With approximately 850 million active users on Facebook at this point in time, brands and companies understand the potential value with this social network. Unfortunately, it can be a frustrating process to manage Facebook business and brand pages. From building a large yet targeted audience, supplying relevant and fresh content, to even just monitoring the conversation, marketers can spend countless hours regulating their page. Even when you feel like you’ve got a solid grip on managing your page, Facebook decides to change the whole layout and force page owners to switch to the new timeline design. Where’s my aspirin?
Don’t worry, it’ll be okay! In fact, the reason Facebook pushes these updates is to make our lives, the page owners, easier… right? I’ve written this blog post not only to go over the basic changes and design updates all our pages are going through, but also point out why certain changes should be taken advantage of.
If you want to see some of the updates watch this video
Here are my top 5 advanced tips for the new Facebook brand timeline changes:
1. The Cover Photo
Without default tabs anymore, an image that is at least 399px wide will be the first thing anybody sees when they land on your Facebook page. Key points to keep in mind relate to overall strategy with social media in general: think about your audience, message, and making it compelling.
Opportunities here: since this photo is public but only seen at the top of your page (unlike the smaller profile picture), it can have huge impact. Having the goal to make it memorable and evoking emotion from your fans would be best for this. It should be temporarily changed (we recommend once or twice a month) and can be time specific relating to an event coming up or recent product/service release. Just know, this image is what people will likely see first and last when visiting your page.
2. About section and apps (formerly tabs)
Pulled from your old Facebook page design, this section gives a little more insight to fans about your general business information but also, primarily, your brand personality. Photos have a much more important role now with your page, since they are also permanent in their location at the top and more likely to be viewed by visitors.
Opportunities here: make sure to have pictures that tie with your goals, culture, brand promise or even employees. There is room for only 3 more visible apps (viewers will have to click a drop-down to see more), so choose wisely!
3. Timeline Posting and Milestones
The general layout of a timeline is to paint a picture of how a person, brand, or company has progressed throughout time. The interesting feature with this is the ability to set the date and milestones. Setting dates to posts, images, and videos can give viewers a sense of how a particular business grew, a product was released and just a more compelling way to tell a company’s story. Milestones play a part in this because it gives fans specific dates where a meaningful events occurred. There are a few ways to present your page in a compelling way.
Opportunities here: depending on how you set your posts and milestones, you can show the ingenuity and innovation with the company, its speed of growth whether it was consistent/steady or explosive, and it can show the ability to adapt if there was a new product, employee or other big change to the company culture. Fans of your page want to know more than the basics about your products and services, and want to know the behind-the-scenes work that brought it to life.
4. Pinned and highlighted posts
There are times when something really exciting happens with your organization or there’s a really interesting bit of information you’d like to share with your fans. But often times, this information isn’t seen by all your fans because other posts push it farther down the timeline.
Opportunities here: pinned posts can make sure certain posts stay at the top for 7 days, so as you continue with your Facebook posting strategy, the most important post in the last week is still the first one fans will see. Highlighted posts make any post the full width of your page, also drawing more attention to it. Be careful with these because as they draw more eyes, they will need to be more compelling. We suggest having only really interesting links/articles or preferably pictures and videos as the pinned post. Highlighted posts should also be pictures or videos that look better in a larger view or posts that are a bit lengthier than the normal post space would accommodate for.
5. Private messages
So now your fans can contact you directly through messaging instead of posting on your wall. There isn’t much to say on this one besides stay on top of it.
Opportunities here: it’s pretty self-explanatory the reasoning behind this (personal engagement between fans and the brand) but the most important note is timing here. If you are not active and up to speed with replies, your fans will be disengaged and you could potentially lose some of your most endearing fans.
The constant updates and changes with Facebook can get overwhelming sometimes. The reason is not to frustrate you or potentially have you lose fans, but in fact the complete opposite. All these updates and changes are to make Facebook even more engaging and compelling so that there will be even more value from those that use it. I tend to look at the glass half full, and with all the changes being made, I think it’s the only way without calling it quits! If you want to see our own company page in action, check us out here or like us below. For more info, Mashable has a ton of information all about the new Facebook Brand Timeline Changes.
As always, we’d love hearing your thoughts! If you have questions or you just want to chat, feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.