Just when companies thought it was business as usual on social media (just joking), there has been a slew of recent changes. Pinterest is taking the Internet by storm and Triberr has integrated Google Analytics. Facebook is making major changes to company pages. The bottom line is that, as of March 30, 2012, all Facebook pages will go live with a new look. Event planning firms, hotels and event venues need to act now to ensure that their Facebook pages transition well to the new layout.
Other event industry colleagues have blogged about the upcoming changes so I won't re-hash what they have shared:
- How the New Facebook Timeline Affects Event Pages
Impact of changes and marketing tips for after the changes.
- The Complete Guide to Setting up the New Facebook Page Design
Most comprehensive guide I've seen so far.
- Free Facebook Covers
For my cover, I preferred to use an image from the collection that I have snapped around the world, but I am in the same boat as many event planning professionals. My company does more than one thing. (We specialize in facilitated team building but we also plan corporate events in conjunction with team-building retreats or as a stand alone service.) How can one image reflect an entire service portfolio? I felt a collage would reflect the essence of the business without sending confusing messages into cyberspace. I fiddled around with the image tools on my desktop but I wasn't happy with the results.
Feeling overwhelmed and somewhat frustrated, I sent a number of photos to the marketing firm that created our logo. We experimented. Ultimately, here was their advice. (I paid for it but I am passing it on for free.)
- Select one image that is vivid, high impact and engaging.
- Don't worry if it doesn't represent the full scope of your services.
- Carefully manage the Facebook timeline and updates to convey your service portfolio.
They suggested that I use one particular image that I loved but I was still concerned about brand confusion. After considering this advice, I realized that there were 4 specifics steps that event planners who offer more than one service can take to leverage a visitor's first impression when they hit new Facebook pages.
- Ensure that the last photo you upload reflects your core business. It will appear as a thumbnail above the "Photos" link on Facebook. I played around and the optimal size is about 111 x 74.
- Take advantage of Facebook's new "pin" feature to pin one key update to the top of your timeline for a week. Ensure that this update is targeted and laser beam focused on your core business.
- Use the new "highlight" feature to expand right across the page any updates that are directly related to your core services.
- Put your core service on the same line as your company name.
Voila! You'll see that the new Executive Oasis International Facebook Page incorporates these 3 elements.
Once companies have covered the basics, the next steps are to:
- Customize the timeline with key milestones in your company's history.
- Create and feature apps to market promotions, business meetings, conferences and special events.
Here is the new look for Cvent on Facebook. Notice that Cvent showcases its core services very effectively with "apps."
Companies can customize the photo that appears on the front of each app to reflect its service portfolio. I still need to figure out that part but this video tutorial will come in handy. It also introduces the new Facebook page layout, describes how to transition to it, use apps and manage the new timeline.
Visit the new Cvent Facebook Page regularly for important updates.