So it’s happened. Facebook has changed things AGAIN. To a mixture of cheers and sneers we’ve seen personal profiles transformed into an image rich Timeline format. It was inevitable that Facebook would roll this out to company and brand pages at some point. Many brands have embraced the change already, turning their Pages into a slick representation of their brand with a much more attractive layout than before (www.facebook.com/cocacola and www.facebook.com/redbull ).
But of course, there has been the usual amount of moaning about the new design and some of the functionality of the old style layout has been lost. The biggest victim has been the app that creates a default landing tab offering benefits only accessible when a visitor “Likes” the page (if you have spent a large amount of your marketing budget setting this up, it must be incredibly frustrating!). As a further restriction, the new cover photo cannot entice people to “Like” the page by displaying calls to action or references to “Like this Page”, offer discounts or provide contact information such as a web address.
However, we really like:
- A large cover photo across the top - it’s like a magazine cover, much better for branding!
- Certain posts are “Sticky” so they stay at the top of the stream - great for keeping key messages in eye sight
- Greater brand interaction, which after all, is what it’s all about!
- Better advertising opportunities
- More information and interesting news in different formats replacing the sometimes boring looking wall posts.
For small to medium sized businesses it’s going to be harder to stand out against those big brands. Facebook is continually striving to become more content based, and businesses need to be more and more creative in how they come up with content. Timeline is yet another way to combat the boring marketing messages we see over and over again and make interaction with customers more genuine and useful.
We've embraced the new time line, here's what we've done and some top tips:
It’s quite difficult to miss the new cover photo and it is possibly one of the nicest features that has been added. It adds an additional visual element to your page which makes it more personal to your brand or business. Pick something that makes your page stand out, a photo or banner that describes your business well. There are a few restrictions though when choosing your cover photo. Your Timeline cover photo dimensions are 850 x 315 pixels so a landscape picture will work best. And remember, you can’t use your cover photo to advertise, promote or display contact information. For more details click here https://www.facebook.com/help/276329115767498/
You can now also make a post more prominent in the Timeline. If you have a post or image that you want to stand out, click on the star in the top right hand corner of the post and it will expand across the two sides. You can also make that post ‘pin’ to the top of your timeline. This gives you much more control over the layout of your page rather than the rigid list format we saw in the old version.
And most importantly, be prepared! Use the Preview option to make sure your Page looks fantastic before the rollout at the end of the month. And keep posting. With the new Timeline it is much more obvious if your page has not been updated for a while.
22nd March 2012 update: If you are running out of time and would like us to update your Page for you, please contact us.