If you haven’t converted your Facebook Business Page to the Timeline yet, you have t-minus 3 days to do it. We updated the SiteLab Facebook page to the new layout last week and have to admit – it’s pretty simple.
For those of you who waited until the last minute, here’s your punch list to get it done before the March 30th deadline:
- Specs: 851 px W x 315 px H (If you use a larger photo Facebook will give you the option to reposition the cover by drag and drop.)
- For content, think about your business and your industry.
- Look at other business pages in your industry for inspiration – it can be a collage of your products or customers, people using your products or services, or include some design element from your website or business collateral.
- For non-profit business pages, consider including pictures of the people you’ve helped and encourage page owners to make a difference in these people’s lives too.
- Important: According to Facebook’s Timeline Guidelines for choosing a cover photo, your cover photo may not contain price or purchase information (e.g. 40% off), contact information including your website URL, references to user actions such as “like”, or calls to action like “Get it now!”.
- You can no longer have a default landing tab, so use your cover photo and three main apps wisely.
- Phase 2: Consider including a “in season now” element that you can rotate seasonally. This is especially a good strategy for businesses in the culinary, food retail, or fresh produce industries. (Tip: Design all 4 seasonal iterations at once to save time and money on maintenance.)
- Most likely, this is where your logo will go.
- Consider what you will use for the profile photo when you are determining what your cover photo will be as you can do some really cool things if they work together.
- Important: You’ll want to use an instantly-recognizable image (hence why the logo is top choice) because it will be used throughout Facebook wherever your posts go and whenever you comment as your Page
This is the virtual history of your company or organization filled with the “milestones” you add to it like business started, first profit, 10 years in business, etc.
- Repurpose any offline “timelines” you may have created in the past for business collateral
- In addition to the regular milestones like when you’re businesses was started, include awards you received, favorite customer moments, and when individual products were introduced and retired
- Whenever possible, include pictures that are associated with each milestone. These can always be added later.
- Phase 2: If your company has been around for a really long time, eventually scan those vintage photos in like you see with Coca-Cola (click on “Founded” in Timeline on the right).
These are the 4 boxes below your cover photo that used to be “tabs” on the old layout.
- The first app is always “Photos” and can not be moved or changed.
- You can change and move the other 3 to be displayed along with “Photos”. Any more than 3 can be found in a dropdown.
- The other 3 can be more time-sensitive like promotions or features.
- Important: Look at Facebook Insights for your page to see which apps your fans use most now.
- You may also want to swap the positions of your apps periodically to see if the position makes a difference in usage.
- Phase 2: You can also change the cover photo of each app and may want to update these to look a little more fluid with your overall design after you’ve converted.
…now that you’ve got your Timeline in place, here are some other items to consider.
Featuring Posts – “Star” vs. “Pin”
Get more mileage out of your content with new “star” and “pin” features.
- “Starring” posts (i.e. making them “sticky”) makes them “double-wide” (love this term from Mari Smith) or twice as wide in the timeline so carefully consider when to use.
- Use the “star” feature sparingly…People Magazine uses it to feature top stories and Coca-Cola mainly uses the star feature for promotions or events. Both brands use it about every 2 weeks.
- You can also “pin” content to the top of the Page. These “pinned” profiles will remain at the top of your Page for 7 days.
- Most content gets the most likes and comments within the first 12 hours or so of you posting it. Extend your content’s life by pinning the most popular content to the top of the page.
- Tip: Determine a strategy for “starring” and “pinning” your content so that everyone working on your page from the content creator to the community manager knows what types of content to feature.
What to do with current tabs?
Those custom applications that used to be accessible through tabs aren’t going anywhere… they’ve just changed.
- Facebook used to restrict you to 520 px width for your custom tabs. Now you have 810 px.
- When your Facebook layout transitions to the Timeline, your apps (were tabs) will remain intact, but the 520px wide content will appear as floating within the new 810px wide content area.
- Phase 2: Since you can’t have a default landing page, we recommend you take down your welcome page unless you think it offers something valuable for fans to check out on their own.
Brand Private Messages
Page admins and fans can now talk privately.
- Fans and visitors can now private message Page Admins.
- Page Admins can NOT initiate private messages with fans and visitors.
- Page Admins can turn private messaging off in Settings, but we recommend you keep it.
- Think of it as the Direct Message (DM) feature on Twitter – you most likely will not get very many, but when you do, often they are helpful.
- Talk to your community manager about how to deal with incoming private messages. Consider the process for dealing with “Contact Us” inquiries or Twitter DMs. If you receive an FAQ, consider turning it into future content.