Since last week’s sweeping changes to Facebook Pages people have been scrambling to unearth all the little tricks that the new format affords.

One of the bigger changes from a look a feel standpoint involves the placement of five recently updated images along the top of the Wall page. The images are now one of the most prominent features of the page and marketers are analyzing ways to take advantage of this new placement. (Personal profiles have had this look for a while now.)

New 5 shot image ribbon on top of Facebook Page Wall

A couple factors come into play when considering a marketing use of this real estate.

1) The images that make the top 5 are the last 5 by default, although if you remove one by hovering over it and click the X the next one in line jumps in. The images are displayed randomly with each refresh of the browser page. (Personal profiles show the images in a static order so some profile owners have gotten very creative with this space.) My guess is that the random display is being used on pages to inhibit the use of this space like a banner ad.

2) When clicked, images now expand into an ajax photo viewer right there on the page, complete with image description and any corresponding conversation about the image from fans. This is a much better user experience, but it also opens the door for some marketing plays.

This is an image expanced in the new image viewer for Facebook Pages

For the moment (all things with Facebook can change instantly) marketers are starting to use this space as a place to sprinkle in images with marketing calls to action. They then create offers or links to other pages and sites in the image description. You could certainly abuse this, but business pages have a little more leeway in terms of promotional messages and you can expect coupons, infographics, and free report offers to crop up in this space pretty quickly.

Here are a couple examples: (If you’re not a fan of the page you may land on a page other than the wall – click the wall link in left sidebar to see the images.)

The technical aspects of this are pretty simple.

  • Create an image that is 970 px x 680 px (or some variation of this 1.42:1 ratio – any other size ratio will cause the image to get cut off in the thumbnail creation – although you might be able to play with this from an artistic standpoint)
  • Upload the image through you photo tab
  • Facebook automatically creates a thumbnail for the wall.
  • After you upload the image you get a chance to describe it with a post. Use this space to make your call to action clickable by adding commentary and a link. (make sure to use http:// so it’s live.)

Your image and associated commentary will go into your news feed so it’s probably wise to go cautiously here and keep the promotion as low key as would be expected by your fans. This is great place to create awareness about content that may reside in other places. I also think you’ll want to keep this area fresh and rotate in new images and events and don’t always use it to sell!

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • These pages looks like a million bucks..Micheal and them do a good job over there at Social Media Examiner..

    “Black Seo Guy “Signing Off”

  • Looks like a couple of the examples provided have not upgraded to the new page format yet. Here is one of the best examples I’ve seen of using the photo ribbon creatively by a marketing company – They changed it from the day before when it was a heartbeat theme. The 5 featured pictures are designed so that the random assignment doesn’t matter, it still gives a great overall visual on the page.

    • ooh I do like that one Heather – designers should have a heyday with this.

  • I’m not seeing any creativity in the examples you listed, just a random group of images. The trick is to use an image that would compel someone to click on it or find a way to use the images as part of your branding. Since the images are displayed randomly (unlike on our profiles) there’s no way to use them to create a continuous image but I think Hyperarts got pretty creative by creating a puzzle with their logo.

    Although I didn’t get particularly creative with mine I do think I found a way to make them compelling enough to click and therefor useful for marketing. I’m using my row of photos as a mini portfolio and used one of the images to tell people to click the images to view them.

    • Hugh, I did see Tim’s and it is creative, but I’m also trying to show a balance – Click HERE FOR FREE STUFF – isn’t always the best example and I think people will tire of that – some of what I was showing was coupon use and the use of infographics that might compel someone to go to your site and subscribe – that’s still a call to action, but one that might go over long term better on Facebook.

      • I see your point and I agree that some people are going to end up using the photos in a way that will turn people off but in looking at the examples you provided it didn’t really seem that there was any actual thought put into how the images would display at the small size but rather just large photos with some marketing information in the captions. Unfortunately, if the thumbnail images aren’t compelling enough to get people to click them, the marketing message won’t be seen.

        • I agree Hugh, and actually added a couple new examples to the post including HyperArts and check out the LuckyandCo one – not really a call to action but pretty creative in its own right.

  • Facebook’s new image ribbon will have advertisers thinking of new ways display brands with simple image’s.This new feature will allow for advertisers to think of creative ways of grabbing consumer attention with a small image at the top of the news feed.

  • I was a bit bummed at first that the pics were not static.. thought I was doing something wrong when they kept changing! Overall though I think the updates have been positive.

    • Yes I imaging people have burned up a little time trying to get that to work after seeing so many cool adaptations on the personal profiles. At some point someone will come up with a puzzle that’s pretty viral – keep clicking to get the pieces to line up, etc.

  • rizzy

    It is great to see examples of people getting creative with the new facebook fan pages.

    I just hope they allow you to set the 5 images on your profile in a specific order. Here is another example of a creative use of the new facebook fan page layout:

    • Those are creative but I think they are missing an opportunity to make them work as marketing tools. You want people to go that’s creative and here’s how to find out more.

    • Paul

      On the Personal Profiles you tag yourself to fix the pictures in order (right to left!). Is there a way to do that with Business Pages?

      • Not currently – I think this is intentional to make it harder to turn this space into a banner ad.

  • Cindy Seipel

    Thanks for the good tips on fully utilizing the new format. It’s amazing how something can be staring you right in the face, but the thought doesn’t come to mind! Your content is greatly appreciated.

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  • Joey

    Here’s another example of getting creative with the new facebook fan pages – this one’s by Burger King Singapore

  • www_BrianEZimmerman_com

    Check out what I did to mine.

  • Syed

    Bleh – I was not too pleased with all the changes and I actually liked the previous FaceBook page layout version better. I am not a big fan of Twitter or FaceBook for marketing anyways – and believe that it is fairly over hyped. They should be used as mere brand awareness tools; and not some sort of a customer base increaser and something that you should depend on to generate consistent number of leads all the time. Check out this blog post that talks about whether social media marketing is even worth it or not:

    Having a fan page on Facebook for instance, where comments are not responded to for weeks can do more harm than good to companies. There have been case where social media did do more harm than good to some very big name companies.

    • Gosh darn it you’re right, let’s go back to using telemarketing and fax blasting companies never did any harm to their brand with those proven approaches.

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  • AnneCort

    I think this one is very creative:

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