Facebook Tips – Let’s Share

16 08 2012

Facebook is a free social media site where we can share health messages and communicate with our patients, our community, or our world.

But, useful as the site is, the powers-that-be keep changing bits and pieces of it. It’s annoying. And, it’s hard to keep up.

Therefore, every so often we sit down and put together some tips for the current version of Facebook (at least, current as of the day this is being written). We hope you’ll share your tips in the comments. It’s easier to keep up on all the changes if we do it together!

Facebook has an App Center now. There’s no obvious search function on the page, so you do a lot of scrolling through the menu, but if you like apps and have the time to poke around, why not?

We love the convenience of going into Hootsuite and setting up our posts, but Facebook doesn’t care for it. There’s this thing called EdgeRank that is a magical formula used by Facebook to determine which posts will show up in your newsfeed, or which of your posts will show up on your fans’ newsfeeds.

Posting your updates directly on your Facebook page rather than through a third-party utility such as Hootsuite increases your EdgeRank.

You can schedule your posts to run when you like, just click on the clock image at the bottom of the status update box. It will ask you what year, month, day, and time you want your post to run.

You may have 1,264 “likes” on your organization’s page, but not all of those people will receive your posts. Facebook steps in and decides which of your posts will show up on which individual’s newsfeed. The more your posts are liked or commented on or shared, the more often they will show up in newsfeeds.

You can also ask your fans to hover over the Like(d) button on your page and make sure the “Show in News Feed” option is checked.

Use your Timeline cover image to share your various messages, and change that image a couple of times a week. The image is 851 x 315 pixels. You can use Paint or any simple software to create as many covers as you like. We’re currently sharing one of CDC’s flu messages.

We all love pictures, and we need to take advantage of the space on our Facebook pages. See the tabs below? The ones that say Photos, Likes, Home, Move to the Beat? You can go to your tabs on your page and change any image on any tab so that you have branded tabs.

The images are 111 x 74 pixels. To change them out, click the arrow in the box to the right of the tabs (next to Move to the Beat). Hover over a tab and click on the little pencil, click Edit Settings, click Change next to Custom Tab image, then click Change again when the new box pops up. After that, you upload an image from your computer and boom, customized tab images.

There are many more ways to enhance your organization’s Facebook page. We blog about them occasionally and we’d like to hear what you do to make your page a go-to site for your target audience.

By Trish Parnell

Facebook Timeline

26 03 2012

If your Facebook page doesn’t look like this (see below), you better get ready, because it will change over automatically to the new layout on 30 March.

That giant image at the top, called the Cover Image, is a significant change. Now, last week, we were helping to promote World Water Day, so we loaned our cover image space to water.org. Normally, we have something PKIDs-related up there. You will want something that relates to your organization’s work in that space.

The cover image dimensions are 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels high.

Open your picture editor and choose “new” to create a new image. Set the image size at the pixels stated and then just lay it out as you like.  Keep in mind that your profile picture (see our big purple P above) juts up into your cover image, so don’t put anything critical in that space when designing the cover.

Some Facebook rules about the cover image are:

  • All covers are public. This means that anyone who visits your Page will be able to see your cover. Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
  • Covers may not include:
    • price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
    • contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
    • 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
    • calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Facebook has removed your automatic landing tab, if you had one, and given you this space instead. 

If you want new visitors (those who haven’t “liked” your page yet) to first land on a tab that encourages them to “like” your page, you can still do that. Create the tab, copy the URL for that tab, and use that URL in all of your hyperlinks that point to your Facebook Page. When they click on that hyperlink, they’ll be taken to your custom landing page.

You can have up to 12 tabs/apps. Four are viewable at any one time, and when folks click the down arrow, the rest appear for viewing. These are located under the cover image to the right of the About paragraph. You can move them around so that certain apps are part of the four that are viewable all the time. Put your page in edit, hover over the app icon and click on the edit pencil. At the top of the dropdown box it says, ‘swap position with’ and you just click the name of the app or tab you want to swap.

You can also change out the thumbnail image of each app/tab by clicking on the ‘edit settings’ and choosing Custom Tab Image: Change.

The image size for a thumbnail is 111 pixels x 74 pixels.

You can hover over the Liked button on a page and see a few options, one of which is to unlike the page. The Interests list is also located here. You should try it out to get an idea of what it is. It’s a way of bookmarking pages or people on Facebook and listing them under whatever list name you choose. You can make those lists viewable by all, some, or no one but your page admins.

I haven’t gotten into it yet, other than to create a list to see how to do it. I’m not sure if this is something that will be useful or not. But, because one’s newsfeed quickly fills up each day, being able to check out a list of interest to see what they’re up to—for instance, a list of vaccine advocates—would be a way to drill down through the mass of information you get each day.

There are a couple of things you can do to posts. Hover over one and click the star. That post will be highlighted and spread across both columns. Try it and see, you can always click the star again to unhighlight a post.

You can also ‘pin’ a post to the top of the wall for a week or just a day or two, whatever you want. If it’s something you really want everyone to see, try it. Experimenting is fine! To pin a post, click on the edit pencil of a post and choose ‘pin to top.’ You can always reverse your actions to unpin it.

There are a few more gewgaws to the new Facebook layout, but we’ll get into those later. You know enough to get set up. Don’t be afraid to experiment. And, if you have any suggestions for others, we’d all love to hear them!

By Trish Parnell