Facebook Timeline for Pages: What You Should Know

March 5, 2012

in Uncategorized

So, the new Facebook Pages for brands, businesses, and organizations with the love-it-or-hate love-it Timeline feature was announced last week and the permanent change is imminently upon us. For existing Facebook Pages, there is a preview and voluntary transition period to the new layout between now and March 29, 2012 and on March 30, 2012, all Pages will be migrated over.

As a small business owner or artist, you might be wondering what the new features are and how you can take advantage of them now to increase your visibility and reach among potential fans (ie. getting more “Likes”). We’re here to help! Many of the new Pages features will be allow you to create a cohesive and memorable brand experience for your users visiting your Page.

Cover Photo: The Power of a Good First Impression

One of the most noticeable new features of Pages is the Cover Photo. Think of it like the cover of your portfolio or album art. This your chance to make a killer first impression on users visiting your Page.  You want to use a photo or even a collage that represents who you are and what you are about so that you can make an instant connection with your fans.

One thing to keep in mind is how the Cover Photo differs from your Profile Photo. The Profile Photo is essentially your avatar that represents you throughout Facebook. For example, when you comment on users’ personal profiles or other Pages, your Profile Photo is what will appear. The Cover Photo is only seen when users visit your Page.

Note: Check out Facebook’s Terms of Use for Pages. Facebook asks you not to use Cover Photos that include price or purchase information, contact information (that is what your About & Info sections are for!), or references to Facebook features (such as “Like”).

Milestones: Tell a Story with your Timeline

With the new Timeline feature, Facebook users have the ability to see how your business or artwork has developed and changed over time at their fingertips. Use this to your advantage by cleaning up your old posts and adding important events or milestones to your Timeline.

Milestones go back in time beyond the date when your Page was created, so use milestones to call attention to important events that have contributed to the success of your business or been instrumental in the development of your artwork. For example, create a milestone for when your business was founded or you started creating art. You can also create a milestone that commemorates the first dollar spent; the digital equivalent to the dollar in the picture frame in a brick-and-mortar store.  As an artist, you can showcase historically significant gallery events or concerts, ie. your first big break into the scene.
You can also associate photos with milestones, so make the most of your milestones by including a relevant and interesting photo so fans can visually connect with your story.

Extras: Other New Features

Pinned and Starred Posts: Take advantage of the new feature allowing you to pin posts to the top of your timeline for seven days to keep important updates visible so fans don’t miss them. This is a perfect way to transition from the “Landing Tab” in the old Facebook Pages layout. This is the first substantive content your fans will see from you – make it count! Also, starring posts allows posts to show up fullscreen (across both columns) so use it for posts you want to draw attention to on your timeline. This is great for smaller milestone events or announcements.
Custom View/App Icons: If you plan on keeping some of your static HTML pages when you switch over to the new Pages layout, be sure to take some time to create a custom icon for them when they show up in the views/apps area under the Cover Photo. Having custom icons will contribute to the overall cohesiveness of your Page. You can literally make these icons look anyway you choose (except they cannot be copyrighted by another person and they cannot contain indecent images) – get creative!

So, are you looking forward to the new Timeline for Pages? Dreading switching over? Want even more information on the new Facebook Pages and tips for how to use it effectively? Sign up for Behind the Scenes, our weekly newsletter, to get more details on what this new feature will mean for your page!

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Major Announcement!

The newest member of our The Art of Social Media guides will be released later this month! The Art of Facebook will be filled with information and suggestions, created and curated exclusively for artists and arts organizations. We are also working furiously to include up-to-date information about the new Timeline feature!

Worried about getting your page switched over before March 30, 2012? Sign up now to get notified as soon as The Art of Facebook is released!

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