With the release of Facebook Timeline for brand pages set to be official on March 30, you should start working to get ready for the switch now. While getting your page prepared for Timeline will take thought and effort, we’re convinced that Timeline will be a wonderful thing for brand pages, giving brands the opportunity to tell a more engaging story and to showcase precisely what they want to highlight. For more information on the Timeline transition, contact us.
Here are 10 things you need to know to make the switch to Timeline:
1. Cover Photo: Perhaps the most obvious change to brand pages on Timeline is the cover photo. Instead of having 5 thumbnail photos at the top of your brand profile (the photostrip), you will now have a 851×315 pixels cover photo, along with a 180×180 pixel profile image. There is plenty of opportunity to get creative with the design and implementation of cover photo and profile image, drawing users into your page from the moment they land on it.
2. Default Landing Tabs: While you can still create tabs for your Facebook page, you can no longer set them to be landing pages. From now on, whenever new users head to your Facebook page, they will land on your Timeline rather than a branded landing page. However, we still recommend creating custom tabs that you can direct people to through linking. You are also still permitted to use fangates on tabs when you choose to.
3. Apps and Tabs: The apps and tabs that are currently right below your profile photo, will be displayed right below and to the right of your profile image, including photos and “like” count. Only the first 4 apps will be displayed and you will be able to move them around in the order you choose (except for the photos). The remaining apps will be viewable through the dropdown arrow. This is also the section where your brand’s “like” count shows up. If you’d prefer users not to immediately see how many “likes” your page has, you can remove the tab from the top 4. However, if you have a high number of “likes,” we recommend keeping it visible. You also now have the opportunity to create app icons that are 111×74 pixels (previously, they were 30×30 pixels).
4. Milestone: Timeline gives you the ability to showcase your brand’s entire history through posting milestones. You can create events for when your company was first launched and then highlight each of its milestones throughout the years.
5. Private Messages: With Timeline comes some changes to how brands are permitted to use private messages. Users will now be able to private message brands (an option that can be turned off if desired) and brands can now respond to any user who has private messaged them or written on their wall. While this may mean more manpower needed to pay attention and respond to private messages, it also means there’s a greater chance that disgruntled users will take their complaints away from the public eye and write to you directly.
6. Pinned Posts: Have an important message you want your users to see that keeps getting pushed down due to all the action on your page? You’ll now be able to pin important posts to the top of your timeline. You can pin a story for 7 straight days to force it to remain at the top of your Timeline and allow it to be the first thing users see when they come to your page. Whether it’s a tab you want to show off, a stunning image, or a big company announcement, this feature will be helpful in allowing you to get your message out to the public.
7. Changing Post Dates: In addition to being able to pin posts to the top of your Timeline, you can also change the date on a post, so you can make them appear in your Timeline wherever you choose.
8. Posting Larger Images: If you have an image you want to really show off, star it to double its width on your Timeline. Starring especially vivid photos will make them stand out even more.
9. New “About” Section: The section that used to be somewhat hidden on brand pages is now front and center on Timeline. Since this is where users will be learning what your company does, it’s important to update this section before launching Timeline.
10. New Admin Panel: All of your page’s activity will now be trackable from one spot. A new admin panel will display your page’s notifications,”likes,” messages, insights, and recommendations.
While these 10 pointers will have you well on your way to creating a Timeline for your brand, keep in mind that the advertising model for Facebook is changing along with its new look. We’ll keep you posted as these changes begin to take effect!