As of today Facebook is rolling out timelines for Brand Pages, these timelines will become mandatory from 31st March but as of today you can move over – which I did this afternoon.
Change doesn’t always come easy and the new layout is quite different, so here’s what you need to know to make a smooth transition.
First up, once you move over you can’t swap back so make sure you are ready before you hit publish!
Profile Pic: As with the old version of Facebook, the Profile Pic is still the image that shows up in news feeds so this should ideally be your logo. The ideal size for this is 180x180pixels. I have chosen to use my logo for this as you can on the image above.
Cover Photo: This will now sit at the top of your brand page, so should be relevant and on message. There are rules about what can’t be included which you can find here. The image must be at least 399px wide but the size of the box is 850 wide x 315 tall so that’s the best size to set it at. If you need to resize an image then I suggest using pix.lr to do that quickly and easily.
You upload your cover image but hovering over the header space in the bottom right hand corner,
Once you have your cover photo in place, you can move it up and down but you can’t crop it or shrink the sides.
Here’s another example of a brand page that has beautifully integrated a cover image with their profile pic – from Sleepless Nights
Apps: Your apps sat on the left hand side of the page under the old version, now they sit underneath your cover photo. You can have 12 but only 4 will show so choose the ones most relevant and stay aware of this – you may want to change them around daily, or weekly depending on the size of your page and activity of your users.
By default, most of your apps won’t have images making them less visually engaging. The way to change or add an image is to click on the “edit settings” button seen below and where is says “Custom Tab Image: Change” click on the change button and upload your photo.
What about landing pages? While you can still have a “welcome” page a new visitor won’t land on it unless they have been directed to that exact URL. You can find the URL via the “link to this tab” option that sits just below the “edit settings” option shown above. These pages aren’t going to be much use with the new design, making the cover photo very important as it will be the first thing a new visitor sees when they land on your page.
Hints & Tips: When you post an update or photos you can either click the “star” button or “pin” button in the top right hand corner of the update. When you pin a post you opt for it to stay at the top of your timeline until you “unpin” it.
Messages: Fans can now message you directly, which is a great option! You can find your messages in your admin panel, located in the top right hand corner of your page.
Timeline: To the right of the cover image is your history – this is going to be an important way to share your brand story with fans. You can update information there, such as when your business opened, by scolling to the bottom of the page.
Recent Posts: Under the old timeline when someone commented on your update you would either have to check your notifications, or check each individual update. Under the new model you will see all your recent updates near the top of your timeline in a dedicated box.
The verdict? Change doesn’t come easy to a lot of folk and I suspect the timelines will take some getting used to. The major benefit is that they make your history more readily available and thus the page is more interactive. The downside is that the presentation is less linear and so perhaps even more than before your updates have an expiration date on them.
As promised, this is simply the beginner’s guide to brand pages – enough to help the transition be smooth and simple for you. I’m sure there will be more to come on the impact the changes make to fan engagement and usability.
Have you moved over to the new timeline already or are you going to wait til you absolutely have to take the plunge?