We should all just accept it. Facebook is going to keep changing and messing with us. Every time Facebook rolls out a new format, users bitch and complain – and start Facebook campaigns – to bring the old Facebook back. Eventually, everyone gets used to the new format and then Facebook changes it again. Hey, it’s a free service. Get used to it. The latest big change to “Timeline” is no different. For those of us managing company pages, though, Timeline presents its own unique set of challenges.

When we last addressed this, I told you that one of the biggest concerns we had was that we could no longer force new fans to a landing page (also known as a fangate). Fangates were useful ways of interrupting people on the way to your Facebook page and asking/encouraging them to “like” your page. Can’t do that any more. So what can you do?

Well, you can put up a big ‘ol picture on the top of your page. This is known as your cover photo. Facebook has strict rules about what can and cannot┬ábe used as a cover photo. No prices. No ads. No arrows pointing to Facebook features (in other words, no image that points to the like button and says “like us!”). But you can have some fun with your cover photo. Try and find something that represents what you do. . . use a great product shot or an employee shot. We often switch out cover photos and profile pics (essentially, your logo) to correspond with holidays or new product launches, like this:

 

 

 

We’ll often play with our clients’ logos so they have a topical feel. (The classic marketer in me had a hard time with this at first – but I don’t think it bastardizes your brand to do this on Facebook; I believe it can enhance your brand by showing your personality.) If you have a graphic designer or know a freelancer, you can usually make quick edits to your logo in an hour or less. Swapping out your cover photo and profile picture from time to time helps keep your Facebook page fresh and relevant. It says to your customers that you’re in-the-know, involved, and engaging with them where they spend a lot of their time – on Facebook.

It won’t get you any new customers, however. You’ll have fans who like the new pics and let you know that and any time you update your Facebook page, you are hopefully tricking Facebook’s algorithm into displaying your content in your follower’s news feeds. It’s fun to do and helps you look like you get social media, but it’s not absolutely necessary for most of you to switch out your cover photo or change your profile pic (logo) that often.

You should, however, have a cover photo and your logo as your profile pic. I’m surprised by how many businesses still haven’t put a cover photo on their page. That says to prospects/customers that you aren’t paying attention to your page . . . which might mean you don’t pay attention to your customers. Can’t think of something for a cover photo? Shoot me a link to your website and I’ll help you come up with something.

Next time, we’ll talk about Tabs and how to use them in Timeline.