Last week Facebook rolled out the mandatory switch for all Facebook fan pages to the new Timeline format. Here are 7 tips & tricks to help you make the most of the new layout:

  • Timeline is much more image oriented. Make sure you utilize the right image sizes to get the best quality. In order for your custom images to render with the best quality possible, utilize the following image sizes in the new Timeline layout:
    • Cover photo: 851px wide x 315px high
    • Profile picture: 180 px wide x 180 px high
    • Thumbnail image for apps: 111 px wide x 74 px high
    • Highlighted & milestone images: 843 px wide x 403 px high.

It is important to note that Facebook has set out several guidelines for what is and isn’t allowed to be posted as cover images.   This new cover image is NOT allowed to have a call to action, meaning no phone number, no email—no contact info; no way to drive users to Like you; no way for someone to purchase your product.  This means that users need to take advantage of custom tabs (now known as custom apps)

  • Take advantage of the wider tab space. Custom tabs or pages are  now called custom apps. The Timeline layout has provided additional space for custom apps by expanding them from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels. Utilize the new space wisely by providing vital information about your small business. It is always a good idea to have several custom apps to highlight various segments of your business. For example, if you are a professional photographer, you’ll want a custom app for an “About” page, an app to describe your “Wedding Services” and another one to highlight your “Family Portrait” work.
  • Select tabs that will make the biggest impact for your small business. The Timeline layout has shifted the location of the custom tabs from the left side navigation to the top of the page under the main cover image. By default, Facebook will set fan pages to 4 views. You can change which ones show up by changing the order of your tabs. To change the order of your Tabs:
    1. Expand the views and apps menu by clicking on the top the right of your Page’s views and app
    2. Hover over the position you’d like to put a view or app and click the pencil icon that appears 
    3. Choose the view or app you’d like to swap into that spot from the menu
    4. To remove a view or app, select Remove from Favorites in step 3. You can’t move the photos view, which will always appear first.
  • Upload attention grabbing custom icons to your tab. Site owners will now have  complete control over the imagery for their custom apps. Using Pagemodo, you can now set your custom tab photo on the publish step. Learn how here. Looking to customize your tab on Facebook, follow these steps:
    1. Go to your timeline and click on the “Admin Panel”
    2. Click on the “Manage” button and then “Edit Page”
    3. Click on the “Apps” tab on the left
    4. Find the tab you want to update and click on “Edit Settings”
    5. Click on “Change” to upload a new Tab Icon
  • Highlight custom tabs by pinning posts. Pinning posts allows page owners to put the most important posts to the top of their Timeline.  This is an optimal way to bring attention to custom apps. The pinning of a post lasts for seven days. Remember, the only posts you can pin are your own posts, not the posts of others.
  • Optimize About section. The About section in the new Timeline layout has expanded from 70 characters to 140 characters. This gives you more space to describe your business’ products or services.
  • Add milestones. The new Timeline layout allows page admins to add milestones, or major events, to be highlighted on their fan pages. Learn how to add milestones to your business fan page.

About the Author: Irina Kabigting is Pagemodo’s Marketing and Social Media Manager. Get more from Irina on Pagemodo’s Blog and Google+.

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