The Facebook Page Cover Challenge

FOREWARD
In the short time that most of us have become aware of the need to make changes to our facebook (business) pages, some very interesting page covers have emerged. I would like to show some of them throughout this post and describe what I feel works or might work better in each case. Please let me know what you think, about the examples and about my comments.

https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498

Facebook Help: How should I choose a cover photo for my Page? @ facebook.com

INTRODUCTION

The word went out. Facebook was carrying its new timelines format from personal profiles over to the professional side. All (business) pages were going to not only have timelines but other MAJOR CHANGES would be taking place.

I can just imagine how this all took place. It is apparent even to this amateur detective that there were parties who were privy to this information long before the public became aware of this terrifying transformation to take place this past March.

On the downside, there would be no more default pages that allowed for potential customers to go directly to a landing page, sign up for an offer and begin the slide down the Inbound Marketing funnel. But on the plus side and best of all, in my opinion, would be massive billboard size ‘page covers’ ready for branding one’s business.

The CocaCola cover page

The CocaCola page cover from a Social Media Examiner blog post (credited below). This page was online way before the March 30th deadline. CocaCola knew. They knew what to do and they obviously have an in-house design department or marketing agency on retainer. Clearly,'Life is Still Better with Coke', without saying a word. The small icon has the traditional and world famous original glass bottle image with bubbles that bubble up with dreams of the better life with Coke.


WHO KNEW WHEN

Clearly, companies like Lujure and Constant Contact, not to mention many others less well known to me, had to know what was a foot long before the public announcement that everyone would be required to use the new format by the end of March. The webinars given by the likes of Amy Porterfield, Mari Smith, Nathan Latka and facebook itself indicates to me that many corporations and social media evangelists had considerably more time to prepare than a pedestrian facebook user like myself.

But I suspect that some companies were turned upside down having to scramble in typical Steve Job’s Apple time to accomplish the impossible because it was just a matter of working harder as he would insist to his staff. What clued me in was how early in March some of the major corporate brands were showing off their spectacular new designs.

The Ben & Jerry Ice Cream page cover

The Ben & Jerry facebook page cover @ Ben & Jerry is about as close to perfect as anything I think that facebook had in mind for this project. The only words are in the icon. The rest is the pastoral scene of contented cows that love to have their milk made into Ben & Jerry's ice cream. The style of the scene is folkart-ish, old fashioned. The subliminal message is that their ice cream is made the traditional, old-fashion delicious way. This image was found on a Social Media Examiner blog post.

A GRAPHIC DESIGNER’S DREAM

I was relieved. No more five-frame images that I could never get to stay in place. My company header looked like scrambled eggs rather than the banner it was meant to be. So when I learned that the new page covers would measure 851 pixels wide by 315 high with a postage stamp size area for the company’s logo or other icon, I was in Photoshop heaven.

Can Bloggers be Journalists?

'Can Blogger Be Journalists? Are Journalists Still Journalist When They Blog a Story?' These words appear to be carved in stone and relate to a case in a State Supreme Court where the Judge deemed that bloggers are NOT journalists. Other states realize that the medium is not the determining factor for credentials and qualifications to be a journalist. To emphasize the point, I have used my press pass in the icon square. How successful do you think this page cover is? What do you like or dislike about it? Do you know about this court case? What do you think? Can bloggers be journalists, too?

OK FOR FACEBOOK BUT NOT PINTEREST

Since I have about 20 facebook pages, divided up into a variety of categories, I immediately set about making my new page cover designs distinguishing them by the various categories. I had plenty of old artwork from a half dozen or so previous enterprises that I was proudly displayed as pages.

The page covers  are okay. Some are even not half bad. But once I pinned them to Pinterest, they plopped. There was no discernable diversity. They looked boring pinned next to each other. In addition to that failure, some very kind and helpful Internet colleagues started alerting me to the very clear and concise restrictions facebook was placing on what was and what was NOT allowed to be on these page covers.

What did not look bad as individual page covers looks terrible as neighboring pins on Pinterest.

What did not look bad as individual page covers looks terrible as neighboring pins on Pinterest. @ Pinterest.com/AlisonsArt These are all page covers that I designed for a variety of my page categories for my numerous facebook pages. I followed the facebook guidelines and each looks okay on its own page. But they sure look boring together. Something to think about.

BEWARE OF BILLBOARD-ITIS

There are to be no billboards, no ads, no discounts, no calls to action, no URLs, no, no, no. So what is allowed? What is the Y-E-S? This is where many people shuddered, shouted, even screamed. My guess is that many people, who had created high tech facebook pages with apps for all kinds of tabs, were in a pickle. The programming part was not going to be much of a problem for them. But something else was, and it was a big BUT.

