USING FACEBOOK TIMELINE FOR BRAND AND BUISNESS PAGES
With the announcement of Timeline for Brands from Facebook this month, there will be a big change coming for your brand. Before brands were able to set a custom default landing page, this was to make sure the consumers would see what you wanted them to see and forcing them to “LIKE” your page to get past the landing page. This is now all out the window. Time to start thinking outside of the box with Timeline for Brands.
With the new format you will be getting huge real-estate on the very top of your page. This image is 850×315 pixels. This will be the first thing a new/returning customer will see. This sets the basis for what the customer can expect from your company and decide whether you have put in the time and effort to make their experience enjoyable. Now remember that the new Cover Photo does have some guidelines. The Cover Photo itself cannot include the following:
– Price & Purchase Information
– Contact Information or anything that should be placed in the “About” section of your Facebook Page
– Calls to Action (i.e. “Like Us Today” & “Like Us to Join”)
– References to Facebook Terms & Actions (i.e. Cannot contain “Like” or “Share”)
These are very important for your brand to remember so make sure you read the guidelines.
Above the Fold
About Section for companies will include space for you to input 150 characters to explain what your company is and what you do. For Local Businesses this will be the spot for your address, category and phone number. Your “About” Bio will be limited to the “About” page that you can click on from your main Facebook Page.
Photos Tab will be next to the About Section. This will be a native application from Facebook and is in a fixed position. You cannot move this application. The most important thing to remember is that it will show a thumbnail of the most recent photo uploaded. You can use this in one of two ways. The first way is use it as a “Call to Action” photo. With the other applications on your Facebook page next to this, you can use it to point and tell your customers what to do. The second way is to keep it updated with “Fresh” new photos that are going to show what you want it to show.
Maps is an application that has exclusive use, which means it is only available to Places Pages. Local businesses can take advantage of this as they can put it in their 3 main applications that show up on their page without even have to click anything. It is a Native Application that Facebook automatically puts on Local Business Facebook Pages.
Custom Applications are still going to be an important part of your Facebook page still. You will not be able to set it as a default landing page, but you can make the Applications more visible to your visitors. With the option of setting up 3 Applications after the Photos Application with bigger Application Tabs you will be able to promote them more. The Custom Applications tabs are 110×74 pixels. Now you just don’t want to put a picture on these with no text. You want to put a picture that has to do with what you want the visitor to do. This will be very important to realize that you can update these as much as you want. Change the custom applications tab with pictures that you will be able to re-brand what your current promotions are. Use these for Special Offers and Deals if you want to do that, or something that is interactive to gain repeat visitors and followers.
The biggest thing is that there are no landing pages for the visitor to be ‘forced’ to like your page. This will distinguish which brands are going to survive in the Timeline for Brands changeover. You will need to stay active on Facebook, engage your visitors and make your new page desirable and updated using all the above features.
Running a Facebook Contest/Ad Campaign with the new custom applications/tabs you will be able to link a potential visitor directly to that application. With the Custom Applications you are still able to “fan gate” the content. Fan Gate means that you will be able to have 2 different things of content for the same Application. One will be for fans (already Like your page) and the other will be for non-fans (they do not already Like your page). This is very key to you and your brand. You want to keep the “Special Offer” only available to fans of your page. No sense in making it for everyone to see and to not Like your Page.
The Visitor experience is also going to change for the Custom Applications. The old Facebook pages would only let you have a 520 pixel width. The new timeline layout will be 810 pixel width. This means you will be able to have more space for your custom content and your visitor will have a more overall experience with the new added space, if you utilize it correctly. Don’t worry if you already spent money on old custom applications, they will all work on the new Timeline for Brands layout. They will be just centered in the middle of the new 810 pixel wide viewing area.
Likes have also changed for the visitor and admins alike. Competitive Analysis will be for EVERYONE. You do not need to be an Admin and you do not need to be a Fan. These statistics will be able to be viewed by EVERYONE. With the timeline you will be able to see what your competitors are doing. You can click through their “Likes” statistics and see which week was very engaging for them. Then on the timeline itself you will be able to see what they were doing to be so engaging with their fans.
Pin & Sticky is also a new feature on the visitor experience. If you are familiar with online forums you will know what I’m talking about. If not, what you will be able to do is “Pin” or “Sticky” an important post that will always be at the very top of your page. The “Pin” or “Sticky” only lasts 7 days. So this is Facebook’s way of governing that brands are keeping their pages up-to-date. You can go back and “Re-Pin” or “Re-Sticky” that same post. But you will have to go back in the Timeline and find it again. This will stay at the very top no matter how much you post for those 7 days.
That ends our blog post, I hope you have a better understanding of the new Timeline for Brands format. We look forward to giving you more blogs in the future!
– Ian Olson