March 12, 2012: At the end of March, Facebook will be launching their new design for fan pages. This launch includes both visual and functional changes to the page, which B2B marketers need to become familiar with in the near future.
Over the course of the next few months, we plan on putting blog posts together emphasizing various aspects of the new Facebook fan page design, page recommendations and perspective, and examples of effective B2B organizations leveraging these changes. Today we’re writing about, and providing examples of, the Facebook Fan Page cover image.
Facebook Page Cover Images
The most dramatic change to Facebook’s new page design is in the emphasis of images and photographs. The fan page cover is the best example of this. Centered at the top of the Facebook fan page, the cover image provides the first piece of information and impression that a Facebook user will have of the organization.
While the only size requirement from Facebook is to use an image at least 399 pixels in width, leveraging the exact dimensions (851 pixels in width by 315 pixels in height) appears to work best, at least from an image width perspective. When using a different size, Facebook might distort or negatively impact the image that is used.
Cover images are public, so anyone visiting the page will have access. As a result, Facebook emphasizes that cover photos must not “be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties’ intellectual property“. Via Facebook’s terms of service on pages, cover photos may not include:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”
- Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section
- References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features
- Specific call to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
Page Cover Considerations for B2B Marketers
Since covers cannot be overtly promotional, B2B marketers will no longer be able to emphasize specific conversion requests to new (or existing) audiences. That said, creativity should still play a part in crafting unique and memorable cover photos.
Facebook Cover Image Suggestions and Recommendations
Here are four examples of effective B2B Facebook covers, and why we think they could be successful.
At its core, Facebook is a social networking community. What better way to catch people’s attention than by thanking the audience, customers, and marketplace that makes up your organizations’ success. AutoCAD provides a nice example, thanking their fans for being a part of their community.
Show Your Solutions in Action
IdeaPaint has been commonly referenced as a good example of a B2B organization leveraging Facebook. As expected, IdeaPaint’s cover photo is another good example, illustrating their solution in action in a crisp and organized way.
Highlight the People of Your Organization
The social network is about your organizations’ customers and market, and the people that come in every day to run the company. This wide angle view of some of the team members at the New York Times is a nice example.
Emphasize Leadership in Action
Are the members of your organization contributing across the industry and seen as thought leaders? Symantec’s Endpoint Virtualization page helps showcase this thought leadership.
Additional Examples of B2B Organizations’ Cover Photos
Since the official changeover will not happen until the end of the month (and it will be almost guaranteed B2B organizations will not all immediately adapt), we are certain to see more examples and innovation in the coming weeks. Until then, here are five additional examples of cover photos from B2B organizations thus far.
Profile Photos and Cover Images
Finally, because the profile photo takes on a more pronounced position in front of the cover photo, savvy organizations can seek to leverage the two in one creative design. Here is an example of the Butterfinger Facebook fan page. While it was challenging finding a B2B example of this creativity, we’re certain at least a few will crop up in the near future.
From a requirements standpoint, profile photos should be 180 pixels in length by 180 pixels in height and will still be the picture that represents the organization in news feeds.
The rollout of the Facebook Timeline into fan page design and functionality adds unexpected (and perhaps unwanted) complexity for the B2B marketer. However B2B organizations invested in Facebook must pay attention, and the custom fan page cover is the first place to start.
What are your thoughts and perspective with this change? I’d love to read them in the comments below, and feel free to send us links to additional examples and creative ideas you come across as well.
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