The Essential Guide to the New Facebook Timeline
The new Facebook Timeline layout for individual Facebook profile pages was rolled out a few months ago. This was a totally new way of presenting your entire life chronologically on Facebook - from your birth date to present day, taking in all of life's milestones along the way.
Facebook has announced that this design will roll out to all Facebook brand and business pages from March 31st.
Essentially the Brand Timeline will tell your brand’s story and engage with customers
Essentially the Brand Timeline will look much the same as the personal Facebook pages. It will allow you to tell your brand’s story chronologically and offers much greater scope to make your brand more personable. The new format is designed to create a level playing field for brands and businesses; everyone on Timeline will now have to present their page using this format.
How can you make your business stand out from the crowd?
Positive action and a bit of forward planning will mean that you can work out exactly what it is you need to have in place for the switch on March 31st. By considering each of the changes that are coming, you can plan how to use the Timeline format to tell your brand or business story, engage with customers and users and make your business catch the eye as well as the clicks!
What will the new Timeline Format look like?
The biggest change in the new format happens ‘above the fold’ or at the point where you arrive on a company’s Facebook page. The first thing people will see when landing on your page is a large banner Cover Photo running right across the screen with a smaller fixed Profile Image overlapping it at the bottom left.
The Cover Photo
This redesign provides a much larger area than the previous Profile Picture, offering a visually impactful image to showcase your brand at its best. The image area now measures a massive 850 by 315 pixels. For those not in the know about the power of the pixel, let’s just say this is something which has creatives everywhere very excited.
The Cover Photo is all about creating a compelling image that represents your brand or business.
A word of warning about this: Facebook actually forbids the Cover Photo to be anything other than a poster or artwork; you are not allowed to have any calls to action, price or purchase information, contact info or references to Facebook features such as “Like” or “Share”. It is all about the image!
The Profile Image
The Profile Image is a much smaller fixed image at 180 x 180 pixels. Overlapping the Cover Photo, the Profile Image is ideally suited for your company logo. It is also worth noting that once users begin to scroll down the Timeline, they will lose sight of the large Cover Photo. It is the Profile Image which users will see appearing beside every post in the news feed of your Timeline.
The About Section
The "About" Section provides a succinct 150 characters in which to sum up the essence of your business or brand and to encourage page visitors to delve into the rest of your site.
Be Creative with your Custom Pages
The new Facebook Timeline has levelled the playing fields significantly, making it more important than ever to find innovative ways of differentiating your business. Eyekiller sees a real opportunity to stand out by using the Custom Pages, which now find themselves placed directly below the attention-grabbing Cover Image banner beside the About Section. There are four custom page links immediately visible on your Timeline page. The Photos page is the first of these four and cannot be changed. The other three, however, can be strategically customised and this is where a little innovation can go a long way.
Make the most of your Custom Pages:
- Pay attention to the Photo Page as this is ever present. Put a bit of work in and choose great images that speak volumes about your brand or business
- Use a good page analytics tool to see which custom pages work best. This will provide valuable marketing information as to what your Facebook Fans or visitors are most interested in
- Be creative and customise your custom pages. Speak to your website/Facebook Page designers about how to include a branded call to action as an image on the tab that encourages users to click (ie ‘Start Here’ or ‘Click to Win’ etc). By customising your pages you can direct users to the areas of your site you most want them to visit: new products, competitions or most importantly revenue generating areas of your site. We see this as a vitally powerful new function of the Timeline.
- Use targeted advertising campaigns to drive customers directly to custom pages.
Keep Track of Content by Pinning Posts
Don’t worry about losing an important post as other posts pop up and force it out of sight. Facebook is allowing you to be creative with your content. You can now pin any post to the top of the page where it will stay for 7 days. If you have an important message or promotion, blog post or call to action, this ensures it will remain in a prominent position.
You may also highlight important posts by stretching an image or a post across both columns in the Timeline. This will make increase a post’s ‘stickiness’ and visibility for your viewers.
The new Timeline format allows you to create milestones in your company’s history. These could include the founding of the company, dates of significant accomplishments such as product launches or awards, or recounting major events the company been involved with. Each can work together to create a feeling of nostalgia, highlight success or demonstrate experience.
New Private Messaging Function
Another potentially exciting new development of the new Timeline format is that the private messaging function has now been extended to Brand and Business Pages. This represents a great way of getting closer to your customers and prospects in offering them a new customer service channel.
Private messaging is at your discretion - just in case you feel you are not ready for this!
The team at Eyekiller is buzzing about the new Facebook Timeline and its potential for our clients! We have so much more to share with you on the topic; watch this space! In the meantime, if you have any specific questions or just want to speak to someone here, please drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org.