social media how toAre you maximizing the marketing power of your Facebook page?  Want to know how?

Keep reading…

There are several lesser-realized features on and around your Facebook page that can be optimized to best reflect your brand.

Let’s break down your page visually into 5 major parts to understand best how to optimize your Facebook page:


The tips below will encompass advice about how to optimize areas #1-5 shown above, including taking a look at the featured photos, left-side links panel, impressions and feedback on the wall, featured likes, and wall tab display.

#1: Featured Photos

Any photo you upload to your page automatically flies up to the featured photo feed, a row of 5 photos that will change position every time a visitor lands on the page. We’ve seen examples of some brands getting creative with this panel and using it for branding. But because you have to account for the pictures changing order each time the profile is refreshed, you might need to come up with branding imagery that remains consistent no matter what order it’s viewed in.

Because any pictures you upload automatically go into the strip, including wall photos that you upload as part of a status update, the only way to remove photos is to manually delete them from the strip as you see them appear. This will not remove them from your albums, only from the top of your profile. User-uploaded photos will not go into the strip.

It’s worthwhile to consider how you want the strip to appear to your visitors. A collection of random photos of people in the distance may not grab visitors’ attention. Optimizing the photos in the strip and selecting only closeup shots of your employees or your products may give you a new opportunity to engage visiting users.

Let’s look at some examples of interesting uses of the photo strip by brands:


Hanes uses their photo strip as advertising space to promote a giveaway on their page. This serves to grab attention of users visiting the wall and works any way the pictures get ordered. It also promotes further activity within the Hanes page—telling users to click on another tab on that page in order to participate.


steve madden

Steve Madden's fan page also gives special treatment to the 5-photo strip. Here, the photos are used to depict new items from that season's collection, as well as a 30% off sale that's happening. Again, it's worthwhile to note that no matter in which order the pictures appear, the message in the strip remains clear.

#2: The Left-Side Links Panel

All Facebook pages have a panel of links on the left-side navigation which, when clicked, open the application in tab view, right in the fan page.

Every fan page comes with 3 default applications native to the Facebook platform: Wall, Info, and Photos. Of those 3, only Photos is removable—Wall and Info are mandatory to maintain a page.

You can install as many other applications to your page as you want, of course. Most will either be third-party applications like promotions or applications you create yourself using iFrames.

It’s important to note that there is a concept of above or below the fold within the links panel: only 8 links are visible to visitors at first. To see more, users need to click “More,” and that’s something we can’t always count on people to do. For this reason, you want to make sure you’re displaying the most important tabs above the fold, in the top 8 links.

Below is an example of a page, for the North Face, where some of the most interesting tabs are hidden below the fold, a result of which may be that scores of users might not stick around long enough to find and engage with them:

the north face

This is the North Face page for all new visitors. The first 8 left-panel links are displayed, along with the "More" function to display the rest.


the north face

On expansion of the links panel, we can see that North Face actually has 3 additional custom applications hidden below the fold.

When the “More” button is clicked on the North Face page, 3 additional tabs are revealed, all of which are custom-created, including the one pictured above. This tab contains a well-designed interactive page with video.

While there have not yet been studies conducted to see how many users click “More” when viewing rows of links in a panel, we can assume there would be significant dropoff, leading this page to have lowered exposure, and become a marketing effort lost on many users who never see it.

The good news is that it’s very easy to change the order of how the links appear in the panel. When you’re logged in as administrator of the page, you’ll see an option to “Edit” right underneath the links. Once you click, you’ll notice that the editable links gray out and can be dragged up and down to change their placement, or deleted outright from the panel.

#3: Rolling Feedback

When you’re logged in as an administrator of your page(s), Facebook displays handy rolling feedback with every post you make. This makes it very easy to see trends of interaction on your page by content type, time of day or frequency. This also makes it easier for you to assess how you’re doing over time (rather than analyzing these particular traits inside “Insights,” which doesn’t show what type of message it was, like a post with a photo, or a post containing a hyperlink).

The numbers won’t show for approximately 12 hours after you post, as the EdgeRank algorithm is still working to determine how much reach your post will get. Once a baseline reach has been determined, according to the initial hours of popularity your post has garnered, the numbers will show up and can change over time as more (or fewer) people interact with your page.

