If you are not aware, Facebook will be replacing all the Pages with the Timeline view. After March 30th, whether you like it or not, the timeline view switch will be permanent and you will have to utilize it for all your business activities. The new Timeline layout allows you to market and advertise your brand better than original pages and adds an opportunity to boost engagement with your fans. The change will bring more work for Facebook page administrators initially because the preparation of the pages will take some time and hard work to get just right, but we’ll walk you through the process to make it easier. Here’s what you need to know to create the best Facebook Timeline Pages.
Tip 1. Get Familiar with the Timeline Layout
Before you panic about changing to the new Timeline format and not being able to change back, you should know that you can edit and design your new Timeline page in the Admin mode (not visible to the public) and launch it only when it is ready, or until March 30th. During this time, your current fan page will remain active until you publish your Timeline page.
To activate your Timeline preview and begin playing around with the new interface, go to the Timeline for Pages Preview Manager or use the Preview button in the header of your current Facebook Page. When you click the Preview button to start the upgrade, look for the Start Tourtab. It will take you step by step through the process of setting up your new Timeline.
Tip 2. Design Your Cover
The first, and most important step of the setup is creating your cover. The cover is something you want to put some time and thought into. The larger than life banner is the first thing visitors see when they open your brand page, so make sure it represents what your organization is all about. The banner spreads all the way across your page at a giant 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels tall, so choose images that are no smaller than 399 pixels wide. They should be visually stunning and high resolution for the best results. If you aren’t able to find the right image or don’t want to go through the process, there are many pre-made and customizable Facebook cover options like the one I used below.
Tip 3. Add Your Profile Pictures
The profile picture cube will now be 180 x 180 pixels and will appear in news feeds at 30 x 30 pixels. Check your image to be sure that it looks good in the Timeline cover as well as the smaller thumbnail in the news feed.
Tip 4. Cover Guidelines
There are certain guidelines to be taken into consideration as you start to put together your graphic display for your cover.
“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”
That means you aren’t allowed to display calls to action of any kind. Listing product pricing or promotions of a certain % off, directing visitors to your website for downloadable material, or listing contact info or website address in your cover are strictly prohibited.
Tip 5. Admin Panel
Some of the best features added to the new pages will be the Admin panel and the option to receive messages. For businesses that market to consumers, this feature will be particularly useful because it allows more personal communication with individual customers. It can help improve customer service by minimizing customers blasting your Facebook page with complaints and comments before they have given customer service a chance to fix it.
The Admin panel is now the dashboard for your Timeline. Similar to a blog dashboard, you can share something on your wall or communicate with fans from one convenient place. In the Messages section, you’ll see any message sent to you from page visitors and will be able to respond to them directly from the dashboard. If you prefer to respond privately to messages sent to you, that’s an option in the messages section as well. If you prefer not to allow messages, simply uncheck the message option box in your Admin settings. The bottom half of the Admin panel will show your site stats such as how many new likes your page has and insights to the demographics of the people who like your page.
Tip 6. Inserting Images and Feature Posts
Many brands use images and videos as ways of advertising or educating consumers about their product. They will now be displayed more prominently in the Timeline to highlight or emphasize your posts. Just like the Highlight feature in the personal Timeline, you can also feature or highlight a post in Facebook Pages. Just click the Star icon in the top right corner of a post to make it the feature post. It will now display across the Timeline in prominent view.
Tip 7. Pin It!
If there’s a certain event or feature article you want to keep at the top of your feed, you can Pin It to the top of your Timeline for up to a week. Simply hover over the top right corner of your post and click on the Pencilicon. When the drop down menu opens, select Pin To Top.
Tip 8. Preview Your Post Before Making It Live
In the same drop-down menu, there’s also an option to preview your post before making it live. Simply write your post and select the Hide From Page tab. The ability to edit your post in preview mode can be handy for catching anything that needs to be changed before it reaches the public or for creating posts for a future launch or promotion. The post will display on your Timeline, but only you will be able to see it. You can change it at any time by clicking it again and choosing another viewing option.
Tip 9. Page Popularity
Under your Timeline cover will be a row of tiles for the apps where you will find the Likes box. Clicking on the Likes box will display how many likes your brand page has, the demographics of the viewers, and the trending topics chart. A controversial part about this feature is that you can go to a competitor’s page and see their stats in their Likes box tile because it’s visible on all Timeline pages, not just your own. Companies may be able to hide that by moving it beyond the top 12 apps that can be viewed by the public. The downside of doing that is you’re also hiding the popularity of your page.
Tip 10. Creating a History-rich Timeline
Since there’s no longer an app landing page option, you will want to make your Timeline history-rich with as much information about your brand as possible. Using the Milestones feature would be a great way to display your founding date, reaching a target number of customers, or big accomplishments like acquisitions. In the Status box, click on the Milestone tab. Enter in the event information and upload a photo that represents the event. Click save, and it’s preserved in your Facebook history.
I hope you feel more equipped to begin your Timeline Pages journey with all you have learned! Keep the cover guidelines in mind and use the features we highlighted to make your timeline something you are proud of. Stay tuned for an article on Facebook Offers, the next feature set to roll out of the Facebook production room. Let us know what you want to learn more about by leaving a comment!