The big day is nearly here! After much anticipation, Facebook Timeline will automatically go live for all brand pages on March 30th…gee, that’s Friday!
Hopefully as a page manager for your brand, you’ve had a chance to explore the new Timeline features in the preview format, and maybe even took the plunge and published your page. If you haven’t, don’t fret! We have compiled a list of the key new features to help make switching to Timeline a breeze.
One of the most notable changes to Facebook Timeline is the cover banner and inset profile picture, which results in a lot of creative freedom for you to display your logo, products or personality. Basic dimensions of the cover photo are 851 x 315 pixels at 300 dpi, but if you can upload a photo that with more dpi, the quality of your image will be greatly increased!
When you’re designing your cover image, use a photo that expresses your brand identity, and explore different ways to make it interact with your profile picture.
Also, remember that according to Facebook guidelines, brand cover images may not include:
Coca Cola, Captain Morgan, Old Spice and Fanta are all great examples of striking and original cover photos. Fanta, in particular, uses a big, bright cover image to also promote the current advertising campaign. In doing so, the page also encourages incoming fans to "like” the page subtly, being sure to sidestep Facebook’s strict new rules about this.
Instead of having tabs listed on the left side of the page, the Timeline format displays tabs and applications in rectangular panels beneath the cover image. Only four panels are displayed in the top row, but fans can expand the tab panel by clicking on the drop-down menu to the far right.
Keep in mind that this panel will be one of the first things fans interact with. Although you can no longer set default landing pages and fangates in the Timeline format, apps still serve as a great way to engage fans.
Make sure the four viewable tabs are engaging and relevant to your brand and marketing objectives. Also, don’t hesitate to change the apps on a regular basis. Utilizing your page analytics will help you decide which tabs are most popular.
For inspiration, Subway has a colorful tab display, promoting Events, Photos, Freshbuzz and Flavorizer in the top row, but also includes eight additional tabs in the drop-down menu that could be conveniently switched out at their choosing.
This feature is pretty cool! Facebook Timeline allows you to "pin” a post to the top of your Page. Pinning a post means that the status update is anchored to the top of your feed for up to seven days. Once those seven days are up, the post returns to its chronological place in the timeline. Pinned posts are distinguished by a little orange flag in the top right-hand corner of the post, and only one post can be pinned at a time.
This is a great substitute for the default landing pages in the old Facebook format. It gives you the ability to emphasize new and interesting content, whether it is a news release, promotion, call-to-action, etc.
Take a look at Coca-Cola’s page. Coke has generated a lot of buzz with their latest interactive promotion using pinned posts to drive consumer excitement. Their posts include fill-in-the-blank riddles that challenge new and current fans to engage in product marketing and lead to fun interactive sites once solved. Go ahead and see if you can figure one out!
You can also increase engagement with your fans by taking advantage of the "star” and "hide” option, as well as the larger photo format.
Clicking the star button in the upper right-hand corner of the post makes the status update appear across two columns, subsequently highlighting an important story for your fans.
Photos automatically upload to a larger format which makes them stand out amongst status updates. This can be a great tool for you to advertise current campaigns and showcase fun, relevant photography.
Want some inspiration? Take a look at our MindFire Timeline; we love putting the spotlight on our Koozie’s many daring adventures through larger photos or celebrating our clients’ special achievements.
This milestones feature allows you to focus on your company’s history. Timeline was designed with the intent to make Facebook an improved medium to tell your story. Defining key moments in your history through milestones - such as the debut of a product-line or the date your business was founded - helps fans connect with your business.
Once again, we invite you to check out our MindFire Timeline for inspiration. Through our implementation of the Milestone feature on Timeline, we recognize each of our smokin’ hot Arsonists’ start days as well as other significant moments in our history. Not to mention, we pulled up this ol’ gem of our first office in Le Claire. Don’t they look so young?
The Timeline redesign has significant benefits for brands. We expect to see some very creative approaches in the future. Have you seen any brand Timelines that blow your mind? Let us know!