Let’s assess some trends I can learn about the fan page I administer for Wildfire Interactive in the screenshots below:

wildfire engagement

Two trends I can assess for this audience are 1) certain types of posts I make inspire many more likes than comments, and 2) other types inspire more comments than likes.

In the screenshot above, both posts, which were made one day apart, are successful by the standard of feedback I have gauged over time for this page. But now I know that when I invite my audience to share and publicize information about their own businesses, they like to do it and will leave this information in the comments. However, fewer of them choose to leave opinions about the video produced by the fan page using comments, instead preferring to express a like, which requires less work.

In both instances, the reach was very similar, but the opportunity to publicize their own fan pages inspired markedly higher interaction and feedback from fans, whereas just asking for their opinion achieved more clicking Like with less commentary.

#4: Featured Likes

Under the left-hand links panel, there is a group of 5 Featured Likes, which will display up to 5 other brand pages you have liked while logged in “as page.”

Along with the latest brand page redesign in February, Facebook introduced new login options which allow users to browse Facebook as their personal account or as a page (that they administer). The distinction is that when you leave comments and like things, you’re either tying that activity to coming from your personal profile or your professional brand profile. In this way, brands can like pages and leave comments as the brand itself, without bringing the person behind the brand into the mix.

Now that you have the opportunity to express the voice of your brand in this way, consider how you could add to the reflection of your brand by choosing which 5 featured pages your brand likes. While the Featured Likes default to cycling randomly through all the pages your brand has liked on each page refresh, you can also set the 5 “featured” pages in your settings so that they don’t rotate.

Here are some examples of pages that relay different messages with their Featured Likes pages:


The Tide fan page takes advantage of the "Featured Likes" section to demonstrate the brand's affinity for other Proctor and Gamble (P&G) product pages.



The Verragio fan page uses the Featured Likes section of the page to display the fan pages of jewelry shops and brands that carry the Verragio brand in their stores.

To set your 5 pages so that they don’t change or rotate when your brand’s page is refreshed or revisited, you’ll need to select the featured pages within your page settings, as pictured in the screenshot below:

featured likes

Set your page Featured Likes by changing the settings in "Featured" when editing the fan page.

#5: Wall Tab Layouts Can Be Different

Facebook allows page administrators to choose the default wall layout for visitors, between the chronological “Most Recent” and just posts made by the page, “Page.”

If the selection is chronological, users landing on the wall will see every interaction made on the page, including page posts intermingled with fan posts.

Many businesses choose not to use this view as the default, especially larger brands, because a lot of what random fans post can be spam or otherwise irrelevant content that quickly clogs the wall.

By choosing to display posts made by the “Page” as the default, posts made by your fans don’t go away—they can be accessed by clicking into the “Most Recent” feed. In fact, it is still highly recommended to stay on top of this feed, because as the admin you’ll want to moderate and respond to what fans are trying to communicate to you by posting on that part of your page.

In the example screenshots below, you can see that Joe’s Crab Shack, which has the Chronological view set as the default, has a mixed bag of commentary from fans straight on the wall, which isn’t the most engaging marketing messaging for new and returning visitors to come across at first sight.

joes crab shack

If, instead, Joe’s Crab Shack changed the default wall view to “Joe’s Crab Shack Official Posts,” the feed viewed by visitors to the wall would, by default, be the one created by Joe’s itself—with catered marketing messages and pointed status updates, encouraging fans to visit and interact, as seen below:

joes crab shack

To control which posts show on the wall tab, edit the settings of your page as pictured below:

edit profile

Now you’re armed with 5 ways you can optimize your fan page using available Facebook functions.

What do you think? What’s the first change you’re planning to make? Share with us in the comments section below. Maybe you have some tips for improvement the entire community can appreciate!

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  • Eleanor Pierce

    Very nice post – I love the concrete examples, too. I’ll definitely be using some of these tips.

    One question thought: I went to check out the North Face FB page, and I was interested in their Twitter button. Problem was, it didn’t seem to do anything. Anyone have good examples of how a Twitter button in the left nav bar has been done well?

