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Finally it's here! - Timeline for Facebook Brand Pages
After much speculation and what seemed like an eternity, finally - the Facebook Timeline for brand pages is now live!
Facebook Timeline for pages is a great opportunity for brands that want to tell a more engaging and authentic story of their company.
Timeline makes it easier for people to find information by pushing the Info section, photos, apps and map to the top of the page in a clear navigation bar.
It gives companies of all sizes the opportunity to get creative and use their cover photos, app designs and interactive features to grow their overall presence and influence in the world of social media.
With all this in mind, I will now show you how to get your company's page up-to-scratch and ahead of your competitors!
Firstly however, it is important to note that there are some major changes to company pages such as; how the applications are displayed, the introduction of cover photos (the default landing pages have now gone entirely) and the options for fan interaction have now been improved.
You can enable your new brand page now but on the 30th March 2012 your Page will automatically convert to the new format (much in the same way the new Timeline for profiles was introduced earlier this year) – so it's best to get prepared beforehand.
Follow my guide on how to enable it NOW:
1. Go to Facebook
Or goto this direct link: www.facebook.com/pages/status/
2. Activate the preview of your company’s fan page.
Only the page’s admins can see the Timeline as long as you’re still in preview mode (and you have not yet made the page live).
- This gives you the time and space to play around with how your page looks before your fans and general public can see it.
3. Now add a cover photo
You can now add a large and inviting cover photo to make your new brand page stand out from the rest. It acts much like a billboard or welcome sign to all visitors to your page. So it is a chance to show-off your brand to the World (just make sure you follow the strict guidelines mentioned below).
The measurements for cover photos are (Facebook will do its best to resize your images automatically):
When choosing your cover photo it is important to follow Facebook’s strict guidelines. Your cover photo cannot include:
* Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
*Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
*References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
* Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.
4. Publish your page
Once you click “publish” your Facebook fan page Timeline will become visible for everyone to see and there is no going back! So make sure you are happy with how it looks and feels etc. before you press the publish button.
Now that your page is live, read below for an in-depth look at all the new features and their benefits:
1. New admin panel and insights
There is now a new and improved admin panel which can be accessed by going to your Facebook fan page as an admin and looking above your cover photo and to the right for the 'Admin Panel' button.
The admin panel is a great way for interacting with what’s currently happening on your fan pages such as the latest wall-posts, comments, private messages etc. as everything (all recent activity) is clearly displayed for you all in one place. (at the top of the page)
2. Featured content
By using the “pin to top” button, you can now feature a post/comment which will then appear at the top of your wall. To do so, click on the 'edit and remove' button (upper right corner on a post) button and then select 'Pin to Top'.
These 'pinned to the top' posts have a lifeline of seven days which means that you can only pin posts that have been published within the last week.
It gives rise to the possibility of doing a “post of the week” for your fans which of course, increases the likelihood of interaction as the fans compete to be featured.
3. Redesign your custom applications
You can still design your own custom applications (great for branding purposes) but remember that the dimensions have now changed: 107px wide and 70px high.
The easiest way to add a new icon is to:
1. Goto your page’s settings
2. Click on ‘apps’
3. Scroll down to the application you want to edit
4. Click ‘edit settings’
5. You will now see 'custom tab image' - Click change
6. Click ‘change’ again and upload your new custom photo
4. Re-arrange your applications
Now that you have customised your apps, you can change the order in which they appear. To do this simply hover onto one of your application icons and click on the button on the upper right corner. Then swap it with with another application of your choice.
5. Upload a new profile picture
It is best to use a 180 px * 180 px profile picture which will then automatically be scaled down to 32 px * 32 px.
Make sure your picture is of high quality however, as it needs to still be clear when it is scaled down and used as the profile icon displayed on your Timeline's posts.
6. Highlight 'Star' Content
You will see a 'star' symbol on the top-right of all posts on your Timeline which is called 'Highlight'. When you press this it will expand the post and stretch it across the whole page. This works well for images/photos that you want featured and to be displayed in all their fullness.
7. Add milestones to your Timeline
Add your company’s milestones such as when the company was founded, new offices, mergers, a new product launch etc.
The sizes for Facebook milestone pictures are:
Width: 843 pixels
Height: 403 pixels
8. Invite your friends and contacts to 'Like' your new page
You can now invite your friends or email contacts to like your page by clicking on “build audience”.
Perhaps best of all in this section is the ability to share your page within the groups that you have joined. For example, if you are an artist and you are in a few art-themed groups, then share your page within the groups and you will have a great chance of building support for your page due to the highly-targeted nature of your page share.
9. Fans can now private message fan pages
Many fans have been waiting for the chance to have a more personal way of communication with their favourite brands and companies – and now they can! Unless your not keen (you can disable this function in the page settings) this a great way for you to engage even further with your fans.
They might ask you questions, offer suggestions or even lodge complaints! But at least you will have the chance to deal with them personally and work things out with them. If your fans are happy then they will tell others! (especially in the B2C market).
Good luck with setting up your pages – and let us know if you need any tips/advice as we are always more than happy to help :)
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