Social media can serve a variety of purposes – it could be your way to engage with your customers and share latest news about the company, and special discounts to attract new clients. You probably have a Facebook fanpage, with a group of loyal fans liking and sharing your content, a Twitter profile for microblogging and customer service, or even a Linkedin company page for B2B interactions.
If you use them on the daily basis, you may have realised they’ve been playing around with the design for some time and that they are now gradually rolling out new layouts on their pages.
This means that your current background, cover or logo, however beautifully crafted and calibrated, may soon look overstretched, pixelated and cropped, if not scrapped altogether.
Whether the bright, shining vision of the social networks’ innovators has already been bestowed on your profiles or you’re waiting with baited breath for the forthcoming changes – this guide is right for you.
1. Facebook cover stays the same
Facebook’s new fanpage features almost the same functions, as the previous one. The only difference is that they are located in different places, to make it easier for you to access your insights, apps and pictures from one place, without the top tab limitations.
Rules for the cover photo are the same: 851x315px, with logo at least 180x180px (although we recommend you to make it 500x500px)
Here’s a helpful template for you to download and create your cover.
2. Images and thumbnails
When you post something on Facebook, you can include a photo or a thumbnail of the link you’re posting. Watch out! The rules for your business fanpage are different from your personal timeline, so you may need to resize some files to fit in the new restrictions.
TIP: Stick to the 252px X 484px dimensions to both pictures and thumbnails. Is the safest option to make sure your fans will see the picture in full, without any changes made by Facebook.
3. Roadmap of the new panels
The new Facebook page feature animated panels with all the data you need at a glance. The standard limit of apps (3 tabs features) has now been lifted, so you can include as many as you like. You can also include your address, telephone number and website details right at the top of the page, without having to sacrifice precious characters in description section.
TIP: Your insights, apps, posts and pictures will be moved to the new layout, so you won’t lose anything. If you want to access the old-styled insights, click on the […] button near “messages” and choose “View insights”
Facebook is also introducing some new functions and algorithms changing the way users see your posts, and how they are distributed throughout your fanbase. It’s quite complex and still in test phase, but means you will have to change the way you share and what you share, for your posts to go viral… but that’s the issue for another post.
4. Twitter changed like never before
Twitter changes might be the most confusing of all. When you log into your account first, it will look normally, with your background and news feed with all the tweets of your followers.
Search box is also where it used to be… it’s just that box with your profile info and cover that looks suspiciously new.
The real change is visible on your actual profile, i.e. the page people go to see your own tweets.
Here’s the list of changes there
New cover image, with big space to express your innovation
The cover image space is massive, and could be used for a much more sophisticated design, than the old cover, “hidden” under the text about your company. You can use the 1500px X 500px picture, just make sure you won’t have any text or pictures within 70px of the picture top and bottom borders – they might not be visible on all resolutions.
Farewell to the products and services on LinkedIn
As of 14th April 2014, all products and services subpages on your LinkedIn page has been discontinued, and will no longer be available. If you haven’t already, it’s the right time you switched to the showcase pages.
You can have many showcase pages attached to your business page, and the attachment will be visible on both pages. However, your showcase page will live its own life, i.e. will have its own followers (that are not necessarily the followers of your business page – and vice versa!).
Apart from that, it will feature its own posts and pictures, and – most importantly – its own cover image, with the dimensions of 974px X 330px.
The brave, new world of social media
Some of you may think new changes give you more space to express yourself, add more pictures, apps and craft bigger, more innovative covers. Other will disagree and would rather go back to the old style. The truth is, social media want to be as creative as possible, and they think about different solutions to keep you engaged. However, if you disagree with the proposed changes, share it!
The networks’ executives are not deaf, and they will listen to their users, scrapping the bad ideas. This happened with the proposed abolition of a hashtag on Twitter (which has already become an integral part of our culture).
The bottom line is simple – always keep up to date to stay ahead of the competition. Taking advantage of the new features of social media can give you the edge to be the best.