We’ve been hearing about it for months, but finally the day has come when Facebook officially started changing all Facebook pages to the ‘new and improved’ Timeline format. Love it or hate it, its here and there’s no looking back.
The concept of Timeline was first announced by Facebook founder and CEO last September. He explained the thinking behind Timeline by saying ‘Millions of people curate stories of their lives on Facebook every day and have no way to share them once they fall off your profile page…we have been working on ‘timeline’ all year – its the story of your life and a completely new way to express yourself. It has three pieces: all your stories, your apps and a new way to express who you are.’
So what makes Timeline different and what does it mean to you and your business? Here are just a few of the changes and how to ensure you maximise your page:
Its big, its bold and it’s the most obvious and visible aesthetic change to your Facebook page, the introduction of a cover image. A picture paints a thousand words and in the case of the new Cover Images that?s exactly what you want it to do. New guidelines (or restrictions depending which way you look at it) have been put in place in regards to what you can?t have in your cover image, these include:
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it from our website”
- Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your pages About Us section
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or other Facebook site features
- Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
If you’re someone who can never make up your mind, don’t stress your cover photo can be changed as often as you like. Be creative and experiment with images your audience will respond well to. The perfect dimensions for your cover image are: 851px (w) x 315px (h)
For anyone who had a vertical profile picture, you?ll see that this has now been cut off to make a perfect square. The new dimensions of the profile picture are 180pm (w) x 180px (h). The profile picture sits partially over the left hand bottom corner of the cover so ensure you think about the design of both elements together
Did you have a list of application links as long as the Nile down the left had side of your page? You would have noticed that these all no longer all on display. The applications still exist, but they’re just displayed differently in new tabs underneath your cover photo. The width of the Timeline only allows for a maximum of three chosen application tabs (the photos tab is there permanently) viewable at any one time. To see more followers need to expand the panel by clicking the drop down box.
The upside of the change is there is larger art space to design the application tab. Dimensions for this are 111px (w) x 74px (h). You can change which application tabs appear across the top as often as you like, so play around and update the tabs to suit what?s happening and view the analytics to see what?s working and what?s not.
No default landing page
Did you have a snazzy welcome page which pre-followers landed on to grab their attention and encourage them to like your page? Unfortunately this is one feature which has been removed from Facebook, now people are instantly directed to your page wall. There is an exception to the rule, if you have a Facebook ads campaign you can still direct traffic to a specific landing page.
This isn’t the end of the world, it simply means you need to pay careful attention to all the messages at the top of your Timeline wall and if you read on you find out how you can ‘pin’ certain posts to the top of your Timeline.
Pinning, Starring and Milestones
Have you made a post which you think is extra important? Now you have the ability to ‘pin’ the post to the top of you page for up to seven days allowing the post to precede any other content. Even though you may think that everything you say is important, you can only pin one item at a time, once pinned the post exists in two locations, at the top of the Timeline, as well as back in its chronological place.
Since you can no longer create a default landing page and there are restrictions on cover image content, pinning items to the top of your Timeline is a great strategy to highlight key statements, calls to action, messages or direction to click one of the tab icons under the cover photo.
If you have an image or post you wish to feature on your Timeline wall simply choose to ‘star’ the post (on the right top corner of the post) to expand the story across the width of your page permanently.
Share the excitement of your milestones or events with the new Milestones feature. Like the new Star feature, milestones expand the width of your page, images displayed are 843px (w) x 403px (h). Examples of milestones include reaching a certain number of followers, winning an award or opening a new location.
Download a copy Facebooks Feature Snapshot on our Resources Page