Before Facebook Timeline became mandatory for all users in early 2012, marketers had really begun to embrace the use of custom tabs for welcome landing pages. It seemed every successful brand with a budget for custom development had a splashy welcome page that advertised a current promotion or encouraged you to like their page. And then poof, they all disappeared with the arrival of Timeline and the playing field was evened. Those custom landing pages still exist, of course, but they are now equated with “apps” instead of “tabs” and they live under the cover photo instead of along the top or down the side. Most importantly, they cannot be set as the first page visitors encounter.
Back in August, we discussed best practices for creating a winning Cover Photo for your company’s Facebook Timeline Page. In that post, we talked about how you can either use a single large image from your own library, or create a custom Cover Photo to really reflect your brand’s character.
If you’re not a graphic designer with professional creative software at your fingertips, a great resource for making custom images is Pagemodo’s Cover Photo Designer. Since its launch in mid-August, 2012, thousands of people have used the tool to create fantastic Cover Photos that show off their company’s personality. So today, we’d like to share some great customer-created images. Congrats to the companies below on a job well done!
Last month we released the new Pagemodo Cover Photo Designer. To find out more about how small businesses can take full advantage of this new tool and build a brand on Facebook, we sat down with Webs’ Founder Haroon Mokhtarzada:
Why should a small business have a Facebook page?
Facebook is the dominant player in the social media space. If your small business is not there, you are missing out on hundreds of millions of Facebook users, many of whom spend an average of an hour a day on the site. Reaching out to a large volume of engaged users will give your small business the potential to get people talking about and sharing your products and services with others. Plus, it’s free to put up your Facebook Page. This is a very low (no) cost tool with which to market your business.
Social media is a growing phenomenon, with new websites seemingly popping up overnight trying to put a new spin on things. Some of these catch on like wildfire, while others linger in the back ground and serve niche segments of the vast Internet universe. Regardless of whether your small business uses just the big daddies of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest) or also dabble with smaller websites that focus on your particular industry, social media is a useful tool for marketing.
With all the possibilities out there for marketing your small business website on social media platforms, it is very important to create a calendar for managing all your activity. A calendar will allow you to have your small business social media needs right at your fingertips. There are various tools available for creating a calendar for your small business, like the Timeline calendar just for Facebook postings, a simple Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, Google Docs (easy for sharing with others), and Hootsuite, which has many bells and whistles at your disposal. With Hootsuiteyou can pre-program your social media activity to post at certain times, which is very convenient for weekends or other times you are away from your small business.
Most of us have experienced testing our Facebook fan page via a mobile device only to discover that the Facebook mobile app only displays the Wall, Info and Photos sections. What about all our super awesome custom tabs?
Not to worry, now Pagemodo lets you and your visitors access your custom Facebook page tabs directly from a mobile phone!
Starting today, Pagemodo users can use special mobile-friendly links when promoting their Facebook page. What makes these URLs special? They automatically recognize the type of device being used to view your custom tabs. Visitors using a computer or laptop, will automatically be sent to Facebook’s web version of your custom tab. Mobile visitors, on the other hand, will see the mobile version of your custom tab. Smart!
Earlier this month, we announced the addition of custom iFrame tab that allow Facebook page admins to quickly and easily create tabs that automatically pull website content into a custom tab.
Today we are happy to announce that advanced users looking for additional freedom to create custom tabs without the limitations of pre-built templates can now do so using the custom HTML tab option. This feature is 100% free for all Pagemodo users to test and use!
How to create a custom HTML tab using Pagemodo:
- To get started, click on the “New Tab” option from your dashboard.
- Select Simple Themes.
- Select the “Custom HTML” tab option.
- Go to the “Edit Content” step and click on the HTML box to start inserting your HTML code. Our system will automatically show a preview of your code as you are entering it.
- Once you finished entering your HTML code, click on the “Done” button to save and finish by going to the “Publish” step!
Benefits to creating your own custom HTML tab:
- Create a branded identity on Facebook that matches your existing website
- Freedom to incorporate various elements on the custom tab like incorporating form feature into a larger tab
- Flexibility to determine exact positioning of each design element
- Ability to determine and test various calls-to-action
- Much more!
Try out this great feature today and showcase your custom HTML tabs below for all to see!
New features just keep on rolling! Today we are announcing that Pagemodo users can now create iFrame tabs.
Not sure what an iFrame tab is? Simply put, this tab will allow you to pull website content by linking your Pagemodo custom tab to any URL address. For example, if you wanted to display your website directly on your Facebook fan page, now you can! All you have to do is enter your site URL and presto, your fans have direct access right on your fan page. Here’s an example of how Pagemodo’s website would look like within a published iFrame:
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)
It’s been a very exciting month here at Pagemodo. We have been working around the clock to introduce new features that take full advantage of the new Facebook Timeline layout. Today we are proud to announce two new features:
Optimized Timeline Themes
Pagemodo users now have the option to refresh their existing 520 px wide templates to take advantage of Timeline’s wider format. Now you have more space to tell your story! To edit your templates:
- Log into your dashboard and hover over the tab page you would like to update. Doing so will pop up a menu option with various editing options.
- Click on the gears icon and select “Update to Timeline” choice.
- After clicking the “Update to Timeline”, our system will automatically resize your existing template to a wider format. Here’s an example of how the templates will change:
- Review your page and ensure that all images are sized the way you want them. PLEASE NOTE: Wider layout widths might require some of your images to be re-uploaded in order to ensure image quality and dimensions continue to render properly.
- Re-publish your wider template by clicking on the Publish tab and you are done!
Customizable Tab Images
In addition to newly optimized wider templates, we are happy to announce the new tab image customization feature. This option is available in your publish step:
We’ve written before on how to use Facebook to grow your business. But what if you have a product to sell? Facebook can be used quite effectively to sell your product and reach the customers you need. Here are some ideas that can make your product shine on Facebook.
- Surround your product with exciting design. With the release of the new Facebook Timeline layout, now more than every it is important for page owners to take time to make smart design choices. Just like brands that are bidding for attention on supermarket shelves, brands on Facebook have to take action to stand out from competition to get noticed. When you sell a product, you want it to be presented in the best way possible. We recommend you to have custom tabs devoted to your most important products or pages specifically target to unique segments your business services.
- Use your custom tabs to hold promotions for your products. Contests and other types of giveaways are good ideas to promote your product to the public. Of course one of the most popular promotions is a sale. Custom tabs can be changed and made whenever you feel it’s necessary to have a new sale. You can also bring additional attention to the sale promotions you are running by creating strong calls-to-action using the custom tab images.
- Make sure you maintain communication channels with your customers. Facebook’s Timeline puts communication and announcements at the forefront of your business page. Use this communication channel to answer customer queries about your product and engage fans. If someone has a problem with the product, or is looking to find out when it will be delivered, you’ll be there to answer their questions. In this age of social media, it is vitally important that your customers be able to reach out to you as easily as possible.
If used properly, Facebook is the ideal marketing tool for your products. It has the potential to show visitors to your business page that your product is dynamic, exciting, and best of all, easily available.
So get started on showcasing your product today!