Are you using Facebook as part of your affiliate marketing efforts? If so, then you know that Facebook can really improve your site’s presence on the web and expose it to new eyeballs.

The most popular approach at making your presence on Facebook is to create a standard Facebook page (i.e. a fan page – like it used to be called).

Such a page does a great job at engaging with your readers and followers, and simply places you on their radar. That way it’s hard for them to forget about you and the things you have to offer.

The crucial element, however, is to get someone to “Like” your page. Only then you will be able to post updates to their News Feed.

The obvious approach is to simply publish interesting stuff on your page’s Wall, and hope that people will decide to like it without any additional convincing on your part. The less obvious approach is to create a custom Facebook landing page to improve your chances of converting random visitors into fans (people who have “liked” your page).

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Just to give you an example on what a custom Facebook landing page is. This is what a visitor sees when they go to Pepsi Max’s page on Facebook if they’ve liked the page before:

In essence, this is the standard Wall. Now this is what a visitor sees when they go to Pepsi Max’s page on Facebook for the first time:

What you see is a custom Facebook landing page.

How does that improve your “Like” conversions? – You ask. The fact is, that the standard Wall is a bit distracting because there’s a lot going on there. This page, however, is focused primarily around getting someone to Like it. There’s even an arrow pointing to the actual Like button.

These pages were really proven to work.

Wait a minute … “were”?

I’m afraid so…

What’s New with Facebook Landing Pages?

Creating a Facebook landing page has gotten a lot more complicated lately.

Right now, Facebook is in the process of migrating from the old Wall concept to the new Timeline concept. This is for both personal profiles and Facebook pages.

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Every new page that gets created now is set up in this Timeline style by default, and there’s no way of getting it back to the traditional (Wall) look.

What this means for people who want to create a custom landing page is simple … they can’t.

Actually, there is a possibility to do so if you really want to, but it’s not easy, and Facebook is most likely to shut it down soon anyway. Additionally, you can’t set such a custom landing page to be displayed by default to new visitors (like it is on Pepsi Max’s page).

Back in the old days creating and setting up a custom landing page was kind of easy. The only thing you had to do is get yourself the Static HTML: iframe tabs app, include it in your page, edit it and set the content of your landing page, then finally set it up as the default page in the page’s settings. All done in less than 15 minutes once you got a hang of it. Not anymore.

Is there any way of getting something just a little similar to a landing page? Sure, you just have to follow Facebook’s new trend and create a cover photo for your page.

Creating and Setting Up a Cover Photo

First of all, what is a cover photo? For new pages (and profiles) it’s the big picture you see at the top of the page. Two examples:

Your cover can do a similar job that landing pages used to do. You can use it to give someone a hint to like your page. We’re saying “give a hint” instead of “tell them to like you” because the latter is not in tune with Facebook’s terms of service. A quote from the terms:

“Cover images […] may not contain: References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.”

Actually, here’s a complete set of rules to follow when creating your cover picture (based on Facebook’s terms of use):

  • Don’t tell someone to Like you (mentioned above).
  • Don’t use direct calls to action such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  • Don’t display any contact information such as your website address, email, or anything like it.
  • Don’t display prices or any offers, such as “get it now for 40% off.”

Once you have all these in mind you can begin creating your cover. To make it happen you’ll need some basic understanding of image editing software. Teaching this is not the topic here, so we’re assuming that you know your way around such software, or you’re going to hire someone to get it done for you.

Either way, make sure that your cover follows these additional guidelines:

  • Make your cover at least 851px wide by 314px high. These dimensions (or higher) will guarantee the best quality of your cover.
  • Make it in tune with your Profile Picture. Either by following its color scheme or general design (the Family Guy example above).
  • Make sure to display some basic information about your page, but don’t do anything Facebook marks as restricted. However. Try to be creative and look for a hole in the terms of service. In other words, don’t do anything that Facebook says is not cool, but do everything they don’t mention.

Once you have the cover done you can upload it straight from your page:

At this point, you can do some final adjustments (alignment and such). Finally, after confirming your actions your new cover is live.

What is Facebook Up To?

In essence, Facebook is making it a lot harder for all pages that want to attract new fans, but it’s just the nature of the internet. No matter what changes get introduced marketers just have to deal with them, and find the best solution to make them work.

Keep in mind that everyone is in the same situation, and those who can get the most out of it will be the winners.

What’s your opinion on these new changes at Facebook? Are they for the better?