Timeline For Facebook Pages Tells Your Story

There’s something new to learn in the world of social media. At the end of March Facebook will convert all Pages to their Timeline layout. Some of you may find yourselves somewhat perplexed, others not so thrilled and then there are those who are psyched! I’m one of those and so are some of my clients.

Your Facebook page is now more focused on your story.  People may be spending more time reading your Timeline rather than just coming to your page to ask a question. Therefore, the more visually engaging you can make your Timeline, the better.

The Cover Photo:

The first thing to take notice of is the cover photo. Facebook’s cover photo brings more visuals to your page and allows you to showcase something that is special to your brand. The image must be a minimum of 399 pixels across to be used as the cover photo. It may be you want to showcase your clients, your logo or your store front, for example.  You just can’t have a call to action. You see, the Facebook cover is replacing those fancy landing pages many companies were showcasing. Most had a call to action such as asking viewers to “like” their page or directing all to a website to begin shopping. Not anymore.

You have to “pay to play”.  If you want to have a specific sales pitch you must pay for advertising or embed it in an application.  If you do provide any sales action request on your cover photo Facebook has the ability to remove your page and you will lose all of the information you have collected over the life of the page. This is why some are not thrilled with the new pages. But you have to remember what Facebook was originally designed to be, a social channel allowing us to be more “social”. You need to recognize your clientele, build a following and establish a reputation. Be engaging!

The profile picture size has been changed to 180 pixels by 180 pixels. It appears next to every post in the news feed as a picture. This picture is best used for your logo or other eye-catching picture that is associated with your brand. It should not have a lot of words.

A word of advice, be sure your “about” information is strong and your website is prominently noted. I have added mine to the beginning of my “about” description. Be sure to have all your contact information listed.

Highlighting and Pinning:

We’re not talking about your next visit to the beauty salon. We’re talking about predominately placing posts (say that 10 times fast).  If your company hosts an event every year and you want to highlight the last one to remind everyone about it just click the star icon in the upper right of a post and your post will span all the way across the Timeline.  See How To Go Social’s Facebook page for an example

If you want this to be the first thing people see when they come to your page you can “pin” it and it will be relocated there. To do this, click the pencil icon in the upper right of the post and select Pin to Top.

We all have something we are proud of and want to share. The new Timeline allows you to do that and showcase it. It’s called Milestones. Milestones allows you to tell people about big events in the life of your brand or company.  All you need to do is click on the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and select “Milestone”. Then fill out the information as shown below.

The Applications:

One of the biggest changes is the removal of the default landing tab, as we mentioned earlier. However, applications are still available and if you have created a custom landing page or added any other special application, it hasn’t disappeared.

You now have 12 applications you can showcase and only the four applications that you move to the top row will appear. You cannot change the position of the photos, so technically you only have three applications that you have control over in that top row.

Many people are upset over the disappearance of the default landing tab, but the new app buttons give us an opportunity to be creative. You can change the photo that appears for the app and you can rename the app to give a call to action.

The Admin Panel:

You can now access all insights and management tools by clicking on the Admin Panel in the upper right corner.

You will still be able to see the old-style Page Dashboard if you click the Manage drop-down menu and then Edit Page.

From the Admin Page, you can also invite your email contacts, invite friends, share your page and create an ad from the Build Audience drop-down menu.

Use the Build Audience drop-down menu to access several options on getting the word out about your page.

Facebook has given us lots of options to learn more about the new page design from the Help drop-down menu.

One thing of interest, you can request a name change for your page now and easily. This name change is the title of your page, not the custom URL you may have set for your page. This is a great opportunity for anyone who has re-thought their branding or just needs to change the page name.

Pages will also have the ability to receive messages from fans. The Message feature can be turned on or off from the Manage Permissions area of the Admin Dashboard. What a great way to better serve your customers!

Enable the Message button from the Manage Permissions area.

The Message button is enabled by default so if you want to disable it, you will have to uncheck the box. Messages can only be initiated by a fan—they cannot be initiated by the page to a fan. The page can then  reply to the message sent.

To get a better idea of what the new layout looks like please take some time to see How To Go Social’s Facebook page for a visual. While you’re there, please “like” us and say “hey”.

Please, let us know if you have any questions or thoughts on Timeline. Just post them here on our blog, on Facebook, or tweet them to us.

Thanks so much!

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