Facebook rolled out a completely new profile for brands called Facebook Timeline. Facebook users have already had access to Timeline on their personal accounts. The way you interact with your followers has changed, too. Brand Pages have become much more visual, with a new Cover Photo, and your posts can be highlighted differently. While there are many new options for creativity and branding, it’s important to note the changes have undone some of the features from the last update.
Your Company’s Timeline
The biggest change to Facebook Brand Pages is the new timeline or history feature. It will list any activity that has occurred on your profile since you created it. This means any posts you have created and anything your fans have posted on your page will show up. You can also add in any past milestones your company has experienced, by date. This gives you the option of telling your company’s story and evolution over the years.
The Cover Photo gives brands a new way to enhance their Pages. Similarly to Google+, you can display your logo, images of your staff members, or new products. There are some guidelines however; you cannot use it as a promotional billboard. Facebook rules specifically restrict any sales, calls to action, or contact information. You will also not be able to reference any Facebook features, so no more arrows pointing to the Like button. Facebook wants this to be completely about your brand’s image and nothing else.
No More Tabs
One thing that companies have already started complaining about is the change to Apps and Tabs. With the previous Facebook Pages you could create a Landing Page which listed sales or promotions and could even link to your website. The new layout doesn’t allow that; visitors are directed to your wall instead of a Welcome or Landing Page. You can still provide these tabs, but they will be featured in a much smaller way that people will need to click on to see (pictured below). This makes it a little trickier to draw attention to announcements about events or sales.
*Hint: Your tabs will have unique URLs that you can attach to social media icons or include in emails.
Another change is the way you can interact with your brand’s page and your customers. Now you can see, in better detail, the performance data of your page. You can find out how you’re doing with helpful charts and in-depth information. Another beneficial feature is the ability to speak directly to your customers via private messages. Your customers can now message you with questions or feedback and you can respond back without making anything public.
What You Should Do
I know that’s a lot to take in, but don’t panic, Timeline won’t be mandatory for brands until March 30th. The first thing you should make sure to do is delete any old posts that you don’t want to show up in your timeline. Then, find a high-quality image for your Cover Photo and begin adding any basic info you can about your company’s history to your Timeline. The in-depth research stage will take a while, so don’t dive into the project just yet. Try to understand the basic features before delving into that. While some of these changes may not seem helpful or beneficial to your brand, they are meant to help you interact with your customers more closely than before.
What do you think? Will Facebook Timeline Brand Pages really help you connect more personally with your audience?