What do David Bowie and Facebook have in common?
Cha-cha-cha-changes…. 72 hours and counting until the new Facebook Timeline design hits business pages.
Are you ready for Friday’s roll-out of the Facebook Timeline design for business pages? Friday the 30th is it, so get your page finished by Thursday!
If you’ve already played with the preview mode, you’ve seen how the new design works, but maybe you’re not feeling entirely adept at it. Until you’re used to this new format, use this reference sheet to guide you. Below is a list of what’s out – what’s new, and some additional marketing stactics to consider:
1. Profile pictures which used to sit in the upper left-corner are now called cover photos – and they are public. You cannot change the viewing access on cover photos or the cover photo album. Remember too that calls to action, pricing, asks for shares or likes cannot be present in your cover photo. Download the reference sheet to see the new specs on photos.
2. Apps and Landing Pages used to be on the left-hand side under the profile picture. Default landing pages are gone (Anyone coming to your page will automatically see the full timeline). Under your cover photo sits tab boxes (photos will always sit in #1 position on the left). Besides the photo tab box, you will have 3 boxes for custom applications. What’s new? These boxes can now have unique artwork to correlate with the experience they lead to. The reference sheet outlines the dimensions for creating custom artwork.
While your audience immediately sees 4 tabs, there is a total maximum of 12 available. The position of these can be swapped out as frequently as you wish, except for the photo box.
3. Fans and readers now have the ability to privately direct message the page. However, the default setting is turned ‘off’. I strongly suggest you turn it on: Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Manage Permissions > “show” message button on page. Besides being customer-friendly for timid fans who fear the stupid-question issue, you may find if you get enough of the same types of emails/comments, that what you thought you presented clearly indeed may not be clear. Immediate feedback is priceless for making on-the-fly adjustments.
4. The “Info” is now “About”, located directly under the cover photo and profile icon at the left-hand side. Local businesses will have the opportunity to fill in hours, phone number, etc. I suggest you keep this area sparse; short simple description of who you do or are, and insert a hyperlink to your website or blog.
5. Added to the arsenal of post types (questions, polls, photos, videos, etc.) is something called Milestones and ‘pinning’ a post. A Milestone is a notable historical event that you choose to highlight and can include a picture. It will take up the full width of the timeline (from side to side). You can control the dates of Milestones, edit as you need to. ‘Pinning’ a post is simply the act of making it notable and pushing it to the top of your timeline, yet it remains on one side or the other of the Timeline. ‘Pinned’ posts stay in position for 7 days, but you can re-pin to increase the length of time, or remove when you see fit. A ‘pinned’ post might be a promotion, a special, even a link to one of your new tab applications.
If you wanted to ‘Highlight’ a post, it would take up the full-width (wide screen effect) across the entire Timeline. If something is not really a Milestone, but certainly notable and worthy of emphasis, choose the ‘Highlight’ option by clicking on the pencil icon in the right-hand corner of the post once you’ve posted an item.
6. The design itself of Timeline has some folks confused as to how to read it. Depending on page settings, most of the pages will be read from left to right, with the left position being the most recent activity. However, the top of the right-hand side of the Timeline is where you and others will find recent activity on the page. You may choose to set these activities for ‘review’ before posting to the page. Of course only an admin has the right to review and post. Go to Manage > Edit Page to change these settings.
7. The admin panel is now at the very top of your page, and only admins can see it. There is a “hide” button on the right-hand corner which allows you to toggle the view on and off. The admin panel gives you a snapshot of new likes, your insights, messages and recent activity.
Above the admin panel is a tool bar with 3 areas. Note that if you have toggled the admin panel to ‘hide’, you will not see this tool bar. Simply toggle admin back to view and viola! “Manage” takes you to the basics of editing your page, looking at your activity log and keeping track of banned users. “Build Audience” is the center button which allows you to share the page, invite others and access Facebook Advertising. The last button “Help” goes to a really well organized area of all Facebook help info.
8. Remember how Facebook would sometimes classify posts as ‘spam’, and they placed them in the area called Hidden Posts? They’re now inside the Activity Log as ‘spam’. Scroll to the top of your page by the admin panel, click on Manage > Activity Log > Spam.
I’ve had a number of people ask me “What will my page look like if I don’t make any changes”? You will have the same format as Timeline, but you will have a large blank space at the top where the cover photo should be. Your current Profile Picture will be your Profile Icon, and I think its safe to say that you’ll simply look behind-the-times and out of the loop.
Adjusting your page to these new settings isn’t difficult, just time-consuming. If you have questions, please post them on my Facebook wall – I’ve had multiple direct messages come in that are virtually identical. Most people have the same questions as you! My team and I are here to help you in the transition, and anything we can do to help, we’re happy to. All I ask in return is or a shout-out on Facebook or Twitter (@mamagg). Of course I’m here to assist you with hands-on too, so if you want or need more in-depth assistance, leave me a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and you’ll hear from me asap.
P.S. don’t forget to download the reference sheet with all the new Timeline graphic specs; you’ll need it for working on custom tab artwork and cover photos!