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Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Facebook Page Update - Introduction of the Timeline

Facebook Pages allow businesses to build connections with people. They also allow organisations the opportunity to tell their story on Facebook.

There are several reasons for businesses to engage with and maintain a presence on Facebook. Below are just a few:

  • To get found by individuals who may be searching for your companies products or services 
  • Interact with current and potential customers 
  • Create a on line community and awareness for your business 
  • To promote other content that you create, such as webinars, blog articles, or other resources 
  • Encourage and stimulate leads for your business

You may have noticed that Facebook recently introduced a new Timeline feature for personal profiles. This has also now been rolled out for businesses.  Companies now have endless opportunities to refresh their social media strategy. Sounds overwhelming, doesn’t it? Let’s break it down.

Some of the prominent changes include a new layout with cover photo, highlighting features and the ability to edit and update without navigating to a separate page. Timeline will automatically go live for all brand pages Mar. 30

Cover Photo

One of the most exciting features of timeline is the large image featured at the top of the page. Facebook has given a lot of real estate to this image, and businesses should use it as an opportunity to feature something powerful and captivating. Businesses can leverage the image by changing it frequently and giving people a reason to like your page. The possibilities are endless, so start thinking of what you want people to see when they visit your Page.

There are certain restrictions regarding what you can put on your Cover Photo. In a nutshell these restrictions are that cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and 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"

All cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see the image you choose. Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third parties' intellectual property. You may not encourage or incentivize people to upload your cover image to their personal timelines.

Star Posts/Highlight

Once you have posted an update, you have the option to highlight this particular post.  This will make the update into a widescreen format and the post will be treated with a higher importance.

'Pinning' a Post

If you have a post that you  would like prioritized you can “pin” this post so that it is displayed at the top of your newsfeed.  pinning a post to the top of Timeline allows it to precede any other content. A pinned post is distinguished by a small, orange flag. Brands can pin only one item at a time, and the pinned item then exists in two locations — as the top item on the Timeline itself, as well as within its chronological place. Once unpinned (which happens automatically when a new item gets pinned, or the item has been pinned for more than seven days), the post remains in the chronology of Timeline posts, but there is no visual history that it was pinned in the past.


Since you can no longer create a default landing Page, pinning items to the top of the Timeline will become every marketer’s go-to strategy for highlighting new and interesting content. We will begin to see savvy brands design posts specifically to be pinned, whether images, a well-designed call-to-action, a statement about brand value, or a message calling for the user to click one of the tab panels under the cover photo

Admin Panel

The admin panel is a fantastic feature that lets you view all of the recent traffic and notifications through your Facebook page, you can even respond to messages. It’s also really easy to close by clicking the ‘hide’ button in the top right corner. Another key point to note is that this channel will only be visible to the Page admins, non-admins won’t even see the channel.

The admin panel is broken down into 5 sections

  • Notifications
  • Messages
  • New Likes
  • Insights
  • Page Tips 

No Default Landing Page

With the new Timeline Page format, you will no longer be able to set a default landing Page, a favoured feature for many savvy brands. The option was one of the primary ways to control the first (branded) impression a user encountered. Since there are no more tab Pages, there is no way to set one as a default. This will drastically change user impressions when they first visit a brand’s Timeline Page.

You will now need to pay particular attention to all the top messages in the Timeline, as they will be the first objects seen by visiting users. Likewise, Facebook ads for brands will become ever important, as ads will be one of the major ways brands on Facebook can control a user’s experience. Setting up an advertising campaign for a Facebook promotion or new application will be the only way to guide new and clicking users directly to that application (as landing on this Page cannot be achieved by default).

However if you already have a customised 'Welcome Page' or 'Tab' you can still directly link to this from your website icons.

Tab Visibility

The new Timeline format does not have the left-side panel of links, which could include hundreds of different tabs. While applications still exist, they’ll display differently, in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo (please see below image). Photos are set by Facebook to automatically feature as the first element. The width of the Timeline and the space allocated for native apps like Photos means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box as shown in the image below.

For marketers, this major change means that the three above-fold tab apps need to be considered carefully — this will be one of the first things users see when interacting with your brand on Facebook. Brands will want to switch up which tabs are visible “above the fold,” according to current company objectives or project popularity. A good Page analytics tool will be useful for determining which tab to promote on a day-to-day basis.

If you are still bit unsure how this works then please watch the above 'Introducing Timeline - A new kind of profile' video.

Private Messages Between Brands and Users

Finally, brands will be able to send and receive private messages with users. This allows for much deeper consumer interaction, and will also enable Page managers to take extended customer enquiries off the Timeline and into a private message.

Well now it's time for your to check out your Facebook Page! Have fun exploring all of its new features and if you get stuck at any point or would like some more information then give Nutcracker a call on 01384 455 141 or send us an email by clicking HERE.

Source: Facebook, Hubspot, Mashable

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