With the recent introduction of the Facebook Timeline to business pages, and with it's official switch on March 30th, we have been busily readying many of our client's new page looks. So far, a total of 8 million brands have already switched to the new format and it's time for you to do the same.
Many businesses are concerned about the changes, but there is no need to fret. The most drastic changes are the 2 column timeline and the cover photo. Essentially, Facebook is giving you an opportunity to be more visual and to give your company an opportunity to stand out! Our best advice is to embrace these changes and use them to your advantage. In fact, according to Mashable, the new Timeline provides an average 46% lift in Brand Page engagement. Not too shabby!
Here are some helpful tips that should not be overlooked when transitioning over to the new Timeline for your business' page:
It literally means timeline. It's almost like a digitized historybook of your brand. You can now organize your photos, videos, text and links in chronological order dating back to the very beginning. Do you have a picture of your company's founder from 1956? You can put that on your timeline along with the exact date. Ben & Jerry's page is a great example for proper Timeline use. They have content dating all the back to day one, May 5th 1978. The Timeline is a great way to showcase the progression of your business.
You can also create "Milestones" and "Highlights" on your page. These are stand-out events that have happened within your company. Let your viewers know the most important occurances during your business' longevity.
As Michael Scott, from The Office, once said; "Keep It Simple Stupid" or "K.I.S.S." for short. When it comes to the overall look of your page, don't get too complicated. Make your profile image representational of your company. Preferably it would be your company's logo. You want the image to be centered and easily identifiable when displayed as a smaller icon on the Newsfeed.
Your Cover Photo should be these exact demensions: 851 pixels x 315 pixels. Why? Because if it's any smaller, your image will look pixelated. Take full advantage of the Cover Image and make it something that overall represents your company while visually standing out. There are some DON'TS that have recently been issued by Facebook: NO price or purchase information, NO contact information such as website URL, e-mail, or any info that would go into your page's "About" section, NO referrels to Facebook's "Like" or "Share" features, NO arrow pointing to any of those features and NO calls to action.
Once you've uploaded both images, ask yourself: "Do they look good together?", meaning, do they look like a match made in heaven or an accidental pairing? Cohesion is the keyword here. Try and use something unique for your Cover Image that also works well with your Profile Image.
One of our clients, Chabaa Thai, has a Facebook page that reflects elements on their website. You will notice their Profile Image is their logo and the Cover Image is a modified version of a photo used on their website. We've also put in the location and contact information in the top right hand corner. Fans will know from the get go that this is Chabaa Thai Bistro. Take a look at Chabaa's page before Timeline, and after.
- Cover Image (851 pixels x 315 pixels) - If you upload something smaller, it will look pixelated.
- Profile Image (160 pixels x 160 pixels) - your company's logo or a representational image.
A lot of businesses neglect frequent updates on their Facebook page. Go through and make sure all of your basic information is correct, such as; hours, location, phone number and website. The most important information is now displayed right below the header so you want it to be right! It's one of the first things users will see when they visit your page.
Also below the header, you have the option to add "Favorite" boxes. In additon to Photos, # of Likes and Map, you can have additional info boxes depending on what applications your page is already connected to.
Overall, we at At Media believe that the Timeline is a business gamechanger. Take advantage of the new format and go into it with a positive mindset.
We'll leave you off with a few more of our own client's page redesigns that you can use as a visual reference:
Here are some additional references that go deeper into the skeleton of the Facebook Timeline: