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Cutting-Edge Web

Get More Fans: How to Customize Your Facebook Page for Timeline

Photo by Pete Linforth

If your business is not on Facebook, you might as well roll over and die. Seriously. What else are you doing with your time?

There’s no denying that Facebook is the most popular social network in the US and the most important network for business use. With over 850 million active users, there are more people on Facebook than in the US.

But you can’t just set up a Page, wave your magic wand and — presto — have thousands of fans.

Every place you open your doors online is a reflection of your brand, and you want to make sure it looks, feels and sounds like your business.

That starts with how your Page looks or that first split-second impression people get when they land on your Page.

In this post, I’m going to show you exactly how to adapt your Page design to the new Timeline format and what the best options are to skyrocket your fanbase.

Before Timeline, lots of entrepreneurs had a Custom Welcome Page and Fangate that allowed them to quickly capture likes by giving new fans a free gift. That’s no longer possible and Facebook Terms of Use has gone so far as to outlaw any of the following marketing call to actions in your cover photo:

  • • Encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines
  • • Include price or purchase information, such as “50% off” or “Download it on YourURL.com”
  • • Include contact information such as your website address, email, mailing address, or information that Facebook wants you to put in your Page’s “About” section
  • • Include references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing form the cover photo to any of these features
  • • Include calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

So how do you stand out with so many restrictions? I’ve assembled a Pinterest board with some of the best examples out there. Check it out.

Here’s one of my favs from Marie Floreo, who is a master at conveying her message and vibrant personal brand:

As you can see, one of the first visual changes of the new Timeline redesign — aside from the giant cover photo — is the removal of the tabbed navigator on the left column and the addition of four app thumbnails with a button that reveals a maximum of up to 12 additional app/views. You can’t change the first Photo thumbnail, but you can customize all the other apps. (Thumbnail size: 110×74 pixels.)

Apps allow you to expand your Page into a mini-website that lets people to opt-in to your mailing list, view your blog posts, and check out other content from your social universe – YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Marie’s “Training for Women Entrepreneurs” app thumbnail links to this striking opt-in page, allowing her to build her list inside of Facebook:

Involver allows you to install 2 of these apps for free (WordPress, Twitter, YouTube, etc). But if you want to build an opt-in page that connects with your email marketing program (AWeber, Infusionsoft, MailChimp, 1ShoppingCart, etc), I recommend using the Custom Tab Generator, so you can customize your opt-in page to match your brand and website. You can also use paid services such as North Social (starts at $20/month) or Pagemodo (has free option), but they limits customization options. (App page size: 810 pixel maximum width, height is up to you.)

There are two main graphic features of a customized Facebook page: your profile image (which is 133 pixels wide by 74 pixels tall) and the cover photo, which is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image smaller than 851 X 315, it will be stretched to fit. This will make your image quality appear slightly grainy or distorted. The best practice is to upload an image that’s sized to Facebook’s dimensions.

Here is a visual explanation of the new dimensions:

 

Your Cover photo should include an engaging and compelling photo of you to build rapport with your audience in addition to a handful of these options

  • • business logo
  • • tagline
  • • testimonials
  • • product pictures
  • • media logos (if you’ve appeared in print, online or TV)

Timeline also offers a couple new features that allow you to make certain posts stand out from the rest. You can now “star” or highlight any post, which expands the post to widescreen and makes it always visible. You can also “pin” posts that you share to the top of the Page. Pinned posts, will stay at the top for 10 days even if there are more recent posts.

Now that you have my best practice tips, it’s time to put it to use. Post a link to your new Facebook Timeline in the comments and I’ll let you know what I think!

You can check mine out (and give me a like) here: https://www.facebook.com/liveyourmessage

Or click on the like button below to reveal a free gift. I use FansFlood (see below) throughout my website to incentivize likes and grow my fanbase.

The Live Your Message team is also available to customize your Page for you. Contact us for a free consultation.

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Love it? Hate it? Let me know...

    1. Marisa Murgatroyd

      Hi Nekiwa – I had a look at your fan page and it has a lot of great elements – such as the blog integration and meet us page, but it looks like your Email Signup isn’t working. When I click on that I get a “Let’s setup your form” message from MailChimp. Also, I would recommend simplifying your cover image – there’s so much going on that I don’t know where to look and elements like the social buttons on the cover don’t help since they’re not clickable. I would also make a version of your logo that fits better in the profile image space by putting optimal and admin on different lines – this will make a clearer, larger image for your posts.

      Reply ·
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About the Author Marisa Murgatroyd

Marisa is the founder of Live Your Message, where she turns entrepreneurs into Online Superheroes, and the creator of Start With You where she helps people just like you to discover the business they're meant to build, not just the business they can build. At 4’11 and a quarter, she’s called the shortest woman in marketing — and that doesn’t stop her from having huge ideas. She’s the “go to” brand builder for industry luminaries and heavyweights such as Justin Livingston, Callan Rush, Danny Iny, Alexis Neely and Susan Peirce Thompson. Marisa helps entrepreneurs create a business that is authentic and aligned with who they are, to empower them to turn up the dial on their “inner superhero”, so they can be the superhero to their tribe, as well as in their own lives.

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