Facebook Changes 2012: Are You Ready?

Well here we are again.  Facebook has been busy making changes to brand pages and now it’s our turn to get busy figuring it all out!

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I feel as though I’ve written this post before.  Oh, wait! I did! Last year I came out with a guide to all the Facebook changes that were occurring at the time and now here I am again posting another.

I debated on making a comment here about how frustrating all of these changes can be. I thought about sharing with you how difficult these sudden moves can be even to a social media strategist!  But then I took a deep breath and remembered that Facebook is still a free platform where I’ve met so many wonderful people whom I network and partner with in order to bring in more business for us all. I thought about the tornadoes that devastated the Midwest a few weeks ago and how families used Facebook to reach out to one another and stay in touch during the devastation.  I thought about all the great benefits that Facebook provides us free of charge and suddenly wasn’t quite so willing to say anything negative about their decision to make these changes.   And then I remembered one more of my absolute favorite quotes:

“When you are through changing, you are through.” ~Bruce Barton

So it’s with a smile and a deep “here we go again” breath that I share with you  my 2012 quick reference guide to all the latest Facebook changes!


Going Live March 30th

Just a quick reminder that these changes will be mandatory as of March 30th.  We still have a few weeks to tweak our pages and get them the way we want them before Facebook automatically changes everyone’s brand page over to the new Timeline layout.


Goal of the New Layout

This round of Facebook changes centers around brand pages and strives to offer the flexibility and branding capabilities that business pages have needed for a very long time.  Although change can be frustrating (sorry, I did just have to throw that in there!) many of these changes are going to be beneficial.  Page owners will have the ability to truly brand their main page via the new Timeline cover photo and control the information they want to stand out for their audience.  Instead of a generic wall where posts live only in chronological order, we’ll have the opportunity to create an experience for our target audience that guides them along the story of our business highlighting the content we find most valuable.

Recent Facebook Changes

1)      Default Tabs:  Default Landing tabs/Welcome tabs

a)      There is no longer an option to automatically send new fans to a specific page you’ve created. Everyone who goes to your page will automatically go to your wall.

b)      The custom tabs you’ve already created won’t disappear. They will become thumbnail boxes  at the top of your page just below the cover photo (See Applications below).

c)      Custom pages will go from 520 pixels to 810 pixels

d)      All custom pages will continue to have their own url so you can purposefully direct people to these pages if you would like.


2)      Cover Photo:  Every business page will now have the ability to add a large cover photo just like the ones that rolled out to personal profiles.  Cover images can be 850 X 315 pixels.  They must be at least 399 pixels.  These are for branding purposes and may NOT contain any of the following:

a)      Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”

b)      Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features

c)      Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”



Applications:  As mentioned in the Default Tabs section above, custom tabs/applications will appear as thumbnail images at the top of your page just below your cover photo.

a)      These tab images are 117 X 74 pixels.

b)      You may showcase 12 applications at the top of your page.  Only 4 of those will be displayed prominently at the top. Photos is automatically one of those applications.  At this time, you can’t change the location of that particular app so technically you only have 3 applications you have control over in the top row. To change the location of one of the apps simply hover your mouse over the app you would like to move. You’ll notice a little pencil icon appear.  Click this icon for a drop down list. At the top of the list it says “Swap position with:” now click on the app you would like to swap this app with.

c)      You can change the name of your apps by choosing “Edit Settings from that same drop down menu (see illustration below).  You’ll then get a pop up box that lets you Type the new name for your application/custom tab.

d)      You can change the photo displayed on the app from the “Edit Settings” box as well. Simply choose “Change” next to Custom Tab Image  and upload a photo of your choice.  Keep in mind the size restrictions of 117 X74.   Click the Okay button and you’re done!


 4)      Admin Panel:  A new Admin Panel allows you to see all the same information as before – just in a new format. Click on the Admin Panel at the top right of your page and you’ll see your page notifications, new likes, Insights and the new Messages option which allows your Facebook fans to send you a private message. Please note that although page owners can respond to private messages from fans, they can’t initiate private messages to their fans. This option will automatically be turned on for each page.  If you would like to turn it off you can do so by going to the new Admin area, choose the Manage menu and then Edit Page.  You will see the option to turn messages on or off here.

a)      In addition you’ll see a menu which includes Manage, Build Audience and Help. Use these menus to make changes to your page, share your page with others and get help with your page.



When you’re ready to minimize this section simply click on the Hide button next to the Help menu.


5)      Page Layout: The new format now allows you to edit the way posts are displayed on your page.

a)      Pin specific posts to the top of your Timeline – just click the little pencil icon in the upper right corner of the post and pin it!

b)      These will only remain there for up to 7 days

c)      Add Milestones for your business – Highlight big events in the history of your brand by clicking the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and selecting ‘Milestone’. You will initially be asked to choose the year your page was created.  Go ahead and do that and then you’ll see the option to add a Milestone to your page. Click anywhere else on your page to get rid of this menu.

d)      Add posts correctly along your timeline. Was there something you wished you had posted early on when you joined Facebook but didn’t? You can make the post and change the date on it so it shows up correctly along your timeline!

e)      Highlight a post by clicking on the star icon in the upper right of the post. This will expand the post so that it spans all the way across the Timeline.



