Facebook Timeline Brand Pages
This time, they even have an exact deadline, on March 30, 2012 all Facebook Pages are going to be published with the new Timeline format.
That means that all page owner have only 30 days to edit and customize their business pages before the new design is unleashed upon us all.
To know more about the new Facebook Timeline format and how to use it for user profiles, see here the Facebook Timeline Complete Guide
Brand Pages will function in a similar way, as Facebook wants a more unified look and feel for the site. Ah, and of course more add space they can sell ;)
So, what are the main changes for these pages that you need to look out for:
(This is my newly published Sociable and Nice Facebook Page)
1. Cover Photo
The main trademark of the new Timeline is that big Cover Image sitting on top of your profile, and now on top of your Facebook fan page. This can be an opportunity to create a stronger visual impact for your visitors.
There are some restrictions though, as Facebook doesn’t want your cover to resemble an add, your Brand Page Cover photo can not contain:
- - Any price or purchase information like “Free booze“
- - Any contact information (e-mail, phone, website, social media links)
- - Calls to action like “Buy this now“, “Get it for free“, “Go shoot yourself“
- - Any references to Facebook features like “Like our Page” or any arrows or signs pointing to any similar feature, like your old custom frame (if you had one)
- - Copyrighted material (of other people of course)
The same as for profiles, the pages cover photo will have a 851 x 315 pixels size. More details, samples and a template to download can be found here: Facebook Timeline Cover Photo Guide
2. Profile Picture
As before you can now add a Profile Picture for your Facebook Page. The new size is 180 x 180 pixels but also take into consideration that the thumbnail size will be 32 x 32 pixels.
3. Photos, Likes and Applications
Right under the cover image you can now find a series of boxes with the photos, likes to your page and the installed Facebook applications. One of the main features of the old page layout was the custom landing tab. That used to be the first thing a visitor would have seen on your page.
Sadly now this feature has been removed. The old tab can be found in the application boxes but the only way to direct visitors to it is trough a post on your page timeline.
A higher importance is now given to the thumbnail image of the installed applications as you may see on the bottom of the screen shot.
The good thing here is that you may change these thumbnails with a picture of your choice. To do that, go to the administration section of the page, choose “Apps” -> “Edit Settings” -> next to “Custom Tab Image” click on “Change“. The dimensions of these images are 111 x 74 pixels.
As you may see here, my old “Sociable and Nice” custom tab is under the top right logo.
You can also order the applications as you see fit, displaying your most important ones first.
This is a complete new feature and one that was requested by a lot of people. Exactly on top of the applications box there is a “Message” button. Now the visitors may contact the page admins by sending them a private message.
But if you don’t want to be contacted by your fans, you can choose to disable this feature, go to the Administration Panel, select “Manage” -> “Edit Page” -> “Manage Permissions” and than uncheck the field “Messages“.
5. Pin you favourite post
Another new feature that will allow you to pin (anchor) a selected story to the top of your page timeline for as long as 7 days. This will allow you to highlight specific content for a higher visibility.
A suggestion would be to use this functionality to link to one of those custom tabs you might have.
6. Admin panel
A new administration panel appears now at the top of the Facebook Pages that you manage. This is a big improvement on the old admin features and it helps you handle thing faster and more efficiently.
Also here you can find several Help Center items including another long desired and requested feature, “Change Your Fan Page Name“. All you have to do is go to this link.
7. Activity Log
In kinda the same way you do with profiles, you can also use the Activity Log to better manage your posts. You can reach it by going to the administration section, then click on “Manage” -> “Use Activity Log“.
Make sure you edit your Timeline right and allow only the posts that you want your visitors to see.
8. Activating Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages
Or you can go to the official Facebook Pages section and click on the “Preview Your Pages” button.
An official pdf guide can be found here: Facebook Pages Product Guide
Some of the big brands have already started to publish their new timeline pages:
Unfortunately Facebook will not give you more than 30 days to put everything in order.
The only option you have left is to make sure you edit your Facebook Pages and get ready to welcome the fans!
If you want to know more about how you can use Facebook in your marketing efforts, take a look at our new Facebook for Business free guide: