Making the Switch to Timeline: What Brands Need to Know

Making the Switch to Timeline: What Brands Need to Know

Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages

After much anticipation, Facebook announced on February 29 that they are rolling out Timeline for brand pages. While brands can work on the changes behind-the-scenes, by March 30 – all pages must make the switch.

There are major changes in 4 key areas that brands should be familiar with to update their page:

#1) Profile Images: Cover Photo & Tile

The new profile display allows a brand to be much more creative with their design, but there are a few things to keep in mind with the new cover and profile images.

Cover photo:

  • Specs are 850 x 315 pixels.
  • The photo must NOT contain any marketing actions – no pricing/purchasing info, no contact info, no references to Facebook actions (e.g. like or share), no calls-to-action.

Profile image:

  • Square tile displays as 180 x 180 pixels (plus a border).
  • This image serves as the avatar – displaying the brand’s logo is recommended.

#2) The “About” Section

Under the cover photo is an area where a brand can share a bit of key information. There is a limit of 150 characters. Depending on the nature of the brand, there is also an area to include contact information – such as address and hours of operation.

#3) Tabs for Applications and iFrames

While brands can still build custom applications and iFrame tabs, the layout has drastically changed. Rather than being listed on the left-hand side, tabs will now have “buttons” – allowing a brand to be more visually creative.

Application buttons:

  • Specs for these buttons are 110 x 74 pixels.
  • 4 buttons will display under the cover photo, but the view can be expanded. The first button will ALWAYS be Photos (and the most recent photo displays as the button). The rest – such as the map (if the brand has claimed Places), a brand’s likes, and additional apps can be sorted by the brand.

New tab views:

  • Ideal specs are now 810 pixels wide. There are no limits to the length, but keeping important information above the fold is always a good idea.
  • There is no longer a welcome tab. ALL users will land on the wall, unless a brand directs them to an app. This means marketers have to think of new strategies for like- or fan-gating. You can read more in this article from Business 2 Community.

#4) The Timeline

The Timeline layout allows a brand to go back to when it was founded and fill out key dates with information, photos and more. Brands should tell their story to fans through timeline to create an engaging experience. For example, Coca-Cola’s page dates back to 1886 and includes a scan of their original founding certificate.

In addition to backdating, there are a couple new features brands can take advantage of to highlight important posts and content:

  • To draw attention to an important message, brands can “pin” a post. This means it will stay on the top left feed of the Timeline for 7 days.
  • Brands can also call out certain posts by “highlighting” or starring them. This means they will take up the entire width (not just one column) on the Timeline.

Other Important Changes

In addition to the changes listed above, there are a few more features brands should consider when using Timeline:

  1. Fans can now private message a brand. This is good for customer service – brands can refer people to message them in order to share contact information or resolve issues. A brand cannot initiate contact with their followers.
  2. Brands can now apply a setting to approve user comments before they post on the wall. While this may be tempting for many brands to reduce negative comments, it also takes away from the page’s transparency.
  3. Page analytics will now be public. This means your competitors can see you, and you can see your competitors.
  4. Facebook is also adding a new premium ad format to their offering. You can read more about these new social ads in this article via Fast Company.

A number of brands have already made the switch to Timeline, such as: Facebook, Lexus and Red Bull. Check out what they’re doing for more examples and inspiration.

Does anyone have more great examples of brands that have already made the switch?

 

 

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