What the new Facebook Page design has in store for your business  

Facebook is at it again—changing things up on the layout of the Pages businesses use to communicate news and connect with customers. This change will roll out on your business page in the next few weeks if you don’t convert it manually before. A statement on the Facebook website called the update, “ … a streamlined look for Pages on desktop that will make it easier for people to find the information they want and help Page admins find the tools they use most.”

We know what you’re probably thinking: first, “Not again!” and next “Can I opt out?”  Nope, you cannot prevent Facebook from changing the layout on your Page. And, believe it or not, you probably would not want to pass this one up. The new layout makes a lot of sense and preserves the features business Pages were already committed to. Here are some of the highlights.

What will happen to my brand images and custom content?  

Ironically, I’ll start with what is not changing. Your cover image, profile image, and app images will still look great and have not been resized. However, you may need to update your cover image in some cases. The new design features text to the right of the profile image as well as a menu in the lower right corner. If your cover image has text or graphic elements in that area, you’ll want to make sure the design is still readable and not to cluttered.

There was some chatter in March when this announcement was made about App images (which you may have used to showcase custom content, like contests and e-newsletter sign-ups) being removed. Not so. They are featured in the left column under About Us, and you can also access them from the More drop-down menu under your cover image. Since these never did show up in the mobile version of Facebook, and most traffic to Facebook Pages comes from smartphones, this actually makes more sense. 

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No more back-and-forth News Feedfaebookapp-order

You probably caught that I mentioned your About Us info is now featured in the left column—that’s a change. Pages now feature a two-column layout with a wider space for your News Feed on the right, and information about your brand to the left. This left-hand column includes People (including how many Likes you have), About Us, Apps, Photos (more of them!), Posts to Pages, Likes (the pages your Page likes), Reviews, and Post to Page. If you hover over the top right corner of these features, you can reorder some of these sections. People and About Us are anchored in that order by default at the top of the column.

New image size for posts

The one image size you’ll need to adjust are those images you make for your News Feed. The space allowed for photos on the News Feed is 394 pixels tall by 470 pixels wide. Ideally, you should make your images in this exact size (aspect ratio of 235:197) to make use of all the real estate you are provided in the post. Facebook does a nice job of displaying your old post images, and will handle images of other sizes and aspect ratios in the new News Feed. Here is a handy infographic from Gain so you know what to expect with image sizes in the new layout.

Admin tools at your fingertips

For admins, the information on how your Page is performing will remain in a narrow column on the right side of your Page, showing Ads, Likes, Post Reach, Messages, and Notifications. For Pages with more than 100 Fans, Facebook has added a Pages to Watch feature, which is a powerful way to gain insight on your competition or keep tabs on what businesses or organizations you partner with are doing. You can compare the performance of your page with those you’ve added to Pages to Watch.   

Making the switch

This process of making the update may have already occurred on your Page. If not, you should be prompted to make the update when you visit the Page you administer. Just one word of caution: check your settings once you make the update. Some Pages reported Facebook pushed their settings back to the defaults and had some hidden posts show up.

Even though this new update should be easy to manage and offers a big upside, if you have trouble finding the time to manage your Page, the Write Place can help with post writing, brand image creation for Facebook, and more. Contact alexis@thewriteplace.biz.

 

photo credit: Facebook Flower via photopin (license)

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