Facebook Timeline Has Begun

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As you probably already know, or maybe are just noticing, changes for your brand’s Facebook page have just rolled out as of this past Friday, March 30th.  All Facebook brand pages have now been converted to the Timeline layout that most of us have seen on many of our friends’ personal pages.  With this conversion come many changes your company should be aware of; there are pros and cons.

First, notice that the images and application thumbnails have been resized so these graphics should be updated to fit the new dimensions; new icons may be needed. The Timeline cover photo should be 851 x 315 pixels, while the new application tab thumbnails are 111×74 pixels.  I’m sure the Graphic Designers Association (if there is one) must have lobbied for this change.

In designing your cover photo, be aware that it CANNOT contain any links, deals or any call to action.  Doing so could result in a visit from the Facebook Police.  The ability to select a default landing page is also no longer an option; so keep this in mind when creating the cover photo.  Get creative, but follow the rules.

Another disappearing feature is the tab column formerly displayed on the left of the page.  Now you’ll notice only 3 application tabs are displayed at the bottom of the cover photo, with a dropdown menu to access the rest.  Choose carefully which ones are displayed and focus on the most important applications for your brand and its message.  It may be worth looking into using a page analytics tool to help determine the top 3.

A new feature that will help overcome some of the above restrictions is the ability to “pin” a post.  By pinning a certain post, it will remain at the top of the Timeline for up to 7 days, at which point it will automatically become “unpinned”.  Use this to showcase events, contests, important information and any call to actions that need featured.  Think of this as the solution to the lost landing page.

One more new feature is the ability for private messages to be sent between brands and users.  Although brands cannot initiate the conversation, they can respond to users whom prefer communicating privately rather than wall posting.  This is a great feature for personalizing conversation with customers, handling customer service issues in a private setting and reducing clutter on the Timeline wall.

In summary, take the time to make necessary updates and adapt to the Timeline layout.  Obviously there are a few nice features that go away, but with that come opportunities.  The Timeline is a great way to tell your company’s story, and with a little creativity, can be used to further engage your customers and showcase the company’s brand.