  • Bill Lord

    Another great post! I didn’t realize you can set the 5 featured pages your page “Likes” in your settings so that they don’t rotate. That’s a great tool to market other companies, partners, etc. Thanks again!

  • Monica

    Great article! Thank you for the advice!

  • Mercedes

    I thought that you could hide the featured photo feed? I have mine hidden…

  • Mercedes – On your personal profile you can.  On your page, you can only select to remove specific photos.  Perhaps there’s a new feature I’m not aware of??

  • Coupons Lebanon

    Thank you for the practical examples and effective suggestions. i didn’t wait to finish the article. I started uploading photos right away. Thank you again

  • Hi Eleonor! Personally, I favor brands that incorporate their Twitter stream as part of a Facebook tab with other interesting things going on, not as its own feed on a tab. What I mean is this: check out how Infiniti incorporates their “Buzz” Twitter feed into a tab that’s all about Infiniti being social at Pebble Beach– 

    It allows the tab to be more focused, and provides the user with more to do when he lands there. Just an automated Twitter feed isn’t as exciting, in comparison…

  • Hey Mercedes,
    Michael is correct, the only hiding you can do of the photos along the top is hiding them one by one, but even if you hid all of them, there would be blank icons holding the place where photos would be featured– there is no way to remove this strip.
    Hope that helps!

  • Thanks great news, glad you liked it!

  • TBolt

    Thank you — great article!  🙂

  • hey Maya, if you remove all images one by one from fanpage then fb will hide those blank icons automatically. I am using this technique for my most of the pages.

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  • Very nice.  Regarding Point #2 I would also add that be mindful of the height of your profile picture as if it is too tall you will in essence be pushing many of your links down “below the fold” – particularly for laptop users.

  • rachelannpoling

    Thanks for this great article.  I’m in the process of setting up my fan page right now, and will definitely be using some of your tips!

  • David! That’s an excellent point, I agree.

  • Maya, what an awesome article! You provide great ideas, tips and tricks. I’ll be passing this along!

  • Really?! I guess I never deleted every single photo…if you delete all but one, the strip displays as blank icons. Will you link to some of your pages? I would love to see this in action. Thanks for sharing, too!

  • Can you direct me to a webinar that explains your tips – step by step?

  • Thank you for this information, I was wondering how to do all of these!

  • yes it will show that strip with blank icons, if we keep at least one image. Here is my page

  • Hi Anne! Thanks for your request. At this time, I am not aware of a webinar that explains the exact tips I outlined in this post, but it would be a pretty simple webinar, huh, if all the slides said exactly what this article did? 🙂

  • Are there any other instructions that go with these tips?  I don’t have a lot of what you were referring to on the side of my pages to click on or what you referred to in the settings.  I’m confused  LOL

  • Hi Carletta! If you are not seeing these options to edit, it’s for one of two reasons:

    1) You’re looking at a personal Facebook profile, which you have for yourself, but this is not the same as a business page profile. If you’d like to set one of those up, you can get one at

    2) You are looking at a business page profile, but you’re not logged in as an administrator. Only admins can change all of these settings. 

    Hope that helps!

  • Lizzy Scully

    I thought this was very helpful. I made numerous changes, but the first was to add tabs to all the Facebook pages that I manage. I found Tabfusion to be great, but it costs money to add Twitter. So I used Tradable Bits to add Twitter.

  • I just made two of these changes to my pages.  Thank you for keeping us informed.  It changes so fast.

  • Allison Wert

    I love reading Social Media Examiner – there’s always so much helpful stuff! We’re hoping to launch a Facebook page in the next few months here and I appreciate all the tips. I didn’t realize you could choose between “Page” or “Most Recent” wall posts. Thanks!

  • Joyce k

    great ideas! going to get on it right away!

  • GuruMarketeer

    Great article.  Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work

  • Awesome. Thanks for the hard work. I will definitely share with my readers!

  • Amy Beasley

    Thanks for the easy how to/screen shots! I have collected alot of tips that I have no idea how to put into play, so your approach is refreshing. I will definitely be putting this to use quickly.

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  • Stjamesdental

    Thank you for such grat tips.  As usual you have very informative articles.  I love to read them.  I have set up my facebook page and reading your suggestions to see what I can do to be more unique.  Keep them coming, it’s great.

