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How To Use The New Facebook Photo Viewer As A Marketing Tool

The recent Facebook Page upgrades unveiled some of the most complex features we’ve seen on the platform yet. Navigating Facebook as your Page OR Profile; posting and commenting on other Pages as your Page; notifications of Page activity; News Feed just for Pages you’ve liked; weighted system for displaying the most popular posts on your Page wall; and, replacement of FBML with iFrames.

I will be publishing a series of posts diving deeper into specific Facebook features, along with an in-depth review of all the changes and their impact on marketers. This post covers two features I’m very excited about, as they have a distinct marketing advantage: the five-photo strip at the top of Pages (similar to Profiles) and the new Photo Viewer lightbox.

First, I strongly recommend that if you have not yet upgraded your Page, you need to dive in and do so right now! 🙂 All Pages will automatically be upgraded next month anyway. Go here to view all your Pages, check out the new layout with the Preview button first, then Upgrade.

Upgrade Your Facebook Pages

New five-photo strip at the top of Pages

This new feature is identical to the new Profile design. Your five most recently uploaded Page photos are displayed at the top and will change any time you load new photos. Photos loaded by your fans and other Pages will not appear in this display. To remove a photo from the display, mouseover and click the “x”. Hidden photos will still be accessible.

What’s really cool is, just like your personal profile, you can get creative and use this valuable real estate for branding, special offers, tips, etc.

HyperArts Facebook Page Photo Strip

HyperArts Facebook Page Photo Strip

However, the photos do not stay in the same order (unlike Profiles). With each visit/refresh, the photos randomize. In the example above, Tim Ware at HyperArts Web Design mentions in the main Page image that they know the order is random. I refreshed Tim’s Page umpteen times and still couldn’t get the images to spell HyperArts. lol!

So, creating a sequential five-photo banner won’t quite work. (I’m not entirely sure why Facebook included the randomize feature. Perhaps so we can’t quite fully add a custom banner. Hm.)

Continue reading for my magical marketing tip, though!

New Photo Viewer Lightbox

We saw a sneak peek of this lovely feature back in December. Each photo throughout the entire Facebook platform can now easily be viewed in a popup lightbox so you can see enlarged pictures, scroll back and forth, like/comment and never lose your place on Facebook. This is an extremely handy feature when viewing photos in the News Feed, on anyone’s Profile or Page, etc.

Facebook photo viewer lightbox iris

Facebook Photo Viewer – Lightbox pops up, background grays out

Magical marketing tip: put CTAs on your images to make them ads!

Now, here’s the magical marketing tip: create a series of photos with special offers and calls to action (CTAs) right on the images and you basically have your own five free Facebook ads!! 🙂 “Click here for details,” is an obvious CTA. Then, include a short narrative with a hyperlink to that offer in the photo description. When your fans click the image, up it pops in the nifty new lightbox where they then see the description and link.

Any images of links (URLs) will, of course, not actually click through to the web page. BUT, when anyone clicks on the five images at the top of your Page (or anytime you share an image on your wall, load to an album, etc), they see the image pop up in the lightbox where you then have your compelling offer.

Fan Page Factory - Facebook Page

Fan Page Factory – Facebook Page

The ideal dimensions to make sure the thumbnail size shows properly is:  970px by 680px. Facebook then makes the entire image the thumbnail size, which is 97px by 68px. In the Fan Page Factory screenshot above, my buddy Nathan doesn’t have CTAs on each image, but he does have a compelling offer under each photo. Props to Nathan for the tip on the dimensions-to-thumbnail ratio! Quote:

If the ratio is not (1.426=97/68) Facebook will NOT render the entire photo as the thumbnail and will rather recenter the thumbnail and only show “out” until the ratio is met.

I recommend that you create at least five images like this, each with special offers and clear, “CLICK HERE” type of CTAs. Periodically change the images and offers. Each time you post a photo (photos tend to get the highest EdgeRank in the News Feed), your post goes out into the feed of fans and other pages that have liked you.

You might also check out the photo template made by ShortStack Labs.

550 new subscribers in less than 24 hours!

I tried the image-with-CTA experiment last Friday and uploaded a real simple 97px by 68px image (size of the thumbnail – I didn’t know at the time to make it 10x!). Within 24 hours, I had over 550 new opt-ins for my 15 Social Media Power Tips! I saw many fans shared the same photo on their page/profiles. Which, of course, creates a viral effect for the offer!

15 Social Media Power Tips - Facebook popup offer

15 Social Media Power Tips – Facebook popup offer

Though the image looks teeny in the Photo Viewer, it’s the proper size for the photo strip at the top of my Page. But, clearly, size didn’t matter!

Initially, I put the CTA in the narrative first followed by an explanation of my experiment. But, I edited the narrative so my usual, bubbly style showed first. I didn’t want it to suddenly come across as pushy/salesy in the News Feed of my fans. It’s important to remember whatever narrative you add to the photo will be what shows up in the News Feed of your fans.


