Facebook has once again redesigned its look, but do not despair—this can be a great new marketing opportunity for businesses. The “Timeline” design will automatically take effect on March 30, but it’s a good idea to be ready before then.

The Write Place recently assisted client East-Central Iowa REC with the creation of graphics suited for the cooperative’s new Timeline layout. “Several cover images are planned to reflect the various communication themes East-Central Iowa REC presents to its member-consumers. Changing out the main image fans see when they visit your Facebook page keeps the interest level higher,” said Janelle Beekman, the graphic designer for the project.

The following are some of the design’s new features:

Cover Image – The first thing people will see when they come to your Facebook page will be the cover image. This image spans the top of the page, so it’s important that it make an impression. You are free to design anything you like for this space, within the guidelines: no calls to action, prices or purchase information, references to “Like” or other Facebook terms, or contact info (including web site addresses).

Profile Picture – There will also be a profile picture space, which is a smaller square overlapping with the bottom left of the cover image. This is a great place to put your business’s logo. Underneath that will be an “About” box, which will automatically draw information from your traditional About section. However, you will have the ability to change and control what shows up in that box.

Apps – Apps, likes, photos, and pages—formerly called tabs—will be located to the right of the About box. You can have up to 12, but only 4 will show up on your page at one time. “Photos” will appear first no matter what, but you can rearrange the order of the rest of them. You can also create images for the apps instead of using default images.

The Timeline – Posts and updates will appear on your timeline in the order they were created, just like on your old Wall. However, you can “pin” the most important stories or items to the top of the timeline for up to seven days. You can also “star” an item, which will cause it to spread across the page and emphasize it. These options will make it a lot easier for businesses to announce something on Facebook—like an upcoming event, a product launch, or a change in hours—and not have it get buried under the more recent posts.

To read more about the new design and see some examples or redesigned pages, visit www.facebook.com/about/pages.

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