  • thanks Maya some super great info there.

    re: #2 i think its also important to point out that the application names can be edited to something a little more informative or more inline the company’s brand and image.

  • suraj

    thanks for this.

    it’ll definitely help my clients that are in services that normally would not have (or allow) pictures to be on their pages.

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  • voltagenewmedia

    very good article! 

  • Honestly, I need to give my pages more care an attention from the ground up… 

    Great list of suggestions to follow!

  • Francine Bishop

    Thanks for the refresher and the visual examples. We read bits n pieces in so many places it’s great when we can see it all in one post.

  • Great article, I’ve already implemented a couple of the tips. And, this makes me feel dumb, but tabs? I don’t see tabs on anyone’s pages. You mean the links at the left? When I think of “tabs” I think of a tab like file folders or my Safari or Chrome tabs. I don’t see that here.

  • Fantastic article, Maya! Thanks!

  • Dexter, you’re absolutely right! Best of all, recently the tab names were updated to allow up to 100 characters, so you can get pretty descriptive with it!

  • Hi Nancy! Yes, by tabs I mean the links on the left. What they open is called “tab view”, the application on the page of your brand, framed by the links panel. Hope that helps!

  • Thank you for great tips Maya. To add to Dexter’s comment. Page 8 of this Facebook’s pages manual explains how to change the names of your applications: (If this is considered to be spam, please delete the link). Just trying to help 😉

  • Thanks for the help, Juan! Always appreciated.

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  • Suek11

    I knew you could take your wall photos out of the rotation at the top, but I forgot about it.  Thanks for the reminder.  Will remedy that right now.  🙂

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  • Jacki James

    I notice the Threadless page defaults to all of the LHS links showing rather than the “more” so there must be a way to manage this. Can someone let us know how????

  • Jim Hunt

    Great post.  I’ve already put three of your suggestions to use.

  • Eileen

    I’ve used three of the tips. So simple when you know how!
    Now all I need to do is find out how to add my own landing tab.

  • hi Eileen. I just happened to read your question and wrote a post about how to customize your landing tab, just a few weeks ago. You can check it out here: Just trying to help.

  • Hi Maya, Great post. I loved what you have done here. The design is elegant, your stuff classy. Yet, you have got an edginess to what you’re offering here. Ill definitely come back for more ….

    Singha Roy

    Facebook fan page –

  • Eileen

    Hello Juan. Thanks for this. All help gratefully received!

  • Good article! Doesn’t Joe’s Crab Shack break FB policy by announcing contest winners on their Wall?

  • Cesandland

    hmmm.  I need to get to work obviously.  thank you

  • Namita Patel

    Excellent article Maya! Thank you — your suggestions will all find homes.

  • Coen

    Hi there! does anyone know how you can change the vertical aligning of the profile picture when it shows in your postings? The example of Steve Maddens page shows only the top of the profile picture in postings, whereas the example of Joe’s Crab Shack (and many other pages) show the mid part of the profile picture… Any help would be appreciated.
    This is what my page looks like now:

  • Thanks for the definition. Not what I had in my head at all, so glad I’m not nuts (grin).

  • Some great tips, that aren’t your general Facebook Page tips that you see out there, I will look into the featured likes section now, I have a few ideas in mind for that.

  • David – that’s an excellent point. I do think a larger profile image can be used effectively to communicate timely messages or more about the brand. In doing so, it can push those links down, but sometimes that’s okay, depending on your communication & branding goals.

  • Hi Wouter! Well…probably. We can’t discount the possibility that they have already contacted the winners via email and asked their permission to publish the names (which is the proper protocol.) But if not, then yes, technically this is outside of the guidelines.

  • Hi Coen! You can do this by editing the “thumbnail.” Here is how you do that:  Hope that helps!

  • Hi Eileen! Adding your own tab can definitely be easy, and there are a host of tools you can use to accomplish this, some free and others not free. Here is a link to Wildfire’s free landing page tool that you can install within minutes: Hope that helps!

  • Coen

    Hi Maya, I totally overlooked that option, thnks :)! The only thing to take into account then is the width of the image. Nice article btw!

  • Great article, thanks for the easy to follow tips…  have implemented them all on our page !  Love getting Social Media Examiner in my inbox.

