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New Facebook Pages Launched Today

Today, Facebook launched the new Pages format which incorporates the timeline previously rolled out for personal profiles. This is a major change for businesses and will require businesses to make some significant adjustments to their presence. You will not be able to continue “business” as usual on Facebook. Until March 30, 2012 you can preview and make adjustments to your presence to work with the new format. On March 30 the change over will become live. There is no time to waste.

Here are five key changes for you to be aware of.

  1. Cover photo and the smaller profile picture. You should be aware that there are significant restrictions regarding what you can include on your cover photo. You cannot include an offer or contact information. You cannot include price or purchase information. You cannot use it to direct people to click something. It cannot include a call to action. Your profile picture is now a square image just as on the profile timelines so you will need to adjust for this and design and image which will serve as your thumbnail and profile image (usually your logo).
  2. Pinning. With this change, Facebook has given you a tool to highlight what matters most to you. You now have the ability to “Pin” a post so that it will stay at the top of your Page for a week, making sure people will notice what’s important.
  3. Custom Tabs and Applications. There have been a few major changes here. Custom tabs are now wider. I’ve seen a few numbers thrown around here in early information, but the width is now 799-810 pixels instead of the previous 520. Your custom tabs will still function, but for aesthetics, you will definitely want to update your designs for the new, wider width.
  4. Reveal tabs are effectively dead. While it is possible to have a tab that shows different content based on whether a visitor has “Liked” your page, they function very sporadically.
  5. Default Landing Tabs Eliminated. Facebook has eliminated the ability to set a default landing tab, so all visitors will first come to your timeline. This will force you to adjust to using your news feed to highlight promotions and draw people into tabs.

Facebook has, and always will be, about sharing and engagement. For businesses, it serves as a channel to make users aware of offers and news that they will hopefully share with others. In my opinion, these changes will help businesses refocus their efforts on Facebook in a manner that will promote sharing and bring the word of mouth advertising value that is Facebook’s true business opportunity.

We will be updating our page in the next couple of days and posting it live. Like you, and all but 50 select companies, our first notice of this came this morning (though we had heard a few rumors of what was happening). Some of these companies have updated their presence and you can check out their pages.

Updated Facebook Page Examples:

We will announce shortly some special offers to help your business make these adjustments. Be sure to like our Facebook page to receive first notice of these special offers and to see the latest news and updates.

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