Facebook Timeline: Make Your Header Count!

by Kirk Eisele

in Social Media

Does Your Header Help You or Hurt You?

Like it or not, Facebook fan pages now use a Timeline-style layout and header. Personally, I like it and early results are showing greater engagement from Timeline enabled business pages. The new header and design allow more room to creatively express your brand and personality for visitors and also helps to push back against some of the scammier types of things that were going on in the old design. So make sure your design is helping you rather than hurting you!

Most businesses are likely to just take the same header they use on their website, adjust the size, and slap it on their facebook timeline. You could also look at a DIY option like this tool. Either one isn’t a terrible first step as a placeholder while you come up with something that has a little more “awesome” in it. The key ingredients for “awesome” are a sense of humor and creativity. Three creative examples:

Incorporates Profile Pic

Using the profile pic as a part of a larger image

In this example, the profile picture is  just a piece of the larger header graphic. It stands out because it is different and it immediately implies that this is a creative person.

Profile pic in context image

Using a standard profile pic in a new context

This example shows a standard profile picture and simply uses the header to create an interesting and unusual perspective of what (or where) the profile picture is.

Using a custom profile pic and header as text.

Using a custom profile pic and header as text.

A whole new direction. Yes, the header is still tying into the profile pic but now there is an artsy way of communicating a very specific question or thought to the person viewing the profile.

How powerful is doing something like this?

Consider your impression of these people based just on these header examples. To me, they all seem likely to be creative, forward-thinking, and probably leaders in their fields. Is that true? I actually don’t know… all I know is that the impact of this relatively small piece of their online persona has a big impact. The same will be true with your clients and prospects who visit your page.

And now a warning…

Facebook Does NOT Want the Header to be Promotional

The following is taken directly from Facebook’s Page Guidelines:

  • All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
  • Covers may not include:
  • i.    price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
  • ii.    contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
  • iii.    references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
  • iv.    calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
That sounds pretty restrictive! Marketers everywhere immediately see some of their best ideas go up in smoke as they read those. I believe Facebook has the right attitude though. While YOU might do something tasteful, would the rest of the marketers out there? How long until your prospects stopped wanting to go to any fanpage because flashing “GET MY FREE REPORT NOW!!!!!” messages on other pages had irritated them beyond hope? Let’s be glad Facebook is protecting their system this way and take advantage of the opportunities created.

Real Estate Marketing Approach?

Focus on showing your:
  • Creativity
  • Professionalism
  • Interesting-ness
  • Awesome listing shot
Just like the examples, you can create the impression that you are different, more creative, and more awesome by putting extra effort into your header. Do it!

Some Quick Tips and Information

  • Online engagement studies indicate that using your face as your profile pic gets the best response rates on wall posts and comments so if you need to use a company logo or a slice of a larger image for your design make sure it is truly exceptional to be worth it!
  • To get the latest dimensions of all the image locations for your timeline check out the Timeline Dimensions Page. Portent promises to update it as changes occur so it should always have the latest measurements. The basics right now though are:
  • Cover Photo size (the big picture) 851px wide by 315px tall (A minimum size of 720px wide but facebook will stretch it on you so try to get the right size instead.)
  • Profile Cutout: 133px wide by 74px tall and it sits in 24 pixels from the left edge of the cover photo.

The vast majority of real estate agents and brokers aren’t going to put much effort into their header. An afternoon thinking up something great and then paying a designer on fiverr.com to make it a reality will pay off. Fortunately (or unfortunately) I predict the bar will be set pretty low by most agents out there! Let me know what you come up with!

Please Help Me Out!

I’d like to create a list of outstanding real estate Facebook pages as inspiration and motivation. Do you know of some good ones? If so, please let me know about it so I can add it to my list of pages to check out. I’m also curious about how effective it is to use a really great listing shot slice as the header to draw attention to a specific property so if you try it and get some interesting results good or bad please let me know!

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