In September of 2011 Facebook introduced Facebook Timeline for it’s users which meant that it was only logical Facebook Pages would also transition into the timeline mix. Well that time as come and if you are the owner (or admin) of a Facebook Page you have probably noticed something like this over the last couple of days when you were getting ready to make that next engaging post to share with all of your fans.
The most important point here is March 30. This gives all of you small businesses, agencies, and hobbyist roughly 1 month to prepare yourself for the Facebook for Timeline pages. While i’m sure there are some of you who may moan and groan about the changes, I have to admit that I’ve been looking forward to this change since the announcement of timeline.
So what’s changing and what do you need to know:
This has been long overdue but say goodbye to those Skyscraper like Fanpage photos where designers had to consider where the logo would fit on so it appeared nicely when you made a post. With the cover photo (FYI Cover Images need to be at least 399 pixels in length), brands can now take advantage of letting those creative juices flow to really show off your brand with great visual appeal. I love the flexibility that the cover photo brings to Facebook Timeline with the bigger photos as brands can use the photo cover to promote new product releases (like the Tide example below), event messaging (concert listings, sporting events), and eye popping Tourism shots.
Thinking of posting a sale with your cover photo. Think again, here’s a quick list of what you cannot include in your cover photo:
- Your cover photo should not be mostly Text-Based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright
- Pricing and purchase information such as ‘today only 50% off” or “Print this coupon from our website”
- Contact details, such has email address, website address, or location which is intended to be used in the about section of your Fan Page
- The incentive to have users share or like your post or page, contest, promotion, or any other Facebook features.
- Call’s to action, such as “Download now” and “Call Today”
Here’s an example from Tide who are using the photo cover to promote their Tide Pods Product.
Wanna know more about Tide Pods Please watch below:
Goodbye Sidebar Navigation, Hello Top Bar Navigation
Let’s face it, we have all ‘liked’ at least one fan page and the sidebar navigation has been a painful experience for users and owners who have invested in the Tabs. Well no more, these new Timeline pages will provide page owners with the opportunity to highlight (to a maximum of 12 apps) what they feel are important to their fans with the new horizontal navigation bar. These apps can include a storefront, photos, product videos, and contest.
Walmart Example includes photos, local Walmart Locations, Feedback, Meal Solutions, Etc.
Star and Pin (I mean Pencil)
Of all the new features coming with the Fanpage Timeline update, this will be by far the most applauded by Fan page owners. Just as website owners struggle with SEO, Fan page owners have had to deal with making a post hoping that their fans would see if before it gets pushed down their wall. Well no more, with the new changes, you can now Pencil (or pin it…enter Pinterest pun here) your cover story to the top of your wall so it can be seen for users whether they visit your page as soon as you make a post or even days later. This will be welcome for those who are posting the launch of new products, notices on service interruptions, testimonials from fans, or just plan questions when looking for input.
Have something really important to tell your fans, now you can Star a post which makes the post take up your entire timeline. Again, this is great for product launches, contest launches, or your video content as per below.
Here’s an example where Livestrong Starred a video from a Young Adult Cancer Survivor.
Under the Hood
While the changes above are all for shell of your Fan page, Facebook didn’t forget about the Admin panels with this announcement. A new admin panel will allow community managers to manage their page in one place with the dashboard for admins. The new dashboard will allow Admins to respond to wall post directly from the admin panel while you are viewing your latest insights.
New Admin Panel Preview:
If the star and pencil features didn’t get you all tingly as a Fan page owner, the newly added Private response feature should really make you jump out of your seat, bed, couch, or wherever you consumer Facebook. “Can I respond to individuals from my Fan page?” has certainly been one of the most often asked FAQ regarding Facebook pages this Digital Marketing Director as received over the last couple of years. Well now you can, the new admin panel provides admins with the opportunity to respond to anyone you may wish to speak with.
As a user and a Fan Page owner (www.facebook.com/paynesbrain) I’m excited about these changes and the opportunities that will present itself for the clients I work with.
As always, please use my page, or the comments section below to leave any examples you want to share or feedback you may have regarding this post.
I’m also in need of a cover photo for my Fan Page so suggestions are welcomed.