Narrative for Facebook offer

Here’s the next offer I’m sharing via Facebook Photos:

Would you like to spend 2.5 days with me – either LIVE in person in sunny San Diego, or VIRTUALLY via streaming video access – and begin to master Facebook marketing? April 1-2, optional Beginners Bootamp on March 31. Check out my fab new page for this event, just unveiled today! If you’d like to attend live, save $500 on the 1 or 2 ticket price! Just enter ‘500discount’ on the check out page.

Social Media Mastery Immersion - Join Mari Smith!

Social Media Mastery Immersion – Join Mari Smith!

So, what do you think? Will you use your five-photo strip strategically for images with offers and calls-to-action? I’d love to see some creative examples – feel free to share in the comments below and include a link back to your Facebook Page!

Mari Smith

Often referred to as “the Queen of Facebook,” Mari Smith is widely known as the Premier Facebook Marketing Expert and a top Social Media Thought Leader. Forbes describes Mari as, “… the preeminent Facebook expert. Even Facebook asks for her help.” IBM named Mari as one of seven women that are shaping digital marketing. Mari is an in-demand keynote speaker, corporate social media strategist, dynamic live webcast host, and popular brand ambassador. She is coauthor of Facebook Marketing: An Hour A Day, and author of The New Relationship Marketing.

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  1. klimaatbeheersing on June 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    I never would have thought to use my photos that way, but now I’m spinning ideas in my mind.Will spin for more ideas and dig some tricks from this blog.

  2. Nathan Latka on April 23, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Thanks for the mention Mari! Glad I was able to help 🙂

  3. Anonymous on April 2, 2011 at 10:52 pm

    Really helpful guide, Mari – thanks for sharing this. By the way, I got an “error” when trying to “Like” this: “The app ID “42328360008” specified within the “fb:app_id” meta tag was invalid.”

    And congrats on the 550 subscribers in 24 hours, that’s very cool – you’ve inspired me to use this on my clients’ facebook sites!

  4. Brian on March 29, 2011 at 7:13 pm

    Great ideas. Dixie Elixirs uses the random images on their Facebook page to spell out the five letters of DIXIE. When they were posted, fans were encourage to reload the page to see if they could get it to spell “DIXIE”.

  5. amanda gram on March 24, 2011 at 11:34 pm

    love your ideas!!! Buy you can make a custom banner that does not change.. check out my page… and “like” it!!! lol

    • amanda gram on March 24, 2011 at 11:40 pm

      just reealized havent done it on fan page yet.. just personal page. But the application is called Fbanner I thnk… there are few out there… just search banners from your page..not fan page…. need to do it thru personal one if I remember correctly then link to your fan page

  6. MGDesigns on March 10, 2011 at 7:40 am

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I absolutely love this idea, and have implemented it on my fanpage – I think it turned out quite well, I just have to manage any other images added to be sure my preferred 5 stay on top:

  7. Stefanie on March 8, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    Thanks will try it.

  8. Christine Pilch on March 8, 2011 at 1:16 am

    The same thing happened to me as Jimmyserrano. I also tried using 970×680 px in the 5-strip photo area, but FB is still cropping them. Has anybody found dimensions that work correctly?

    • Katie Schwartz on March 10, 2011 at 3:53 pm

      I’m having the same problem with cropping at the 970×680 px. Any ideas?

      • Katie Schwartz on March 10, 2011 at 5:01 pm

        Try this… I reduced the size of my photo & added white space around it, but kept the final dimensions at 970×680 px. Took several attempts & uploads into fb to perfect the white space so nothing was cropped in the thumnail, but it finally worked for me!

      • Riquez on September 12, 2011 at 3:12 am

        485×68 (97 width each)

  9. Earl Almeida on March 7, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    It appears the 5 photos on the top of the page aren’t so random anymore. I was looking at a friend’s wall where he had his name in the 5 images perfectly and I refreshed and the same thing happened. So I checked the HyperArts page you referenced above and it appeared perfectly in order and even after 4 refreshes. Pat’s page below still randomized it 3 different times when I refreshed it.

    Do you know how to modify the settings then to get the pictures in the same order?

    • Andymcdon on January 5, 2012 at 1:45 pm

      The HyperArts facebook landing page you first go to isn’t using a banner at all, but just an iframe from a different site. It’s made to look like a facebook banner. When you click to their wall in the left navigation, the top banner randomizes like usual.

      I am looking for a way to get around this though, anyone got ideas?

  10. Rebekah {honeyandcheese} on March 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    The CTA idea is brilliant! I never would have thought to use my photos that way, but now I’m spinning ideas in my mind. Thanks for the tip – and for the best dimensions to use!

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