It often seems as if the constant changes implemented by Facebook are sent to test us. Regular users balk at the slightest change, complaining about every little difference and demanding a return to the old look.
As far as my personal profile goes I made the switch to the new Timeline layout early on. As a business user, I was initially not impressed with the new changes to the brand timeline page, now… I couldn’t be happier with this most recent change. Timeline for Pages will offer a great many benefits, both for entrepreneurs looking to solidify their brand and established businesses hoping to further integrate their Facebook presence with their brand as a whole.
Today we’re going to take a brief look at some of the changes coming to Facebook, and explain how you can best use the new features for Facebook page Timeline marketing.
A Much-Needed Facelift to Facebook Pages for Business with Your Brand Timeline
While the simple, classic blue and white layout has helped Facebook establish itself as a brand in its own right, this look has never been all that positive for businesses hoping to establish a solid presence on the site. The new Timeline layout – and especially the ability to post a large, imposing cover image at the top of the page – will be a boon for businesses looking to solidify their brand in the social space.
As you may have already seen on personal Facebook pages, it’s easy to get the cover image wrong. Since Timeline first arrived I’ve seen all too many pixellated disasters from shots too small to blow up to cover image size. On the other hand, I’ve seen a good amount of eye-catching cover images from people with a creative streak and (perhaps) too much time on their hands.
While personal Timeline cover images are just a bit of fun, businesses should think long and hard about the image they’re trying to project. Do you want a simple company logo? How about something more creative? You’ll need to come up with something, as you’ll be switched to Timeline automatically by the end of March.
When changing your cover image you should bear in mind that the default image size is 851px by 315px. If you want the image to look clean and polished, make sure to resize it correctly.
Curated History Can Help and Hurt Your Facebook Page Marketing
The Timeline layout allows visitors to your page to browse through your archives much more easily than in the past. While this is a nice little feature it could also dredge up moments you’d prefer to forget. Before switching to Timeline as your default layout you should scroll back through the months and years to remove anything you’re not too proud about.
Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re the PR manager for an SEO firm, and two years ago you bragged about the fact that you’d managed to push a client’s site to #1 in the rankings for a ferociously competitive keyword.
Two years later the site is languishing at the bottom of the second page, making your firm look amateurish by proxy (even though you may no longer perform SEO for the site). In the past this wouldn’t matter so much, as old posts were buried quickly. Now, though, any visitor to your page will be able to call up those old boasts in an instant, and it won’t reflect well on you or your company.
In short, Timeline gives you the opportunity to curate the history of your company, presenting only that information that makes you look good. Without curation, though, every mistake you’ve ever made will come back to haunt you.
Use Featured Content on your Brand Timeline
One of the biggest frustrations of Facebook business pages was that, if you allowed visitors to post directly to your wall, the content you carefully created and timed perfectly to have the largest impact could easily have been buried beneath random comments.
Perhaps the biggest opportunity for Facebook page Timeline marketing comes in the ability to ‘pin’ featured content to the top of your page. If you have a special or time-sensitive announcement, contest or promotion you’d like to be seen you can make it sticky, pinning it in place for up to seven days.
This is a great way to push your important content front and center, and it allows you to keep a call to action posted almost permanently in a prominent position your visitors are sure to notice.
As you can see it’s an exciting time for Facebook marketers. The new Timeline layout will offer unprecedented control and customization to brand marketers. With a little creativity and a dash of savvy you could see your brand awareness and social interaction go through the roof!