I recently returned from the beautiful island of Malta, where I have been visiting 10 local voluntary organizations for an audit on their online presence. Next to recommending on how to improve their websites, I also audited their Facebook profiles. This post shows 3 of the most common mistakes I encountered.
1. Creating a Facebook Personal Profile instead of a Facebook Fan Page
I already wrote about this common mistake when I consulted the Bed & Breakfast “Fundalucia”. Organizations shouldn’t create a Personal Profile but a Fan Page. The advantages are numerous:
- A Fan Page timeline is also viewable for people that aren’t logged in or registered on Facebook.
- On a Fan Page, people don’t need your ‘acceptance’ to become a fan, they simply have to click the ‘Like’ button.
- The timeline of a Fan Page has 2 columns for posts instead of only 1 at a Personal Profile. People will have to scroll down less to see the latest posts.
- On a Fan Page, anyone can directly post on your timeline. On a Personal Profile, only friends can do this.
- Compared to the info sections o Personal Profile info, on a Fan Page the information is tailored to an organization: type of organization (instead of gender or relationship status!), founding date (instead of date of birth!), short & long description, mission, products, awards (instead of work & education!), etc.
- On a Fan Page, you can add buttons for apps directly under the cover photo
- A Fan Page gives you statistics (called “Facebook Insights“) that enable you to measure the performance of your Facebook presence
- If needed, on a Fan Page you can create Facebook Ads
- Anyone can mention your Fan Page in a post, only by typing the “@” sign in front of your page name. With a Personal Profile, you have to friend with it to be able to mention it.
2. Not choosing a good cover image
The cover image is one of the most important features of a Facebook page. It has to be both compelling and explaining what your organization or project is about.
Also, you should take care your cover image doesn’t break Facebook’s 20% rule:
3. Not using the right size or resolution for images
The 3 most common mistakes regarding the design of images are:
- Having a low resolution image on the timeline. Timeline rectangular images on a Fan Page are automatically resized to 403 x 403 pixels, so if you upload them at a lower size, the image will be amplified and blurred because of the low resolution. You can upload them until 720 x 720 pixels for a maximum display in Facebook’s lightbox (‘theater’ view).
Tip: take into account that when people share an image from a Fan Page timeline, it will be previewed at the timeline of a Personal Profile at 398 x 296 pixels. Facebook truncates 107 pixels at the bottom of your image, so be sure your image still makes sense at the size of 398 x 296 pixels!
- Having a ‘horizontal’ image truncated in the timeline. For converting the preview into a horizontal image, you should edit the uploaded picture and click the star to ‘highlight‘ it and it will be displayed widely at maximum 843 x 403 pixels. You can upload them until 960 x 459 px for a maximum display in Facebook’s lightbox (‘theater’ view).
- Having a low resolution cover image. Cover images are automatically resized to 851 x 315 pixels. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size and will have a lower resolution.
- Having a truncated profile picture because it doesn’t fit the rectangular dimensions. The profile picture (also called ‘avatar’) must be uploaded at 180 x 180 pixels and will be automatically resized to 160 x 160 pixels. Make sure you create a rectangular version of your profile picture (mostly your logo) and still makes sense at the size of 160 x 160 pixels.
Resources to check out
- How to Create a Perfect Facebook Promoted Post that Doesn’t Break the Rules by Jeff Bullas
- The Facebook Text Overlay Tool Explained by Bonnie Gean
- The Ridiculously Exhaustive Social Media Dimensions Blueprint [infographic] by Jeff Berezny
- Social Media Image Maker – to resize and retouch your social media images
- 9 Tips for Improving your Nonprofit Website July 22nd, 2012