Now there would be a need to come up with something that fit within guidelines that were not typical of social media. This is usually a discipline that is code driven rather than driven by visual creativity, at least before Pinterest.

Bear's Cake Kitchen facebook page cover

Bears cake Kitchen facebook page cover @ Bears cake Kitchen had an adorable, colorful cake picture in its icon square. What is that in the billboard area? Personally, I would have rather seen the colorful cake blown up really big to fit into the billboard. Then their logo could have gone in the icon. I am sure the cupcakes taste delicious but to me, the dark colors and lavender icing are not appetizing. Too bad. This could have been and still can be a great page cover.

WE ALL NEED HELP

Facebook’s changes would provide plenty of chances for programmers and designers to help each other out. Opportunities for exchanges, barters and other compensations would be all around us. So how was one to go about building a billboard size page cover without using this spacious real estate like a billboard? It would indeed require the creativity of a seasoned graphic designer, branding expert and marketing maven.

HyperArts fantastic page cover. I love how the icon fits right into the design.

HyperArts fantastic page cover. I love how the icon fits right into the design. From the facebook page @ HyperArts and found on a Social Media Examiner Blog post. I have one question about the white type on the field of orange. How would their brand hold up to the elimination of the type, the repositioning of it, or perhaps just less of it? I'd love to see HyperArts in the right hand bottom corner with Hyper at a right angle to Arts or HyperArts at a right angle to Web Design. What do you think?

BRANDING HAS ITS DAY

To capture the essence of a company without spelling it out is a real challenge in the design world and even more so for the word bound world of the Internet and trendy, texting generation. Companies with design departments or design firms on retainer that understand the subtleties of what the facebook challenge is about would manage. To me, this is a designer’s dream come true. It is a chance to do some real design work amidst a world of coding, programming and ‘drag and drop’ programs. They are all indispensable but designers have moved very far into the background lately.

The Business Corners facebook page cover

The Business Corners facebook page cover @ The Business Corners. This page cover is a hybrid combining the original 5 panel design at the top into the new larger billboard size. Notice how most of the space is black while the images take up a small amount of room at the top. Do you think this works well? How would this look without the images and have the entire field black except for the slogan 'Space to . . . Connect Create Collaborate. The logo does not have to appear again as it is in the icon. What if the icon were also black with the letters in white like it is in the large black space? This would leave to the imagination what 'space to connect, create, and collaborate' might look like.

BUT NOT FOR ALL

Granted there would be the clip art programs and do-it-yourself apps with temptingly affordable templates that many would and will still need to turn to. But there are also be those who understand the intrinsic value of facebook’s challenge. It requires a design with the whisper, not a shout of explitives, the subtle expression of a company expressing its brand, its mission and passion in a subliminal rather than literal way.

How many have and will continue to rise to this facebook page cover challenge? What are some of your favorite new facebook page covers? How do you feel about the changes facebook has made in this area?

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET

VIDEO RESOURCES:

5 Tips To Easily and Quickly Set up Your Facebook Fanpage- Business Page FREE!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GaW8Unl550

New Facebook Fan Page Timeline Changes Your Business Needs To Know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGPEVcLrCwc

How to create a Facebook cover for the new Timeline profile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nwb9it9ATqw&hd=1

New *Facebook Fan Page Timeline* Design Coming March 30

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mdPshVbXfs&hd=1

Cover Photo Design & Facebook Timeline Branding

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qg0LoAbguww&hd=1

Facebook Fan Pages Timeline

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0HIxQ3NTcKk&hd=1

Facebook New Timeline Design For Pages – Walk Through

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZoz7B-4nXM&hd=1

Introducing the New Facebook Brand Pages With Timeline Design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wgG9SO3ceY

Cool Facebook Timeline Cover Page designs at http://www.coverdoodle.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHuWlGTmYwA&hd=1

Facebook business page, Facebook timeline design, generate business

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13vbgfJOZbU&hd=1

Facebook Timeline For Brands Facebook Timeline Business Pages And Fan Page Timelines Rock!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iNVPTX9RHhU&hd=1

Introducing the New Facebook Brand Pages With Timeline Design

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wgG9SO3ceY

Facebook Timeline for Brands – Demo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF_yAOHV80I

How To Create Pro Facebook Timeline Cover

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-bhngn3h6A&hd=1

5 Tips for Fantastic Facebook Fan Page Cover Pics

http://prezi.com/dgfa3fwsiroy/5-tips-for-fantastic-facebook-fan-page-cover-pics/


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