It is now official, all Facebook pages will be default use the new Facebook Timeline.
There are tons of cool ways marketers can make use of Timeline’s new features, whether you’re a large business or small.
Use Timeline to tell a story about your company or brand.
Facebook recently extended the dates for Timeline all the way to 1800. This means that companies with rich histories can share easily their past with their Facebook fans.
A great example is how Coldplay manages their Facebook page. Using the Timeline, fans can see anecdotal facts about the band and its history.
Here is where they show their very first release, May 25, 1998.
Another example is the Captain Morgan Facebook page. The liquor company uses Timeline to give its fans a sneak peak into the fictional captain’s life at sea.
Understand Cover Photos Requirements.
Before Facebook Timeline was introduced I was using a custom page tab as the initial lead generation tool for our Facebook page. We demonstrated all the features of the website and reasons why they should like our page. This has now been changed with the introduction of Cover Photos.
One thing marketers need to be careful of with Timeline is that Facebook has strict guidelines on their cover photos.
According to Facebook, cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
- 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’s About section
- References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
- Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
Facebook explicitly states that calls to action are not allowed on your cover photo – things like “Like this page!” or “Tell your friends!” or even “Sign up to our mailing list!”
It is important to use the cover photo to bring attention to the page without any calls to action on the photo.
Because your cover photo can’t be promotional, it’s important to use other features of your Timeline to bring attention to your website or service.
We used a simple approach to designing a cover photo. We wanted to include more information about media sources our website has been featured in as a sign of legitimacy. We also included our slogan and a photo of the avatar we use so our readers can understand quickly what we are about.
Highlight important features of your service or brand with tabs.
With the new Facebook Timeline, it relocates the tabs that were previously in your sidebar to right below your cover photo. Your first four tabs are visible and the rest are hidden under a drop-down arrow.
Use this new feature to your advantage and promote the content on your pages in these tabs. The image in the tab should be 111 pixels by 74 pixels, but you can actually upload a larger image into the space.
I have distributed the tabs to show our “Coupon Codes” search and an “E-mail signup” tab to complement the Photos and Likes tabs. I believe it is important to show the Likes tab on the first row because it is a sign of social proof that other people find the page content valuable.
Use the About box
Facebook Timeline displays the first 150 characters of your page’s About description in a box to the left of your app tabs.
We use the area to describe our mission statement and our website’s purpose. We also provide a direct link to the website to make it easier for visitors to reach your website. You can even create a special landing page for these visitors to introduce them to your website or service.
If you run a service or e-commerce business, I recommend providing customer service or ordering information in this box to make it easy for customers to contact you.
Pin a Special Status
The new Facebook Timeline allows page admins to pin a status at the top of the page for up to seven days.
Pinned posts are marked with a small orange flag and stay at the top of your Timeline for a week.
Here is an example of the interface.
You can pin to the top of your page any special offers you may have (examples, e-book launch, website announcement, new product launch, sale or coupon code).
What ways are you utilizing the new features in Timeline?
This post was written by Steven Zussino, President of GroceryAlerts.ca.