Facebook Timeline Guide for Business Pages – Part 2 of 2

Bea Halstead - March 14, 2012

Continued from the article Facebook Timeline Guide for Business Pages, these recommendations are for preparing your brand for the new Facebook Page design.   Making sure you understand the new ways fans will experience your brand, and what steps to take to optimize your Timeline for release will ensure you are confident when rolling out the new Timeline to the public.  Spending time checking privacy settings, getting familiar with the new admin tools, and deciding how to leverage new features aid in building a successful strategy for your new Facebook Page.

Different User Experience – Spend some time becoming familiar with the new user experience with Timeline.  A default landing page will no longer be available for customized tabs or apps, all users will first experience the Timeline for a brand.  Four main images below the header will be how the tabs/apps are accessed.  There are static containers/boxes in the right column of the Page – below the header – with content based on the friends of fan’s unique interaction with your brand (likes, comments, check-ins).  The first box tells the user how many and who of their friends have been active on the Page and the second box is a collection posts from everyone that has interacted with your brand in Facebook (i.e. comments and tags).  This third container can be hidden from view via the management options. Once disabled, the posts will be distributed chronologically through the timeline instead of in that static box.  When a user is logged out of Facebook, the first static box on the right changes to show “Also On: [company website link]”.   This is great for when the Facebook page is found via search results, by offering anyone that isn’t a Facebook user a path to your main website.

Cover Image is a Must – You will need to design a banner image that is unique to your brand and will be something recognizable that fans will respond to.  Facebook wants to stress the importance of the experience, not being sales focused, but authentic and has provided guidelines for what the images can contain.  According to Facebook, the image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide and the cover image may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Take note that the image header disappears once a user scrolls past it and a small navigation bar becomes available and includes the profile thumbnail and links to different features on the page like apps and highlighted posts.  This affects the visual brand presence when diving deeper into the Timeline, so highlighting image/video focused posts and adding company milestones should be considered to enhance exposure.

Review Post History – Use the activity log to review old posts from your timeline to determine what to hide, highlight, star, or pin.   You will want to make sure any posts that might have been a negative community experience are repressed when publishing so as not to incite a new conflict once the post is re-revealed in the page.  You can hide or delete a post, but by deleting the post you are removing it permanently form the page.  To hide a post, you hover over the right corner of the post to view the pencil icon and select the option to hide it. You can always unhide posts from the activity log.

Develop a Company Story – Determine what milestones to add to your brand’s timeline to create a unique company story.  This story should be similar to your existing brand voice and include images for each important event highlighted.  Adding these milestones helps to humanize your brand and shape the initial experience, so spend time organizing and building posts to reflect your company in a way that is intriguing to the user by including fun facts and photos about the company’s history.  Also, you can no longer automatically direct a user to a welcome tab with your company information; however, you will be able to link directly to the tab’s unique URL in posts and campaigns.  You can arrange which three tabs are viewed in the header area with the dropdown arrow.  The photos tab is static and will always populate in the first tab location.

New Page Management Tools – Admin panel is the new hub for most of the page management features and links.  From the panel you can see the most recent fan activity, likes on the page, and private messages.  Access to the page settings and privacy settings are within the dropdown navigation in the upper right corner of the panel.  You will also notice a message area where private messages from any visitor to your Page will appear.  Private messages can be an excellent customer service tool. However if you aren’t going to utilize the feature it can be deactivated in the manage permissions menu.  Another new feature Page managers should use is the Likes Insights tab, where upon clicking it on any Pages tab you can view basic insights for the audience activity.  Consider reviewing competitor Pages to better understand what they are doing to entice fan activity.

Facebook Pages will adapt how a consumer learns about your brand.  Take time to understand the new feature’s so you can build campaign strategies around them.  Audit what you have shared in the past, and discover what historical data can be created to enhance your brand awareness.  Utilize the management tools to connect with your audience, and decide if private messaging will be activated.  Focus on getting your images designed before the page is converted.  Using the preview function you will be able to identify which images will require the most attention.

If you need help developing your page or determining what strategy to implement going forward, then give us a call at 561-620-9682 or e-mail us.

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