Can You Use Facebook’s New Timeline for Personal Branding?
One of the benefits to Facebook’s new timeline ‘look’ is that it allows you to insert a large graphic called a “cover” at the very top of your personal profile. This is a great way to get be creative and show your friends and family what you are all about but can you use this graphic to brand your business?
Most of us are very visual and to quote Dr. John Medina “we learn and remember best through pictures, not through written or spoken words.” This helps explain why we are spend so much time pouring through our friends Facebook albums, checking out Tumblr, Twitpics and other photo sites. Photos encourage interaction! Which is why this topic is important :-)!
What Are The Dimensions of the New Facebook Timeline Cover?
Your cover should be at least 720px in width. If it is narrower in width, you will be asked to select a different image. The optimum size for the large timeline cover is 851px x 315px. The profile picture thumbnail should be 125px x 125px. You can download a pre-formatted template by clicking here. If your graphic is a different size, it is best to resize it to these measurements because the cover images tend to show up very pixelated if you don’t.
Can you brand your new timeline cover to your business?
There has been a lot of confusion and discussion around whether or not you can use a branded picture as your cover graphic on your personal profile considering Facebook’s rule that you cannot use your personal profile for business endeavors. I have done a lot of research and have found no direct evidence to suggest that you cannot use a branded graphic. I reviewed Facebook’s Help Center, and their Terms of Service and neither directly address the business use of the new Facebook timeline cover.
The only real deterrent that I found is that you will get this message when you convert your Facebook profile to the new timeline ‘look’:
Clearly Facebook is sticking to it’s stance on no commerce on your personal profile. In other words, you cannot try to benefit financially from the use of your personal profile. That is why there are Facebook fan or business pages.
I have had my timeline since early October. I have customized my cover to reflect my brand with a personal message for the New Year. You will notice it does not pitch my business in any way other than the maintaining my branded look.
With this said, the question remains…can you brand your business on your personal Facebook timeline cover? I will leave this to your best judgment with a word of caution. I think it is possible to make your cover reflective of your brand without being salesy. The new timeline cover is obviously a great way to expose our business to our personal profile friends and family without a direct sales pitch. If you decide to utilize the new timeline cover, make sure that you represent your brand visually but stay away from a direct sales approach.
Mari Smith, who is an amazing resource for Facebook information, recently shared her take on this topic in this article. Take a minute to see what she thinks around this subject.
If you have not taken the time to switch to Facebook’s new timeline ‘look’, I wrote an article a few weeks ago on “How to Get Your Facebook Timeline Now”. Facebook had previously stated that as of December 21st, 2011, everyone on Facebook would be converted to the new timeline. This has not happened yet but I am sure it won’t be long before the change is standard for everyone.
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