(from Venues Today, March 27, 2013) Venues across the world are using Facebook to market their facility, but what many do not know is there are rules they must follow. A new was restriction recently put into place by Facebook that says cover photos must be no more than 20% text. The restriction was put in place in December 2012, and included other rules such as bans on pricing and contact information.
Many venues were unaware of the new rules and some still are because of Facebook’s lack of enforcement. “They were there to set guidelines, but Facebook never really took the time to enforce them,” said Andy Sternberg, Chief Innovations Officer at Adler Integrated.
While the rule may affect some venues, others will not notice. The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia usually uses a cover photo that consists of logos of their three franchises and most of their marketing is image based. “We’ve stuck to images because visually, it makes sense,” said Cory Snider, Marketing Manager for Comcast-Spectacor, “People see the logos and the colors in them and immediately associate them with the teams.”
Other venues, like the Granada Theater in Dallas, will need to make some major changes to their page. The Granada Theater says they have not noticed any enforcement on the new restrictions. They have used images that contain 90% text and have not heard a word yet from Facebook.
Some speculate the reason Facebook is implementing these restrictions is to force facilities to purchase ads instead of using their cover photo to promote events. Facebook allows companies to pay for a certain status or photo to be shown to more Facebook users. Others feel it is a way to clean up the site so users are not feeling constantly advertised to.
While most facilities are still learning the new Facebook rules, the facilities that do know them have had a positive reaction. “The cover photo is one of the greatest tools that Facebook offers on the fan-facing side,” said Sternberg, “the more people that know the rules, the more that will use their cover photo really creatively in a way that will benefit their community-building.”