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Facebook changes for business pages – what you need to know!

For some time now Facebook has been notifying us that on 30th March all pages will be redesigned to replicate the new timeline look currently being rolled out onto personal profiles.

Rather than waiting for the changes to be implemented and learning how to reuse your page’s features, we’ve listed some of the confirmed changes so that you can prepare for them beforehand. 

Here are 4 changes to look out for:

1. Cover photo

Say goodbye to the picture row on your page, a cover photo will now replace this. If you haven’t seen it yet on anyone’s profile page, it’s basically a header banner that spans the top of your page. To make sure your cover photo stands out, all profile pictures will be now be resized to 180 px by 180 px – significantly smaller than it used to be. Before you get too excited about the marketing opportunities the new cover photo feature provides, there are a few restrictions you’ll need to know about:

  • Your cover photo is prohibited from displaying any promotional sales messages such as “40% discount” or “download it from our website”. Neither may a cover photo make use of any calls to actions such as “call us for a quote!”
  • Facebook has also stressed that cover photos may not cite any of Facebook’s features such as “like” or “share”
  • Cover photos have also been explicitly banned from displaying any information Facebook deems appropriate for the “About us” tab. This includes contact information such as a website address, postal address and email address
  • Facebook also makes clear that all cover photos must be unique and so any activity incentivising or encouraging fans to upload your cover photo to their profiles is strictly prohibited

For a great example of what a business cover photo should look like, take a look at Macy’s Facebook page.

2. Pinned posts

The new ‘pinned posts’ feature enables you to highlight a story and expand it so that it extends across your business page. To do this, click the star icon on the top right hand side of your post. You can now also pin posts to the top of your timeline to ensure that your message will be on display in a prominent position for a week. So, if you have a message you don’t want anyone to miss – the launch of a new website or product, a promotion, or even an event that you’ll be attending and want your fans to know about – this feature will be a welcome change for you.

3. Milestones

The whole rationale behind timeline is storytelling, so to support this endeavour businesses are encouraged to share the big events that have happened in the life of the brand by creating milestones. From inception to product launches, milestones let you share your story with your fans allowing them to feel more part of the brand family.

4. Facebook messages

A long overdue change that Facebook has announced is the ability for Facebook pages to message its individual fans privately. Though this facility is enabled by default, through the admin dashboard it can be turned off. Previously, admins would have to message fans through their personal accounts to address any issues but that will all be changing, meaning that admins will be able to keep their privacy. However, there is an important restriction to this: fans can only initiate messages, a page can only respond once it has been messaged.

We’re excited to see the value these changes will bring to Facebook communities and look forward to seeing how brands will use these to strengthen their online presence. Have you started to use timeline for your business page? What benefits or challenges have you faced because of it? Let us know in the comments below or tweet us @hroc_pr.