You may or may not have noticed that Facebook has been warning you that as of March 30, 2012 all of the Facebook Pages will have a new design. These pages are used for businesses, brands and fans and in “Facebook Speak” this is now simply called a “Facebook Page.” You have some time to not only get ready for this change but also to experiment with some of the design elements that Facebook is now providing to you, between now and March 30, 2012.
First, if you are an artist and you have been using your personal Facebook page for marketing and branding your art, open up a Facebook Brand page now. You want to do this in order not to commingle your personal life with your artistic/business life, as your message will be muddled and diluted when you combine both aspects. Here is the link to create a Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and there is a sub-section titled “Artist, Band or Public Figure” where you will create your new page. This will allow you to personalize your page in terms of name, information and design.
While learning the “ins and outs” and the design elements of this page you are able to do this with the page being published or unpublished. For now, until the page is fully completed, I suggest that you keep this page unpublished. You have the ability to preview your page as you go along building, designing and completing your page. Thoroughly complete all of the information about you, your art and your business. Remember that first impressions are important here for your visitors to this page.
These pages now allow for a 852 pixels x 351 pixels cover image for your page. This is not your profile image but rather an image, much like a banner. This image really is the most important feature of the page as this is the first impression that people will have when they visit your page. This should not be too difficult for an artist to place and feature, as you can show your best or most popular art. Your profile image can be a logo or a profile image and will appear as an offset within the cover image. Again, you can experiment with this with the look and placement of the cover and profile images.
Facebook has now provided for some flexibility in the way and in the manner by which posts are displayed. Posts can be “highlighted” whereby the post can be stretched out across the entire wall or timeline and made more prominent for the readers to discover and read. This should be done for any events and important news you and your art.
Facebook also allows for the page administrator (you) to “pin” a post. For instance, for our art gallery page, I always had to post an art competition over and over again, in order to get that post to the top of the timeline, in order to make it easier to be found for anyone who visited our page. Now with this new feature, I can simply pin this post to the top of the timeline to make it more prominent for the readers when they visit this page.
Facebook also provides a feature called a “milestone” for marking and displaying important events, such as a gallery opening, solo art exhibition or any art awards. This is marked by a small open book like symbol in the status box located below your profile image.
Finally, the Facebook people have provided a new Admin Panel which now is prominent at the top of the page when you visit (only the admin sees this) and provides easy access to data such as any new notifications from your followers, any new “likes”, a new improved message center and a section call “insights” which shows a timeline of your posts and how many people that the post “reached” and how many people are “talking” about your posts or page. Think of this section as your Facebook analytics page, as it will pinpoint and present to you what is and what is not working for you in terms of your page.
One more thing that is quite helpful to a page owner is the “help” section is now much easier to access, to read and provides more detailed help and suggestions when setting up and administering this page. To me, this was something that was always lacking in the past and required a lot of searching for answers.
Overall, it may take a little getting used to the new Facebook Pages, but once you see what it can do for you in terms of branding, presentation and promotion of you and your artwork you will soon appreciate what the folks at Facebook have done for the arts community with these pages. Take advantage of the time between now and then by converting to the new Facebook Page today.