The much awaited Facebook timeline for brands is coming. On March 30, whether you like it or not, your organization’s Facebook page will convert to the new timeline format. Here’s what’s new:
- It’s All About the Timeline. Facebook says the big, huge deal is the timeline. Facebook will automatically show a timeline on the right side of your page that shows previous months and years. Your fans will be able to click on a month or year and see updates and posts from that time period. Here’s the HUGE DEAL: you can customize the timeline to show events in your organization’s history pre-Facebook. For example, the New York Times’ timeline goes all the way to the 1800s!
- Brand Image. Your new brand page will have a large cover photo at the top of the page. Instead of a tiny logo and a few photos, your brand page can and will feature a large branding image that you can design yourself. Coca-Cola’s brand image has images from their current advertising campaign, showing happy people of course.
- Posts and Conversations. The rest of the page is divided into 2 columns to represent the passage of time AND separate your posts from conversations and messages. In the right column, you’ll see messages to your company, posts about you, etc.
- No More Left Navigation. Many brand pages had multiple tabs along the left rail for their various apps like photos, videos, donation, yada, yada. In the new timeline page, your top 4 tabs will be visible; visitors will have to click to see all of your apps.
- Messages Between Brands and Users. Finally! Brands and their fans can now have private conversations!
- Featured Content. The old Facebook pages displayed all posts equally — you had an image, a title and a blurb. The new timeline page lets you feature content at the top of the page. Featured content is bigger and takes up 2 columns for added impact.
So how can you prepare for the new Facebook timeline? Here are our recommendations:
- Preview your new Facebook page NOW. Don’t wait until March 29 to figure out what your new page will look like. Start looking at it now and making adjustments.
- Create a cover photo that communicates your brand. Use the period between now and March 30 to create the image and test it. You may need to make some adjustments. You can test how your cover photo looks by clicking the preview tab at the top of your page. BTW, only admins can see the preview.
- Review your Facebook strategy. What kinds of posts will you feature? Which apps will be prominent? How will you communicate with your fans?
- Start featuring posts. Highlight recent posts by hovering over the right hand corner of the post and clicking on the star. You can also remove it by clicking on the star. If you want to promote a past post, you can actually move it up by hovering on the right hand corner of the post, clicking on the pencil tab in and selecting pin to top.
- Check your insights page regularly. As a marketer, the Facebook insights leave me wanting for more, but there is more and better data now available, including who recently “liked” the page and recent comments.
Are you ready for the new Facebook timeline pages? What’s your strategy for taking advantage of the new format and features?