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Joanne Fritz

Images Rule in New Facebook Pages

By March 4, 2012

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I'm fascinated by the new look for Facebook Pages. It won't be anything new to people who adopted the Timeline design for their personal profiles on Facebook, but it will be either hated or loved by businesses and nonprofits who are just now getting acquainted with it.

Advice and tips about how to switch over to the new design are popping up everywhere, plus Facebook itself has good information (take the 'tour') when you're ready to switch your pages over.

Those landing pages so many Pages had, are gone, and the new design at first sends your eye skittering around trying to find a foothold. I was just getting comfortable with the old setup, so the new one has me a bit disoriented.

But the new design takes images to a whole new level with that huge space at the top. That top image is called a "cover photo," and I'm betting Page owners are intrigued and maybe befuddled about what to do with it. This isn't much of a problem for big brands (see Nike for an example) or large nonprofits (take a peek at National Wildlife Federation). It may be more of a challenge for small businesses, consultants, and smaller nonprofits.

I've been cruising around the last couple of days and haven't really seen that many nonprofits or businesses in the nonprofit space that have switched over yet, but expect lots very soon. We all have until the end of March to prepare, and then FB will flip the switch. Then we'll all have the new design, like it or not.

Kids Are Heroes Timeline Cover

Here's some of what I've seen so far:

  • NTEN, the technology organization for nonprofits, right now has an interesting cover photo about its upcoming conference. This is a good idea and one that charities could adopt for upcoming special events. A past event is a good bet too, like this wonderful one at razoo.

  • The Random Act of Kindness Foundation has a list, decked out in a variety of fonts, of possible acts of kindness. Cool idea.

  • Buildings, if dramatic, can make for good cover photos. But most buildings are not very inspirational. For instance, I love the Diamond Children's Medical Center in Tucson, but I don't think this cover photo of its parking lot is too helpful. Surely it's just a place holder. On the other hand, the Contemporary Museum St. Louis chose a highly dramatic shot at night of its building.

  • Cover photos of people enjoying themselves work wonders, like this one from Santa Clara University's Center for Science Technology. I don't know what these people are doing or why, but they make me want to "like" this page.

  • Charities that serve children should take to the new design with ease. For instance, see these cuties at KooDooz, this montage and "Share Your Story" tab at Voices for Utah Children, and these teens in action at Kids Are Heroes.

    By the way, Kids Are Heroes has Facebook Timeline Covers that you can use on your own profile or even your business Page. I haven't seen many of those from smaller nonprofits.

  • Of course, animals are naturals when it comes to photos. Look at this wonderful image of human/animal interaction at the Animal Humane Society.

I'm an image junkie so I can't wait to see more nonprofits convert to their new Pages. I'm expecting a visual feast.

If you see some good Facebook Pages for smaller nonprofits or businesses and consultants serving the nonprofit space, let me know. You can drop a comment at my FB Page, in the comments to this post, or connect with me on Twitter.

I'm a tech wannabe, but also a never-will-be. That's why John Haydon's Facebook Marketing for Dummies sits on my desk with little post-its sticking out every which way. Here's my review of John's book and some good links.

Thanks to Beth Kanter for pointing me to the Voices of Utah Children and the Animal Humane Society, and to Nonprofit Tech 2.0 for the Contemporary Museum St. Louis Page.


March 6, 2012 at 8:03 am
(1) Cathryn Peters says:

You know, what I’m seeing a lot of on the new Facebook Timeline business pages, is the URL for the pages domain website posted right there on the cover page, which is prohibited by Facebook!

In all the documentation and “rules” put out by FB, they say you CANNOT have any reference to your site’s web address in your cover picture. How/why are some sites doing this and how will FB be reprimanding them, I wonder?

March 6, 2012 at 9:01 am
(2) nonprofit says:

Yes, that’s right Cathryn. I too wonder if there will be real consequences. How would FB keep up with the infractions? Will be interesting to see how it works out.

March 6, 2012 at 9:20 pm
(3) Bruce Colthart (@bccreative) says:

Nice job Joanne:

I hope many nonprofits read this and take action, either with their own timeline cover image or providing ready-made ones for their followers. It’s such a great opportunity!

As a graphic designer, I created a few image backgrounds for different folks a few years back when Twitter first took off. I’ll likely do something similar now for a limited number of nonprofits that could use my help.

Keep up the good work!

March 6, 2012 at 11:37 pm
(4) nonprofit says:

Thanks, Bruce, for stopping by. And for the information about your design services. I’m seeing more nonprofits convert to the new design every day and many are smashing. I also think it’s a good idea to have several cover photos in hand and change them out every once in a while. Once they are created, they can be stored easily in “photos” right on FB and then it’s just a click to change.

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