New Facebook Timeline for Business Fan Pages

On 30 March 2012, that’s two days from now, all business fan pages will automatically change to the new Facebook Timeline format.

What must businesses do to keep their Facebook page looking good?

The first thing to do is to create a cover image that can tell the story in an image or images about what your business does.

The dimensions for the cover image are 852 pixels x 315 pixels. You may wish to make the original jpg bigger (more height) so that you can move the image around on the page to get the best results.

What to use as a cover image?

Think about who your audience is and how you can convey to them what you offer. You can always use product iamges but often what we are really selling is emotion. People want to feel good, look good, feel happier, smarter, be more successful and so forth. So you might want to get your creative brain cells working and come up with something lighthearted and fun – that still sells your message.

For the Ski The World Facebook page that Bold Type manages, we found one of our images of people in brighly-coloured ski clothes at the top of a mountain. Where they are is not relevant – but it’s obvious that they are all having fun on a blue-sky ski day. That’s what Ski The World is all about: getting the most out of your next ski holiday.

Here’s the link for Ski The World Facebook Fan Page (if you are on Facebook).

Cover image for new Timeline format on Facebook for Ski The World

Cover image for new Timeline format on Facebook for Ski The World

What wording can you include?

You can just upload an image without words or if you want wording, be careful to keep the message short and clear. Your logo with a short message is one way to go.

According to Facebook Help (which you can access from your Business Facebook page before you start, cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide (dimensions are in fact 852 x 315). Here’s some DO NOTs.

  • Do not include price or purchase information, such as ‘20% off’ or ‘10% discount for our Facebook fans’.
  • Do not include any contact information – web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Facebook pages ‘About’ section. This is where you can add information for people to contact you.
  • Do not add words ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ or any other Facebook site features or icons.
  • Do not use calls to action, such as ‘Get it now’ or ‘Tell your friends’ or ‘Download from our website’.
  • Do not use cover images that are false, misleading or otherwise offensive.
  • Do not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property (get permission of the photographer or owner of the image).

In addition, the Facebook guide says that you ‘may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines’.

So there you have it: that’s the cover image covered!

Read more news about getting the most out of social media.

What elso does it mean for businesses? Watch this space!