Staying Up With The Times: Designing Your Facebook Timeline
Yes, Facebook has changed. DO NOT PANIC, I am here to help. I will go into detail below, but let’s get some terms straight first. Cover photo refers to the large image at the top. Profile picture refers to the smaller square image that overlays the cover photo on the left side. App image is a picture for any special tabs/pages you have added and appear on the right side, directly below the cover photo. All Facebook business pages will automatically be switched over to Timeline on March 30th, 2012… so get going!
Here is some helpful information for making your new Facebook Timeline look great, but also effectively promote your company.
From our social media experts to our web design gurus, everyone at Jacob Tyler is buzzing with ideas of how to utilize the Timeline for our clients. There are endless possibilities with this new format.
Things to consider:
What are you trying to promote? Choose wisely. Pushing ONE offer, product, video, etc. is always best. Use the cover photo to promote a deal or a contest, not just brand awareness. Adding an incentive for people to like a page will bring more “likes” to your page in the end. More “likes” means more exposure and a larger, targeted audience. Free marketing? Yes, please. http://www.facebook.com/Jacob.Tyler.Creative.Group
Does my Facebook page match the rest of my brand? Look at your website, printed collateral, web banners, etc. all together and see if your brand is represented the same way throughout. The more consistent your brand is, the more recognizable and familiar people will become.
Easy tips to achieve visual consistency:
• Use the same background from your website as the background for your cover image
• Keep the color scheme constant across the board
• Use the same fonts everywhere.
Keep your profile image simple. Remember that your profile picture will still be the smaller icon that appears next to your posts. Use this space for your logo only; better yet just your icon (if applicable), and then have your logo larger on the cover photo.
Are you promoting an app/special page? Use an arrow to physically point people to the app box below the cover photo, much like how people used to have arrows pointing to the LIKE button at the top. Make your app boxes to create a strong call to action for your fans. Use the box name as well as an image for best results.
Here are some strong examples of Business Timelines to show you what is possible:
After all, YOU are a brand aren’t you?
Your profile picture should be of your face; your cover photo can be anything you want.
Get creative with the cover photo! Use a picture of a beautiful landscape from your favorite vacation. Take a picture of a few of your favorite books, or the inside of your purse. The point is, it should be interesting and showcase your personality.
“Facebook wanted the Timeline to be a place for self-expression: A way for users to reveal who they are and what their lives are about.” Nick Felton, designer behind Timeline for Facebook. http://www.fastcodesign.com/1665414/designers-behind-facebook-timeline-5-lessons-for-creating-a-ui-with-soul
Although there are endless ideas of what to use, I would make a few suggestions of things to shy away from: pictures of just your face (can you say close up?!) and avoiding template images at all costs – Let’s not turn Facebook into MySpace, please. Let’s keep it classy, people. Stick to your own image library and have some fun with it.
New Facebook Timeline Design Specs:
• Cover photo: 851 x 315
• Profile picture: 180 x 180
• App image: 111 x 74
• Thumbnail: 32 x 32
• Images within wall posts: 404 x 404
• Highlighted and milestone images: 843 x 403
Detailed timeline explanation: http://ads.ak.facebook.com/ads/FacebookAds/Pages_Product_Guide_022812.pdf
When designing a timeline, it’s always best to preview what you have done before it goes live. If you are designing for a client, showing them the closest preview to real life is always most effective. You can download a FREE Photoshop template here: http://www.nealcampbell.com/2011/12/17/facebook-timel-for-photoshop/#.T1pbinLUN2A