8 Things Businesses Need To Know About Timeline For Facebook Pages

February 29, 2012 · 40 comments

in Facebook

8 Things Businesses Need To Know About Timeline For Facebook Pages

FB Timeline For Pages… 
Businesses & Brands  Impacted!

 (This post was 8 tips but it’s grown to 13! Enjoy!)

Today, Facebook launched the “Timeline” display format for Facebook Brand Pages… 

 Here’s 8 things your business needs to know about the new Timeline format for Brand Pages:

 1. Preview Mode

You can put your page into preview mode by either clicking the preview button near the top of the page – or – by visiting here and setting your page to preview status. (The server is being finicky and I have had some trouble using preview while “using FB as page”.)

2.  March 30st Cut-Over

You have until March 30st to play with, and set up, the page in preview mode before this mandatory change-over date. You can chose to stay in preview the full time or – when you are read – change over early. What you can’t do is choose to forever stay on the old format or to go back to the old format after you hit publish.

3. Cover Images For Brands

The large format cover images, with a dimension of 851 x 315 pixels are now available to brands. Here are however some very strict rules regarding the (limited) marketing one can do in these images. 

You also have a new picture box for your photo or log and that requires a 180×180 pixel image. Be sure to use one that scales well to 32×32 pixels for thumbnails and accents well with your cover image. (The long photo banners we used to use no longer fit.)

4. No More Default Landing Tabs – Custom Tabs Still Available

Although the location of tabs has moved, custom app tabs and iframe tabs remain fully available to you as a business owner. They are all available both from the drop down menu as well as by URL. They now sport a changeable custom image which is new. What is gone however is the ability to set any of these as a default landing tab where non-fans would land by default. Now all fans land on the wall every time.

In brighter news, because of how applications are now displayed, the “useable width” of custom applications has been increased from 520pixels to 810 pixels (some are saying 760 pixels).  This actually provides a lot of flexibility that we had lost prior to have really nice graphics on those custom tabs. 

5. Custom App Tabs Can Have Custom Graphics

Two of your apps now have a “favorites” position right under your banner with a lot of display room and the rest are displayed with large thumbnails when the dropdown is opened. 

Unlike prior we can now upload powerful, useful, compelling graphics for these app tabs using this technique.

6. Pinned & Highlighted & Hidden Posts

Two new ways to showcase a post now exist.  These can only be used on posts created by the page. “Star” (aka highlighting) expands the post to full-width and makes it harder to miss. It will however travel downstream just like any other post. “Pinning” pins (or sticks) a post into the upper left spot on the page for up to seven days and adds a little tiny orange banner/flag to it to indicate that it is pinned.  

There is also the option to hide a post from the wall/timeline. It’s easy to use and takes them out of view without deletion. 

7. Hiding Posts By Others Has Changed

How we hide posts by others and how we prevent the “posts by others” box to appear (if you really would do such a thing) now has new dashboard admin options. I don’t recommend this of course but certain larger brands need this type of control. 

8. About Box Now Useful Again

While the About box isn’t new, it now sits up right under your smaller page image and showcases who you are and a link to your site.  It’s really important to be sure to make use of this box again!

9. New Fan-To-Brand Messaging Ability

Brands now have a “Message” box, placed in the same location it appears for profiles, that will allow fans to initiate a 2 way private discussion between themselves and the brand page. Pages can not initiate this discussion. Pages can however cho0se to enable or disable this feature in the admin dashboard.

10. New Admin Panel 

In addition to the main dashboard that we have had prior, that is behind the “edit page” link, we have a new “admin panel” that is intended to let us administrate the page all from one point. It shows us notifications, new likes, insights, and the new inbox for the Fan-To-Brand messaging box.  In the three drop-downs there are also access to Help, Invite tools, edit page tools, and the new activity log. 

11. Milestones For Yourself or Your Business

Once you have switched to timeline format, the first item you will click on the center divider line to add to the timeline is the date you or yours were born/founded. After that is set, then you will have a new posting type available called Milestones. 

Milestones are to highlight important time-based items in your business such as fan growth, revenue growth, product launches, etc.  Milestones call for a custom graphic that is 843 x 403 pixels and a date to be set.  Example.

12. “Offers” (Kinda Like Deals)

Kinda similar to the former “Deals” product, offers function similar to an application and allow brands to post “sales” or “specials” on their pages. This is more impactful than a status update though because the one-click claiming allows it to spread virally through friends of your fans.  Learn more about offers here. 

13. “Premium For Facebook” Shifts Brand Exposure 

 Paving the way for Facebook’s shift to further a Freemium (Free + Paid) model of revenue generation, the new “Premium for Facebook” allows brands to use a modified version of the former “sponsored stories” to improve post visibility from a typical 16% up to an estimated max of 50-75% (they threw around both numbers, I don’t know which is correct.) Not all of this is yet available.  The most significant of this change will be letting sponsored stories right into the newsfeed and a so-called “logout experience” that we don’t have any information on yet. 

What other tips have you discovered about the new Facebook Timeline format for brands and businesses? 

Are you having a “love it” or “hate it” experience with the new change? 

Want to learn more? Grab a copy of my Timelines for Facebook Pages training, covering all the important changes including the ones that can hurt your business!   Click here to sign up!

~ Kim ~ 
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing 

PS: Some great examples of brands using the new timeline format include: Coca-Cola, Starbucks & Macy’s.

