We all saw it coming and the time has arrived for the changes to Facebook pages. The official “crossover” date is set for March 30, 2012 but those prone to early adoption may do so right away.

Allow me to indulge and emphasize the obvious: these are massive changes to Facebook Pages. There’s a lot to cover, so let’s cut to the chase.
5 Most Important Changes to Facebook Pages

1. Cover Photo/Profile Photo

I certainly perceive this change as a big plus considering the beautiful real estate you get to showcase your brand. Here’s what you need to know when creating your cover photo:

  • Max dimensions of the cover photo area are 850 pixels by 315 pixels (I recommend having a high quality image that fits this space rather than stretching a smaller image to fit)
  • Max dimensions of the profile photo is 180 pixels by 180 pixels: Save this space for your company logo
  • Your cover photo cannot contain any blatant advertising of specials or coupons. Call-to-action? Apparently that’s a no-no too!

2. No More Landing Tabs!

That’s right. No more default landing tabs of any sort. Tabs are now essentially replaced with applications.

I feel your pain, fellow business owners. My most recent blog suggested custom landing tabs for increasing engagement on Facebook and it’s already obsolete. Ah, the ever changing world of social media!

The Good News:

  • Updates to the applications section offers new possibilities for showcasing your brand
  • Four applications will be prominently featured on your profile (you can choose which ones except the photo app)
  • If you have custom Facebook apps, this type of exposure is bound to assist you in increasing engagement

3. Facebook Offers

According to Facebook, they expect to make Facebook Offers available “more broadly” soon. There are a few advertising clients that already have access but I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw this feature rolling out sooner than later.

  • You post a special offer via the news feed that fans will be able to claim
  • Once claimed, they will receive an email from Facebook that they can show to the merchant at the time of purchase
  • Huge potential for brick and mortar but also companies selling info products or other services (everyone loves a deal)

4. Pinning Stories & Setting Milestones

You can set milestones and change dates on posts just like can with personal profiles but there is one really cool feature that has made it’s debut.

  • You can now “pin” stories to the top of your Timeline for up to a week. This is great if you have something going on for more than a day or two and you don’t want to bombard people with constant posts. Nice one, Facebook.
  • Use milestones to tell your company’s story. This is a neat feature that every business should take advantage of. You can really humanize your company by showing a story and breaking it down by it’s…well, timeline!
  • Highlight and enlarge stories in the Timeline. You can easily enlarge posts on your Timeline so it takes up both columns, a handy feature for catching attention on your pictures and videos!

5. Page Name Change

Those of you who made the tragic error of a spelling mistake in your Facebook page username (aka your page URL) can now rejoice as mercy has arrived with the name change request form for Facebook pages. It might sound small but it’s a major improvement if you ever wanted to change your page name for any reason.

These are the major changes to Facebook Pages but I encourage you to go explore the changes yourself and see where things have moved to. Options and menus are in slightly different places and a couple extra minor options have popped up here and there.

How do you feel the changes to Facebook pages will affect your brand or business? What would you have kept or liked to see updated? Leave a comment below.

Author's Bio: 

MelonieDodaro, of Top Dog Social Media, is passionate about social media and helps business owners, entrepreneurs and professionals to use social media marketing to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue. Dubbed by the media as Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist, she’s also a regular contributor to several social media and business magazines and is a highly sought after speaker and trainer. To learn more about Melonie visit her web site at http://TopDogSocialMedia.com