totalcateringequipment.co.uk/ Carleen Winstead

    You will see a banner on top and instructions on how to publish.

  • http://www.totalcateringequipment.co.uk/ Carleen Winstead

    I think that pretty much covers everything.

  • http://www.totalcateringequipment.co.uk/ Carleen Winstead

    So what do you think of the new changes?

  • http://www.osirion.co.za/  web design

    Facebook Page and the new possibilities for customization, engaging and communicating better with your fans.

  • http://www.paradiseofflowers.com/ send flowers online

    As it usually happens with Facebook.

  • http://www.tpsremovals.com/ Sharenley

    I don’t know about you but I’ve been waiting for the launch of the new Facebook Pages for a few weeks.

  • http://appsterhq.com/ mobile app developer

    From here you can preview the timeline and also take a tour with all the new features.

  • ipevents

    A few changes raising eyebrows, some likes and dislikes. As it usually happens with Facebook.

    http://www.ipevents.com.au/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Vickysandhu-Sandhu/100003555217032 Vickysandhu Sandhu

    So what do you think of the new changes? How are you planning to use
    all those new features? Share your thoughts in the comments and, feel
    free to ask any questions.
    http://www.parapharmacie-faure.com/