Have you published your page with the new Facebook Timeline format yet? The dates by when Facebook will automatically convert your pages are fast approaching:
I used to think of Facebook as a walled garden. Posts I made to my wall would only be seen by my Facebook friends. No more. Not everything shows up on your Facebook Timeline, but that embarrassing post you made 4 years ago? That you’ve forgotten about? It may be on your Timeline. If you haven’t already reviewed your Timeline (whether you have published it or not), you might want to. Mouse over the post (Facebook now calls posts “stories”) and click on the Pencil part of the button that pops up and you will get the option to “hide” it.
The Timeline format is quite a redesign from the previous format. No curated group of photos in a strip across the top. And that 180 x 540 profile photo on the side? Gone. The most striking feature is the Facebook Cover photo which takes up quite a bit of real estate (850 by 315 pixels – a bigger height than many website header images!). If you don’t choose your cover photo, you get something like the below:
To add a cover photo, click on the add a cover button as shown above. The user interface is almost as picky and unhelpful as the previous profile photo one which had a habit of failing silently. You won’t be able add anything that is less than 399 pixels wide. So if you designed your previous profile photo to match the exact dimensions of 540 pixels high and 180 pixels wide – you are out of luck – Facebook won’t even give you the image as a choice.
My first attempt was to load an image that was 400 pixels wide – which Facebook allowed, but it looked grainy and stretched out. 800 pixels by 200 pixels? It just shows you half of the image and the repositioning interface didn’t work (there’s that failing silently feature). Your best bet is to shoot for an image that is 800 pixels or more and has a height than is .37 of the width. Larger images like your standard camera pic work pretty well as long as you find a portion of the picture that looks good in the 850 x 315 region (so plan on having the top and bottom cut off). BTW, in case it is not obvious (which it wasn’t to me), to change the cover photo, mouse over the cover and you will get a button.
I’m not happy with the image I came up with, the problem is that I’m using images that are better suited for a website header; but given time, I’m sure I can come up with something better to do with all this real estate.
Kathy Alice Brown is a traffic and conversion expert specializing in SEO, Copywriting and Facebook Ad Campaigns. In her spare time she loves to get outside.