In the short time that most of us have become aware of the need to make changes to our facebook (business) pages, some very interesting page covers have emerged. I would like to show some of them throughout this post and describe what I feel works or might work better in each case. Please let me know what you think, about the examples and about my comments.
The word went out. Facebook was carrying its new timelines format from personal profiles over to the professional side. All (business) pages were going to not only have timelines but other MAJOR CHANGES would be taking place.
I can just imagine how this all took place. It is apparent even to this amateur detective that there were parties who were privy to this information long before the public became aware of this terrifying transformation to take place this past March.
On the downside, there would be no more default pages that allowed for potential customers to go directly to a landing page, sign up for an offer and begin the slide down the Inbound Marketing funnel. But on the plus side and best of all, in my opinion, would be massive billboard size ‘page covers’ ready for branding one’s business.
WHO KNEW WHEN
Clearly, companies like Lujure and Constant Contact, not to mention many others less well known to me, had to know what was a foot long before the public announcement that everyone would be required to use the new format by the end of March. The webinars given by the likes of Amy Porterfield, Mari Smith, Nathan Latka and facebook itself indicates to me that many corporations and social media evangelists had considerably more time to prepare than a pedestrian facebook user like myself.
But I suspect that some companies were turned upside down having to scramble in typical Steve Job’s Apple time to accomplish the impossible because it was just a matter of working harder as he would insist to his staff. What clued me in was how early in March some of the major corporate brands were showing off their spectacular new designs.
A GRAPHIC DESIGNER’S DREAM
I was relieved. No more five-frame images that I could never get to stay in place. My company header looked like scrambled eggs rather than the banner it was meant to be. So when I learned that the new page covers would measure 851 pixels wide by 315 high with a postage stamp size area for the company’s logo or other icon, I was in Photoshop heaven.
OK FOR FACEBOOK BUT NOT PINTEREST
Since I have about 20 facebook pages, divided up into a variety of categories, I immediately set about making my new page cover designs distinguishing them by the various categories. I had plenty of old artwork from a half dozen or so previous enterprises that I was proudly displayed as pages.
The page covers are okay. Some are even not half bad. But once I pinned them to Pinterest, they plopped. There was no discernable diversity. They looked boring pinned next to each other. In addition to that failure, some very kind and helpful Internet colleagues started alerting me to the very clear and concise restrictions facebook was placing on what was and what was NOT allowed to be on these page covers.
BEWARE OF BILLBOARD-ITIS
There are to be no billboards, no ads, no discounts, no calls to action, no URLs, no, no, no. So what is allowed? What is the Y-E-S? This is where many people shuddered, shouted, even screamed. My guess is that many people, who had created high tech facebook pages with apps for all kinds of tabs, were in a pickle. The programming part was not going to be much of a problem for them. But something else was, and it was a big BUT.
Now there would be a need to come up with something that fit within guidelines that were not typical of social media. This is usually a discipline that is code driven rather than driven by visual creativity, at least before Pinterest.
WE ALL NEED HELP
Facebook’s changes would provide plenty of chances for programmers and designers to help each other out. Opportunities for exchanges, barters and other compensations would be all around us. So how was one to go about building a billboard size page cover without using this spacious real estate like a billboard? It would indeed require the creativity of a seasoned graphic designer, branding expert and marketing maven.
BRANDING HAS ITS DAY
To capture the essence of a company without spelling it out is a real challenge in the design world and even more so for the word bound world of the Internet and trendy, texting generation. Companies with design departments or design firms on retainer that understand the subtleties of what the facebook challenge is about would manage. To me, this is a designer’s dream come true. It is a chance to do some real design work amidst a world of coding, programming and ‘drag and drop’ programs. They are all indispensable but designers have moved very far into the background lately.
BUT NOT FOR ALL
Granted there would be the clip art programs and do-it-yourself apps with temptingly affordable templates that many would and will still need to turn to. But there are also be those who understand the intrinsic value of facebook’s challenge. It requires a design with the whisper, not a shout of explitives, the subtle expression of a company expressing its brand, its mission and passion in a subliminal rather than literal way.
How many have and will continue to rise to this facebook page cover challenge? What are some of your favorite new facebook page covers? How do you feel about the changes facebook has made in this area?
Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.
Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at email@example.com or call 516-665-9034 ET
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- Why Marketers Should Invest in Visual Content Creation
- Five Ways To Enhance Your Facebook Timeline Page with Images (source for some of the page covers in story)
- Introducing New Facebook Pages
- Facebook Timeline for Brands Launches with Coke, Lexus, Macy’s and More
- Announcing an Update to Pages
- Facebook Timeline for Pages: Which Brands Will Win and Lose?
- How should I choose a cover photo for my Page?
- Facebook Page Guidelines
- Facebook Timeline Covers
About Alison Gilbert
Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.