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Marketing, design, and technical resources for making your digital and print communications more effective.

A Transition Guide for the New Facebook Business Pages

March 8th, 2012
New Facebook Page Design
Sample of the new Facebook page design

As you may already be aware, all Facebook Pages will automatically change over to the new Page format on March 30, 2012 (you can change yours over sooner if you wish).  This will be a completely new design with the "wall" being replaced with the newer "timeline" layout that Facebook has already introduced to personal profile pages.

Following are the most common questions (and answers) regarding how the change will affect your current branding and development:

Q: Will my current page branding stay intact after the transition?

If you currently have a left column graphic with branding that will be gone as will the top thumbnail images that are sometimes used for branding. The thumbnail size image you see next to each of your posts will be used as new "profile picture" (the red and two-tone blue logo icon in the sample page design).

Q: What elements can be branded in the new Page design?

1. The updated square "profile picture" (which still serves as the same image used for your thumbnail image). I recommend uploading as high of resolution as possible 250px x 250px (or larger square) PNG 24 image. Unfortunately, Facebook still down samples any images you upload which degrades the quality.

2. Some of the new navigation thumbnail images located at the bottom of the top page section.

3. A new large "Cover Photo" which appears at the top of your page. The dimensions for this new image are 851px x 315px. Like the profile picture Facebook will down-sample this image and degrade the quality when you upload it. While it’s great we have so much more space to work with for branding, Facebook has placed quite a few branding restrictions on this new image space.

Following are their guidelines:

This space is not meant for promotions, coupons, or advertisements. Your cover photo should not be primarily text-based.

And in their recently updated Facebook Page Terms they state:

Covers may not include:
i. price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it on socialmusic.com";
ii.  contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s "About" section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as "Like" or "Share" or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends."

Q: What are some examples of companies that have implemented branded profile pictures within Facebook’s new guidelines?

Q: Where are the links to my other pages / features that used to be on the left?

The first four are now arranged horizontally right below your cover photo and profile picture; the remaining are accessible by clicking the drop arrow marked with the green arrow in the screenshot below.

New Facebook Page Navigation Thumbnails

Q: Do my custom developed Facebook features still work and if so where can I find them?

Yes, they will be listed as either the fourth item in the new navigation or within the drop down menu. See the red arrow in the screen shot above, or go to the sample New Facebook Page design and click on the star icon in the menu.

Q: Where can I get more information on the new Facebook Page design?

Q: Where can I complain if I don’t like the new design?

Q: What do you think of the new layout?

Honestly, I like the new design a lot and I like the restrictions that Facebook has placed on the cover photo image. Forcing Facebook designers to work with fewer options will result in cleaner, higher quality and more creative designs. Less clutter is always a good thing. The last thing I want to see as a user is a bigger space graphic space that will just get filled with a bunch of oversized "like me" arrow graphics and other cheesy design elements.

While the timeline feature is still in its infancy, I like the direction Facebook is headed with this and I believe it presents a superior and cleaner presentation of information. Loosing the old (or current I should say) 3 columns of clutter and ads is definitely a good thing.

The biggest initial "con" I have to the new page layout is the placement of the page navigation icons. I don’t like having to click the drop down menu to see all of them.

Need Help?

We’re available to assist you with Facebook branding and development. Contact us online or by phone at 208.475.3192. For samples of our past design work check out our portfolio page.

Custom HTML Email Signatures for Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2011

February 27th, 2012

We’ll give some insight here into installing a custom HTML signature in Outlook 2007 (PC/Windows), Outlook 2010 (PC/Windows) and Outlook 2011 (Mac/OS X).

For some reason, Microsoft decided to remove advanced email signature editing functionality that were available with Outlook 2003 which  made installing a custom HTML email signature a breeze. Although nowhere in the email signature feature of Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2011 is HTML mentioned, the signature is still in HTML format, it just takes a less direct approach to get it accomplished.

To setup a custom email signature, you’ll need the design first coded in HTML and ideally posted on a public Web server. If you need our services to create the HTML email please contact us for more information.

If you’ve had us design a email signature for you, or if you have one designed elsewhere, here are the instructions for setting it up in Outlook:

1. Open the HTML file / URL that contains your signature in a Web browser such as FireFox. (For Risingline Clients, we would of emailed you this info already).

2. Left click at the top left of the page, then while holding down the shift key left click in the lower right area of the page. If you don’t see anything obviously highlighted you may need to left click at the top then hold down your left mouse button as you move to the lower right.

3. Right Click and select copy.

4. Create a new signature in Outlook 2007, 2010, or 2011 and then within that blank signature window right click and select paste or press ctrl-v.

5. Save your new signature and set your desired parameters.

Screencast Walk-through


For more insight into working with custom signatures in Outlook  feel free to check out these additional resources.

 

Setting up HTML Email Signatures in Microsoft Entourage (Mac)

February 25th, 2012

This screencast tutorial shows the basics on how to use images when setting up a custom HTML email signature using Microsoft Entourage for Macintosh.

See also Setting up a html email signature in Microsoft Entourage (Mac OS X)

CMS Made Simple Tutorial – Getting Started

February 24th, 2012

In this screencast tutorial I’ll introduce you to the most basic features of navigating and editing within CMS Made Simple’s administration panel.

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