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40 comments
mylatiu
mylatiu

Hi Ms. Kim,

Your Article Is great and very informative. The Facebook Timeline caught my interest, Hope your can share more idea on how will works. thank you once again!!!!

Charloth
Charloth

Interesting info on the Facebook timeline! I'll be curious to see how this plays out in the near future.

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

You're so sweet Yorinda, thank you for all of your support *hugs*

Kim

Medisil
Medisil

Not looking forward to the timeline change. I've ignored it, but going to have to figure it out over the next week.

Dr. Erica Goodstone
Dr. Erica Goodstone

Kimberly,

As usual, so much valuable and timely information. Thank you for being you.

Warmly,

Dr. Erica

Derek Morton
Derek Morton

I'm stoked that timeline is moving over for brands to use now. I think that it will allow us as brands to make more of a connection with our followers.

Andrew
Andrew

great post with very helpful points but i really do not like the new timeline for Facebook, why couldn't they just leave it easy and simple.

Hans Schoff
Hans Schoff

I like the offers and about box, and the fact that you can pin up certain posts for a little longer to give fans more of a chance to see important stuff. Would really be great to be able to highlight and recognize posts by fans as well however to encourage more sharing and viral activity...

mark
mark

IMPORTANT--All these business welcome pages (Fan Pages) my clients paid for are all going away?? Please tell me this isnt true.

Yourinda
Yourinda

8 Things Businesses Need To Know About Timeline For Facebook Pages via @AskKim

decibelplaces
decibelplaces

Facebook is finally doing a great job at making me want to move to Google+. For months I detested it, but I'm seriously considering just ditching Facebook. My NetworkedBlogs posts are all lumped together and useless. I have a new website that I'm debating whether I should create it on Wordpress or just go back to good 'ole Blogger so it's integrated with Google+. I love the timeline for personal uses, but not for pages. It's awful, hard to navigate.

marquita herald
marquita herald

Great information and awesome webinar. I'm almost ready to publish my new page but held off until your workshop - glad I did because now I have a list of ideas and "tweaking" I want to do before I hit that publish button. Thanks!

Michael Aulia
Michael Aulia

I must have missed hearing/knowing about Facebook Offers. Going to read about it now - I was using the "Pin to Top" feature to highlight my "deals" or specials (or in my blog's case, a current giveaway that is running on the blog)

Rosemary O'Shaughnessy
Rosemary O'Shaughnessy

Hi Kim,

Many thanks for your your review of the main points for the changes for Facebook. I really like the offers feature to encourage business by offering incentives and value. Many thanks for your tips and you have a fantastic way of explaining it in an easy way to understand. Take care Rosemary

AmandaBlogger
AmandaBlogger

I read on one of the blogs someone's thought about the fact that this feature is the beginning of Facebook's end. I asked him about the reasons of this thought and now I'm waiting for the answer. Haven't you ever heard such ideas?

Harleena Singh
Harleena Singh

Great post Kim!

I have been running away from the comfort zone of my present Faceook Page, not wanting to switch over to Timeline! Guess now it's going have to be done!

I would head over and give things a thorough look and then learn more about how to go about it Kim! Would love to attend the webinar, though I guess the time zone may be different at our end.

Thanks for sharing :)

Lian
Lian

I was just going to do the fan gate thing. I guess I don't have to bother any more. Thanks for the updates. Looking forward to more good tips from you. I'm going to take a better look at the "offers" part.

Michael
Michael

Thank you Kim. overall, I am looking forward to the change.

I understand we cannot have contact info on the image. But will they strictly enforce that rule? I have already seen an image with a URL on it and this is less than 24 hours old as I type this...

David Merrill
David Merrill

Here we go again, Kim.

I don't know how I'd ever figure out all these endless changes without you leading the way.

Thanks for the clear outline of changes here, and I look forward to getting into the real dirt on your webinar Saturday!

Kathryn Booth
Kathryn Booth

Nice summary - I am going to nominate you boss queen of the update and refer this. Generally I can layer something like this in, but not this week.

Pastor Sherry
Pastor Sherry

Ok, I don't like that there is no landing page -- after I spent days figuring out how to design one. Sigh. But some of the other features sound interesting. Being able to pin a post to the wall sounds good. At least for a short time it won't flow "downstream." I also like the messaging ability option. That needed to be there long ago.

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

The tab itself will continue to exist and be accessible by URL or by putting it in the upper docked position. However, it can no longer be made to be the page that non-fans land on when they arrive organically. It can still however be used, via url, as the destination page of a Facebook ad. Also, the new tabs are 810pixels wide, so the old 520pixel ones will be centered with a lot of white space around them that many page owners (clients) will likely want to pay you to correct.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Michael, all of the policing of those things is kinda random. There is some randomized checking (luck of the draw) it seems. There also is the ability of other page owners to report offending pages which happens relatively regularly. There are pages that have been breaking major rules (like the contest rules) which create legal liabilities, for a long time, and then there are others that get shut down fast. It's one of those "gamble" sort of things.

Kim

PS: Where did your gravatar image with your comment go? If you don't have one, go to gravatar.com get set it up. If you've changed emails, log into it and add the new email to the account and you'll be golden!

Dereck
Dereck

Sherry,

You can still use a landing page if you have a custom tab and still send people directly to it. Also, "Like Gates" are still down, but never the less... default tabs are not going to be such a big issue (I think that's what you were referring too?).

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