Last week at the first Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC), Facebook made some big announcements that will affect every brand that has a Facebook page. The main announcement that must be acted upon is that every brand page will transition to a Timeline layout. Timeline is Facebook’s new profile layout that allows you to highlight the photos, posts and events that help you tell your brand’s story.
Since many of you did not have two hours to attend the fMC webinar, here’s a summary of what you need to do to update your Facebook page and what these changes mean to you as a marketer.
Getting your Page ready for Timeline
Your Facebook page is where your brand connects with its fans by sharing news, posting events, gathering feedback and creating unique content. Similar to the transition Facebook has made for individual profile pages, brand pages will now have the Timeline. This transition will happen March 30, 2012. If you have a brand page, there are a few things that you need to do to be ready for this change.
- Create a cover photo (B1). This is the main image at the top of your Timeline. It should capture the essence of your brand. The photo cannot include pricing, contact information, calls to action or reference Facebook actions such as “Like our page.” Optimal photo size is 851 x 315px.
- Update your profile image (B2) to the new size of 180 x 180px. This is the image that will appear next to each of your posts.
- Prioritize your tabs and applications (B3). By default Facebook will only show 4 tabs under the cover photo, one being your photos. Others will be viewable by clicking an arrow, but the top 4 will be the most visible. Determine which of these applications are the most important to you and your fans and make that tab first.
- Review your historical Facebook posts and content (B4). The Timeline provides you with the ability to “Star” important posts and content which will allow these posts to be visible to all visitors. Hide posts that are not as engaging or relevant. Create Milestones on your Timeline with a large photo for such things as product releases, important events and brand announcements. Update the date of your posts to reflect when things really happened and “Pin” your most important post to the top of your page.
- Allow more time for management and analytics. Engagement is key to success in Facebook. With the launch of Timeline, Facebook updated the admin panel to allow for further insights into individual post performance and page demographics. With these metrics, you will be able to determine which posts are the most effective in reaching your audience and creating engagement among your fans. Use this information to create more engaging posts in the future. Secondly, individuals will now have the ability to message brand pages directly which means that marketers will need to spend more time answering messages and responding to fans than ever before.
- Post your new page. If you are ready, you don’t have to wait until March 30. Post your page immediately and let your fans know. Get their feedback and start driving traffic to your page and generating additional engagement.
Additional Facebook Resources
Introduction to Facebook Pages
Facebook Pages Introduction Video
Facebook Pages Training Course
Best Practices for your Facebook Page and Media Strategy
Best Practices by Verticals