Facebook Timeline is Coming to Pages!

Today I sent the following e-mail to my Facebook clients. But I wanted to make sure that yougot it too!

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I wanted to make sure that you’d heard that the new Facebook Timeline format is now available for pages. The current projection is that all pages will be automatically converted to the new format at the end of March. (I say “current projection” because there were multiple projected roll-outs for the personal Timeline format, and few of them were met!)

FB cover image

 

I recommend that you go to your page, click on the Preview button so that you can familiarize yourself with the new layout, and make any changes you want or need before the roll-out takes place.

If your page is ready, you can go ahead and initiate the switch yourself, rather than waiting.

Here are some key things you’ll need to know about Timeline for businesses.

  1. Design or select a great cover image. That’s the long image that goes across the top of the page. For the rules about what you can have in a cover photo, go tohttps://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=276329115767498. Important things to note?
  2. The cover photo can be up to850px by 315px but may NOT contain the following:

    • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
    • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’sAbout section.
    • References to user interface elements, such asLikeorShare, or any other Facebook site features.
    • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  3. Default landing tabs have gone away! That’s a disappointment for many businesses who use that space to engage prospective clients. [Note:The tab still exists on your page, there’s just no way to send non-fans directly there.]
  4. You can pin a favorite post to the top of your page. This is where you could show a video, or do some of the other things that you once did with your landing page. Not a great alternative, but it takes a little bit of the sting out.
  5. All tabs are still available. But they’re wider now – 810px. So, you’ll want to make sure the content or apps you’re using fit the extra space nicely.
  6. You can now message pages using the Facebook chat feature. You can even install Facebook messenger on your desktop so that you can keep in touch with people without having Facebook open. That opens up some interesting customer service opportunities!
  7. As with your personal Timeline, business Timelines display photos, likes and apps at the top of the page. Photos will always appear in the first position, but you can change the order of everything after that. Since the first few are the only ones displayed, make sure you’ve got the most important ones first!
  8. There’s a new Admin panel for accessing your notifications, insights, likes and messages. This panel is at the top of your page, and you can hide and display it at will. Keep in mind, it’s only visible to admins of the page. So, leaving it displayed will never affect your visitors’ view of the page.

[Note: If you’re interested in a few more details related to the new features, check out Michael’s blog entry over at Local Band Review.]

As with the personal Timeline roll-out, you can use this time before the new format goes live to “tidy up a bit.” Get rid of posts that are no longer relevant by removing them from your wall. Remove tags for your business on photos or videos that aren’t appropriate. Sort and re-order photos, videos and apps to display the most important things first.

And if you get stuck with anything, or just need help getting ready, give us a call!

Should I Upgrade My Facebook Page Now or Wait?

[Update: Please note that this post was originally published on February 11th, 2011, and applies to the upgrade that was applicable at that time. It is not relevant to subsequent Facebook upgrades. For other Facebook-related articles, go here.]

If you’re an admin of a Facebook page, you will soon be invited to upgrade your page to the new format. Just as profiles were recently redesigned, Facebook is redesigning pages as well. Here are some thoughts to help you make your decision.

Thankfully, Facebook offers you the opportunity to preview the upgrade on your specific page before actually making the change. I highly recommend that you do that. It will help you understand where some familiar things have been moved to (like your tabs will no longer appear at the top of the page; instead, they’ll be along the left-hand side as navigation links). It will also help you preview your landing page to make sure it still works properly. Right now, there seems to be a bug that affects some landing pages, but not all. With this bug, the content of the page is being truncated so that information on the right-hand side is cut off. The width is still supposed to be 520px, but seems to be shortened by as must as 30px for some pages.

Be aware that this preview opportunity is intended to help you discover and resolve issues before Facebook creates any problems for you. You can opt to wait to upgrade, but all pages will be upgraded in March. (I’ve read three conflicting dates so far ranging from the 1st to the 31st.) You’re only delaying the inevitable if you do wait. So, use this time wisely to review your page, make any changes you need to make, and be prepared for the new layout.

So, what are some of the pros about this redesign? The two biggest seem to be that if you improperly categorized your page when you created it, you now actually have the ability to change that. I know that’s been a huge issue for many businesses. Second is that you can now post on other pages as your page instead of as yourself. That gives great visibility to your page, and encourages people to come like your page rather than trying to connect with you as a friend, thus clarifiing the blurred lines Facebook previoulsy created between business and friendship.

And some cons? If you manage multiple pages, you can no longer access them through the Account menu. I still have not found a way around that, other than to search on each of the pages you administer, and hope you don’t forget any. Personally, I administer a couple dozen pages, so I’m not a fan of that technique at all! But for those of you that only administer one or two pages, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Another con is that the wall filter has been changed so that the most popular posts on your wall float to the top. That means newer posts with fewer interactions will be buried on your wall (which will now function more like a newsfeed), unless you change the filter from “Everyone” to just your page. But then you’re missing out on the interactivity of what others are posting on your wall. Tough call to make, and one that I need to review some more. The purpose of this change is to ensure that viewers see high quality content each time they visit the page, but that means that content editors are going to have to be even more particular about creating engaging content so that they can overcome the popularity of an older, engaging post.

For more details about the change and what specific things you’re going to see, check out: Inside Facebook’s Page Redesign Guide.

If you’re an Aleweb client (or wish to become one) and have specific questions, or want input as to whether to upgrade or wait, contact us!