How Facebook’s New Timeline Change Can Be “GREAT” For Small Businesses

Jay Baer, owner of Convince and Convert, just wrote an article titled “14 Ways New Facebook Betrays Small Business.”  While I cannot argue with Jay’s points, what I’d like to do is provide viable solutions for small businesses so they can embrace these changes and ultimately see how Facebook Marketing can be even more effective than before. To prevent this blog from being as long as War and Peace, I’m going to address the 14 changes incrementally.  So stay tuned for more.

Cover Image – Challenge (Jay’s comment)

“Sure it’s visceral to have a 850-pixel signature image dominate your Facebook page. But for small businesses that lack existing photography and/or personnel with the creativity and time to get something created for the Facebook Cover, it’s a burden not an advance.”

Cover Image – Solution

So let’s think about this for a moment.  Facebook is encouraging businesses to really think about how this very large image (851 x 315 pixels) will be a strong representation of your brand and/or service.  Yes, this will take some thought and probably several hours to come up with the perfect image that will convey everything about your business.  I know for me, it felt like forever (but it was probably a couple of hours) until I found something that would convey what I do (Social Media Marketing) without using a lot of text.  Facebook strongly discourages using a lot of text in the cover image, specifically anything that will promote your business (I know, I know, I rolled my eyes too).  There are rules that we need to follow here. For me, I wanted to keep with a very similar theme as my website and I strongly recommend you start there.  It’s important for the visitor to have consistency, especially in remembering your brand/service.  Whatever theme you have on your website should be considered carry over for your Facebook Page.  If you have a fabulous logo, you can still use that logo and maybe consider similar colors that match your website to surround that logo.  Something bold, bright and memorable will catch the visitors’ eye and encourage them to peruse your Facebook Page a little longer.

Suggestions for Cover Images

If you sell a specific product consider displaying that product as your entire cover image (with your logo to the left or right of it).  A great example of this is a toy store having a huge picture of Legos as their cover image.  Fun, bright, makes you smile.

If your product/service has a long history behind it, why not think of a way to capture that on your cover image? Burberry’s Facebook page is a great example.

If you have a wonderful storefront and an even better interior, why not show the consumer what it feels like to be in your store?

And a no brainer is if you have a food related product or service.  I say no brainer because if you can take a photo of something mouth watering, then you’ve captured the visitor immediately.

Just because we can no longer say “20% off of your first purchase” on our cover image, doesn’t mean all is lost.  Facebook is forcing us to think “outside the box” and speak in images vs. words.  But alas, you will have the chance to offer up the 20% coupons and make them even more attractive than before through custom tabs.

If you haven’t considered getting help with your social media marketing efforts, now is the time.  Even with the old Facebook Business Page template, small businesses have struggled with having an effective Profile Picture (challenges of using the right tools, or lack of art and/or graphic skills).  But when platforms like Facebook make significant changes, there can be a domino effect to the visitor’s sharing habits. By having proper tools in place the conversation can continue to be seamless.

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