  • shirleywilsonsocial

    Great post. Appreciate the simple explanations and practical examples. I found the last one about wall tab layouts especially good and a point I hadn’t considered. 

  • Interest to read your article. It’s useful information. I’m trying to use this

  • Thanks Maya. I really like the first suggestion, especially when you make all the pictures flow together nicely or do something cool like have them all form a bigger picture

  • Some great tips. One thing we struggled with when setting up a Facebook brand page recently was with the first point in your post; creating some featured images to use along the top as a ‘banner’. When we uploaded our featured images, they never stayed in one place and their order always moved around seemingly randomly. How do you put featured photos and set their order to be permanent?

  • Feature photos + comments in photos is also a great opportunity to sell yourself and highlight the good points of your business. Often people just leave the comments or have very vague comments 🙂

  • That is amazing!  Gives us a couple new ideas.  Fresh and fun!

  • So there’s no way to set it to stay in the same placement. They will always randomize upon a refresh– that’s why its important to set up a collection of photos around a theme, that consistently relay the brand message  but when rearranged, still look alright and make sense. 🙂

  • Ashish Pawaskar

    Is it just me? I cannot see the post feedback on any of my pages that I am admin for. Are you seeing the post insights? i.e. the number of impressions and the feedback % ??

  • Nice post, Maya! I chuckled about your inclusion of the Wildfire fan page, because in my article today about optimizing the Facebook Photostrip, I used their Photoshop as a bad example.

    I know you didn’t highlight Wildfire for their great Photostrip, and you provided some examples of visually compelling Photostrips.

    Because my article today focuses solely on the Photostrip, I provided a ton of examples.

    Since my March 2011 SME article about visually branding Fan Pages, many many more brands have focused on creating a clean, visually appealing Photostrip. At some point I had to stop with the examples!


  • thanks maya, its good info for small business.

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  • Barry Route

    Hi there,

    Thanks  for the tips, especially tip 5 was new to me.

    I have a question about being an administrator of a page and fans. Do you as a administrator of a page invite fans to become your friends??


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  • YanceyM

    Great article thanks!  Does anyone know how to remove the right hand sidebar that shows “similar facebook pages” when someone goes to your landing page & they aren’t signed into facebook? I’ve noticed that some pages have other pages listed and some don’t. Is there a setting to have this removed? I can’t find it anywhere or any info about what controls this. Thanks so much for any help!!

  • An’so

    Thank you for those great tips! I must do something wrong though, because for #1, you state that “the only way to remove photos is to manually delete them from
    the strip as you see them appear. This will not remove them from your
    albums, only from the top of your profile”, but it does delete the picture in my album, do you have any idea what I am doing wrong?!

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  • Tried 50, not 5 but still was unsuccessful. There are a lot of strategies mentioned on internet but nothing of much help.

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  • First change to my page was determining which other pages I’d ‘feature’ (your #4)… great way to strengthen the ties with local partners / potential partners. Loved this article!  (I think that ‘featured photos’ and ‘rolling feedback’ – numbers 1 & 3 respectively – will be the next steps.

  • First change to my page was determining which other pages I’d ‘feature’ (your #4)… great way to strengthen the ties with local partners / potential partners. Loved this article!  (I think that ‘featured photos’ and ‘rolling feedback’ – numbers 1 & 3 respectively – will be the next steps.

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  • Hi can you tell me how to create my page so that it looks like the skittle and coca-cola fan pages?

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  • to get the best conversion results i tend to write and design the pages
    with the user/customer in mind and slip a few keywords into the text if
    it stays fluent. i also make sure theirs at least 5 or 6 images on a
    page and they dont need to big pictures they can be a simple ticklist.
    and i optimise the alt tag title and link name and make sure the text
    next to the image is of a similar nature. this is how i optimise my
    customers sites and they get pretty descent rankings along with good
    conversion rates.

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  •  Thanks for your tips. Those are easy to follow. This is what I really wanted to know.

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  • Why was this post put out in the newsletter on 2.20.13 without being updated to current Facebook Page layouts? It’s good info, but now outdated in many aspects.

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  • R.B

    hey is it possible to allow the featured page posts to be published on our page automatically?