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How Photographers Can Use Facebook Timeline

My relationship with Facebook is always exciting because, like most things in life…it’s constantly changing! Photographers be warned: Facebook Timeline for brand pages is live and you’ve got until March 30th to transition. After that, Facebook will automatically switch your page for you – boo!

There are some great opportunities with Facebook Timeline, but consider setting aside a few hours this month (if you haven’t already) to create new imagery for your brand page. Below is a breakdown of what’s new and exciting, as well as key items ‘to do’ before March 30th.

Let’s start with the exciting new things:

1) Cover Image Size – A Whopping 851 x 315!
One of the great things about Timeline is the ability to showcase a large image at the top of your page or use a collage of your work to wow your customers! Facebook encourages you to get creative…but not too much. According to Facebook’s new Terms and Conditions, you’re not allowed to use your cover image to showcase price, purchase information (such as 10% off), contact information (that should be in your About section), reference Facebook features or actions such as ‘Like my page,’ or include calls to action such as “Get It Now!” Oh, by the way, your cover image takes the place of your welcome page. Yep, seriously! So, consider using text and testimonials to describe your services.

2) Profile Image Size: Stunning 180 x 180

The new profile image will ‘overlay’ on top of your cover image and it’s a great place to have your logo. Keep in mind that your profile picture will be used for your streaming posts like before, so keep it branded enough to stand on its own.

3) Custom Apps Icon: Bigger 111 x 74

I’m seriously stoked about the ability to have a call to action and custom-designed icons for your apps. By default, the ‘Photos’ tab will be first and cannot be customized (neither the icon or title) but after that, you can customize the order of the three following spaces.

  • Swap’ that area with an app of your choice by clicking on the pencil when rolling over the image.
  • Then, you can change the icon by choosing the pencil and ‘editing settings’ and ‘custom tab image.’
  • Custom apps, like those of Ripe Social, will show up in your custom apps area (see dropdown arrow on right to view the rest).
  • You can have up to 16 apps.
  • All but Photos, Notes, Likes, Map and Events can be changed. Here’s ours to give you an example:

4) Pinned, Highlighted Posts and Milestones

Since you don’t have a “Welcome” landing tab, consider ‘pinning’ a post to the top of your feed (which will last 7 days) or utilizing both columns by ‘highlighting’ a post or picture. You can reposition your photo for single-column or two-column layouts by clicking on the pencil icon on the top right edge of your image. Simply choose ‘Reposition Photo.’ By playing around a bit, you’ll get the hang of it quickly. We’re still getting used to the slightly square preview images (oh, so sad). To get more mileage out of your posts, designate a few as ‘Milestones’ in your Timeline. This is a great way to document when your company started, moved to a new location or added team members. Sadly, if your company history pre-dates 1800, you’re outta luck – that’s the barrier!

5) Custom Apps Canvas Size: 810 pixels wide

Even if you have custom apps, you still need to update your image to match the new, wider canvas size. It’s almost 300 pixels wider than the old canvas size!  Very exciting…but that’s still on my ‘to do’ list as well.

6) New Admin View, Stats and Private Messaging

When you switch to Timeline, you can see the new ‘Admin’ panel at the top of your brand page with ‘real time’ stats (so they say). Your Admin panel puts notifications front and center. Your newest ‘likes’ and your ‘insights’ preview are also visible, so you can see your reach into the social stratosphere! One of the most exciting new features is private messaging directly to your brand page – heck yeah!

Now that you have the highlights of Facebook Timeline, here’s a to-do list. Follow these steps to update your Brand Timeline prior to March 30th.

  • Create a cover image
  • Create a profile image
  • Create custom icons for your tabs
  • Experiment with ‘hightlighting’ or ‘pinning’ a post
  • Update the width of your custom apps canvas images (optional)

I’m curious about other fun cover ideas that folks have, so spread the link love and share with your comments below!  Questions are welcome!

About Wendy Roe

Wendy Roe has spent the last 10 years ingrained in all things web marketing – from design/development to search/social media. In May 2010, she decided to quit the corporate life and join forces with her husband, Byron Roe, to shoot full-time one of life’s ultimate highs – weddings. She now focuses on business development and being a second shooter for Bend, Oregon based wedding photographers, Byron Roe Photography.

She is the co-author of “55 Smart Web Ideas for Photographers” e-book, a 2-time speaker at WPPI Photographer’s Ignite and traveled through west coast PUG groups consulting photographers on web marketing. She’s known as an interpreter, changing technical language into easy information. Above all, she’s an educator at heart and believes: “Web marketing and wedding photography are two passions that drive bringing the best out of beauty and brands.”

The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!
The NEW ShootQ is Complimentary while in Beta mode for the next few months.  Enjoy!