Timeline for Brands: What’s Changing & Best Practices

Thursday, March 22, 2012

I recently attended a webinar entitles “Timeline for Brands: How to Make the Switch,” which highlighted the changes Facebook is rolling out with the new Timeline format for company pages. The new format will enable brands to tell their story through Facebook and interact more organically with customers.

Facebook will automatically transfer all brand pages to the Timeline format on March 30th, so it’s important to make sure you are ready!  Here are some of the biggest changes Facebook has introduced, as well as ways to use them to your advantage:

Page Layout

Cover Photos: Timeline features a large graphic (850 x 315 pixels) at the top of the page. This is an opportunity to creatively brand your page. You should change your cover photo often, but keep your profile picture the same to remain consistent. Keep in mind that Facebook prohibits any pricing or contact information, calls to action, and references to Facebook such as “Like our page.” Also, once a user scrolls down your page the cover photo will roll up and disappear, so be sure to spread branding throughout your entire page by utilizing your profile picture and highlighted posts (see below).

Custom Apps: All custom apps are now featured in small boxes under the cover photo, with a drop down menu for any apps that are not shown. These boxes can be moved around, so you are able to change which three are featured next to the photos box. The pictures in these squares can be customized in the admin panel, allowing further branding opportunities.

Custom Landing Tabs: Another big change is that pages can no longer have custom landing tabs. Previously, brands used this as a type of “fan-gate” that prevented visitors from accessing content unless they liked the page. Now, all visitors will go directly to the brand’s Timeline. However, brands are able to set up apps so that they are only accessible to those who like the page.

Page Content

Milestones Feature: Brands can populate their page with content from the past. Tell your company’s story by taking page visitors through its history. Add important milestones in your company’s past, and be sure to include pictures and video.

More Control Over Posts: Brands will have more control over their page content. Previously, posts by anyone other than the company showed up on the brand’s wall, which could lead to a cluttered look. Now, those posts are all contained in one box.

Companies can highlight an important post by clicking the star icon in the top right of the post. Highlighted posts span both columns in Timeline.

Another way to emphasize an important post is to “pin it” to the top of the Timeline. By clicking the pencil icon in the top right of the post and selecting “pin to top”, it will stay at the top of your Timeline for seven days. You can also hide or delete posts using the pencil icon. This can be used to highlight a contest or promotion you are running.

Preparing Your Timeline

As you prepare your timeline for launch, any changes you make can be previewed before you take it live. This way, you can spend time populating your page with new content and launch the new Timeline format when you are ready (as long as it’s before March 30th).

Be sure to “like” Launch Marketing on Facebook and check out how we have used Timeline!

Posted by: Kathryn Drake Filed under: blog
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