Visual is the Keyword

“It’s a lot more visual,” says Sam Lessin, a project manager at Facebook, about the new Facebook Timelines. Everybody wants visual these days.

The sheer number of image-based platforms out there, like Pinterest, surely hasn’t evaded you, with their strong statement about how visual content impacts business results. Images rule, period.

Cover Image First

The first image to consider on your timeline is, or course, your cover image. For some strange reason, the cover has to be 851 x 315 pixels to work correctly. Anything else will get skewed a bit to fit the box. It will be worth the effort to spend a bit of time here making it fit right. Choose an image that will represent your brand well. Be aware, however, that you cannot include:

  • Pricing
  • Contact Info
  • Calls to Action
  • References to Facebook Features

Covers also can’t be false, deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s intellectual property. In other words, don’t do anything here that you know you shouldn’t. If you don’t know whether you own it, you probably don’t.

You will notice that the Profile Picture overlaps the cover image. Finally, they moved the profile image off of the Cover Image. Now we don’t have to design the cover so that there is a ‘dull’ spot in the lower left hand corner for the Profile Picture to lay over.

Which leads us to the:

Profile Image

The profile image needs to be 180 x 180 pixels and also look good when it gets scaled down to 32 x 32 pixels. Consider what it looks like it appears on people’s newsfeeds. A logo would probably be best.

Organize Apps and Tabs

Photos, Likes, and Apps appear under the profile image. Photos appear in the first spot, but this can be rearranged. Overall and total of 12 can be shown, although that might crowd things a bit. Then comes the magic of Tabs. Tabs can contain almost anything that you can image. Image galleries, articles, discount coupons, videos, etc can be served on a Tab. The content can be either served from your business website or from one of several sites that host Tabs for a fee. The only kicker here is that they have to come from an SSL secured website. More on Tabs later.

Star, Hide, and Pin

Hover over the pencil icon in the upper right hand corner of a timeline post and you will find a Star and a Pencil. The Star Icon will allow you to feature a post which will extend it to the entire width of the Fan Page. The Pin feature, under the pencil, will keep the story anchored to the top of the timeline until you unpin it. Other options are, Change the date, Reposition the photo, Hide from the page or Delete the whole all together.

Enable Messages

By all means, enable messaging. That is a vital part of Social Media – staying in contact with your customer base. Private conversations are gold.

Use these new features to your benefit. The time it takes to really engage with your customer/fanbase will pay in future dividends.