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How to Customise Your Facebook Page

For businesses that want to make a good impression, Facebook offers a number of customisation possibilities. Your Facebook’s welcome image, photo strip, and profile picture are just three of many options. These allow you to highlight your brand, your products or services, and any new promotion or offering that you may have, and best of all, most of these options are free.

Profile Picture
This is literally the first impression that Facebook users  get. Your profile picture appears as a thumbnail when someone types your company name on Facebook’s search box, what they see in news feeds, and as the preview image when someone posts a link on a wall.

You’ll need to be clever in your use of your profile picture because it is shown differently as a thumbnail, as a preview image on a wall or timeline and when someone finally visits your page.

Within your vertically-designed graphic you can place your company logo, photos of your products, and other visuals. To ensure that your logo is visible in thumbnail mode, mouse over your profile picture, click on the “edit profile picture” button that appears. Then choose “edit thumbnail.” You’ll be able to drag the image to adjust, and make sure that your logo is clearly within the provided thumbnail space.

Photo Strip
Just below your Company Name and just above your wall you will now find thumbnail previews of the latest photos that you’ve uploaded. This is called a Photo Strip, and this is a great way to showcase your latest products, encouraging people to click on them to enlarge them and allow them to see the photo in greater detail.

The disadvantage though is that the Photo Strip also displays photos that your page was tagged in. You’ll have to monitor your Facebook Page regularly  and watch out for inappropriate photos.

Welcome Image
Within the framework of a Page, Facebook allows some degree of customisation and allows developers to create “mini-pages” accessible through tabs that appear on the left side of your Page, just below the Profile Picture.

Developing these special features required one to have knowledge of FBML (Facebook Markup Language), but Facebook has since abandoned it in favor of iFrames. Fortunately for non-developers, several companies have introduced Apps that allow you to add special features to your Page, some for a fee, while others are for free.

One of the most commonly used of these iFrame apps is the Welcome Page. Companies such as Wildfire have them available for free and it is quite easy to install. Once installed, you’ll be able to upload a large image (520 x 800 pixels wide) that welcomes visitors to your Facebook Page.

What About Timeline?
There’s been a lot of buzz about Facebook’s new layout feature for personal pages. Timeline offers  a “Cover” page instead of a photo strip, two-column layout, and a smooth navigation system that allows you to browse photos and status posts sorted by year and month.

So the question now is when will Facebook unveil their version of Timeline for Pages. “We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages,” says a Facebook rep.  He then added “Consistency in both functionality and appearance is really important to Facebook”.

All these mean that it will only be a matter of time before we have to learn of new ways to customise the look of Your Facebook Page. However, until then…brand your business well on Facebook using the above tips!

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