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Facebook Brand Timeline

Last Wednesday was a pretty big day in the world of social media managers. Facebook unveiled its timeline for brand pages, and everyone should take note for several reasons. The main reason is all pages will convert on March 30, so you should be prepared. My favorite part about the timeline is the storytelling capability. With timeline, you can fill in your company history, from milestones like opening a new office to new hires.

Timeline

Brands can now make historical posts to their history. (The best I’ve seen so far is New York Times.) It may take time to organize the content in a compelling way, but once accomplished, it provides an easy-to-navigate story about your brands success. Add photos to highlight key events, and try to map out as many key dates as possible, even those before the Facebook era!. Take this opportunity to tell your brand or business’ story, add personality and let people know how it all began!

Cover Photos

Timeline is also very photo-content heavy. Cover photos have been given a large amount of real estate, and brands should take advantage of this space. What is the first thing you want visitors to see? Social media managers can use this as a welcome banner of sorts, since the welcome tabs will now be obsolete. There are some restrictions:

–       The cover photo dimensions are 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall.

–       Cover photos may not contain price or purchase information

  • Example: “40% off!” or “Download free from our website!”

–       Cover photos may not contain contact information, such as phone number

–       Cover photos may not reference other Facebook elements.

  • Example: “Like our page!” or “Share”

–       Cover photos may not contain calls to action.

  • Example: “Get it now!” or “Tell your friends!”

Coca-Cola uses a snazzy design for its cover photo.

That seems like a lot of restrictions, but you shouldn’t think of your cover photo as an ad in the paper. You should consider it an additional way to tell something about your company, or to draw in new fans through staying timely and interesting. Make sure you choose wisely though, this photo is prominent and will most definitely impact a visitor’s experience.

Direct Message Page Administrators

Users can now privately message administrators of that page. I guess Mark and the others at Facebook Headquarters were a little jealous of Twitter’s Direct Message feature. Users can now directly message Facebook page administrators in hopes of faster problem solutions in a more personal way. Administrators should have an established process in answering these messages in a timely manner. If a message goes unanswered, the disgruntled messenger could take out his/her frustration on your Brand’s wall.

Featuring Posts on Timelines

Brands can now pin a post to the top of the page that will last for seven days and take up the width of the page. This can be used to feature the top content of the week. If you’d still like to “highlight” posts that have surpassed the week’s limit, you can. By using the “highlight” feature, you will expand the content to the full width of the brand page – I’d say use this feature primarily with videos or photos.

I’ll leave you with a few last notes about brand timelines and then you can do your own exploring. Users are more likely to engage with brand pages when they see that their friends engage with the brand, so friend activity is now featured at the top of the page. This means companies should continue to focus on creating content that sparks activity (likes, comments, etc.) that others will see when they visit the page. Also new is the Admin Panel, which now functions more like a dashboard. Administrators can get a quick view of insights, notifications and private messages, and respond right away!


– Sarah Funderburk

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