6)      Fan Page Name:  Do you ever wish you could go back and change the name of your page? Now you can!  Simply fill in this form! http://www.facebook.com/help/contact_us.php?id=262629790471076

7)      Profile Picture: The profile picture for your brand should be one that is easily recognizable and instantly makes people think of your brand. These must be at least 180 x 180 pixels and should look good as the thumbnail on your posts at 32 x 32 pixels.

8)      Wall Filters: If your page is set to allow people who like your Page to post on the Wall, fans will now be able to view a filtered version of the Wall.  As you scroll down the fan page of a brand that has published their updated Timeline and allows fans to post on their wall, you’ll see a box appear at the top which allows fans to control how they view your page.  The first item on the menu is Timeline. When fans click on this they will see a drop down menu and will be able to decide if they would like to go to your About section, photos or view one of your custom landing tabs.

The next menu item is Now. It allows fans to decide if they want to view the posts and activity from a specific year in your business.

The third menu item defaults to Highlights.  This filter allows fans to view your wall in one of four different ways:   Highlights, Posts by Page, Posts by Others, and Friend Activity.  This will allow each fan to easily see only your posts, the posts their friends made on your page and the posts that others made on your page.

9)      Interest Lists:  Interest Lists are very similar to Twitter lists.  When you log into Facebook as yourself (not your page) you will be on your Home page.  From the left sidebar you will find Interests (You may have to click on More at the bottom of the left sidebar in order to see it). Click on Add Interests to create a list of pages and/or friends who fall under a specific category. For example: You may create a list for Great Social Media Resources.  I hope you’ll add BizMSolutions to it! (Yes, that was a shameless request for you to list me! LOL )  You will then be able to choose from your friends, liked pages and also categories of popular topics in order to determine which people and brands you would like to add to this list.  Now all you need to do is click on your list in the left sidebar and your newsfeed will instantly change to the most engaging posts from the individuals on the list.  You may also share your lists or subscribe to lists that others have created.

10)  Insights:

a)      Insight data will now only delayed by 5-10 minutes instead of 2-3 days.

b)      Get insights into other pages.  Simply go to a page with the new Timeline and click on the Like app just beneath their cover photo.  You will now be able to view their likes and number of people talking about their page as well as gain access to their most popular week, city , most popular age group; new likes per week and weekly number of people talking about the page.


11)  Advertising:

a)      Premium Ads – designed to get your business in front of new people

i)        Shown on the right side of the home page, in the news feed, in mobile streams and when someone logs out of Facebook

ii)      Learn more here – http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Premium_Guide_2.29.12.pdf

b)      Reach Generator – designed to get more engagement with current fans

i)        Allows pages to reach 50% of their fans each week and 75% each month

ii)      Not CPC or CPM models, but will be an ‘always on’ ad.  Shown at the right side of the page and also will go out into the newsfeed and mobile streams

iii)    Learn more here – http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Reach_Generator_Guide_2.28.12.pdf

c)      Offers – only a few brands have access to Offers at this time

i)        Post is sent through news feed of your fans

ii)      Offer can be shared through the post and when offer is claimed http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/7-new-facebook-changes-impacting-businesses/

iii)    Offers will be free


12)  Misc. items

These changes aren’t necessarily part of the new Facebook roll out but they are things I’ve found many people are not familiar with.

a)      Groups can now choose a collage of members or a cover image

b)      Facebook is now allowing some users to verify their accounts and use a pseudonym. Currently this is only available to certain people


c)      It is rumored that Facebook will be updating permissions for admins sometime in the next month.  There is talk of allowing page owners to give different admins different levels of permission for the page.

I’ve heard many people recently express the concern that with the new Timeline they can no longer tell who is posting on their page. They feel as though they are always missing something.  Do you feel the same way? These images are for you!

From your Admin panel in the upper left you will be able to get notifications when someone posts on your wall.

Here is how your new page will be displayed:


Still have questions?  Join me on Tuesday for the Social Media “Help Not Hype” Power Hour with Dori DeCarlo on @WordofMomRadio http://www.blogtalkradio.com/wordofmomradio  or leave a comment right here on my blog. I’d love to help!

About Janice Clark

I am a mom, wife, business owner and lover of Social Media. My personal goal is to empower women to take control of their own income by developing their professional skills, networking with others and profiting from the qualities that make them unique. Join me on my Social Media Help not Hype Show and my BizMSolutions Segments on Word of Mom Radio.

About Dori DeCarlo

Word of Mom Radio ~ the place MOMpreneurs and Business Women meet, share, empower and inspire each other. Join your host, Dori DeCarlo at http://blogtalkradio.com/wordofmomradio on Tuesday"s and Thursday"s ~ sharing the wisdom of women.

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