This week Facebook introduced Timeline for Pages — a highly anticipated feature announcement. The new layout helps you interact more easily with fans through enhanced visuals, featured posts, and private messages.
Many people are already familiar with Timeline through their personal Facebook accounts. Although this layout is consistent with the previous design rolled out last year, there are a few differences that Page admins should be aware of.
Here we’ll highlight some of those differences and will help you to prepare your new Timeline before the site-wide rollout on March 30th. Once you’re ready, we also have a guide to switching your Facebook Page to Timeline.
Adjust Your Cover and Profile Photos
The cover photo is the first thing people will notice when visiting your Page, which is why it’s recommended to select a unique image that accurately represents your brand — this doesn’t have to be a logo.
Your profile picture should be a company logo as this image will represent you on other parts of the site — such as the News Feed or within private messages. Facebook recommends that the image be at least 180 pixels wide. However, cover photos appear to be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels high — Facebook suggests a width of at least 399 pixels.
According to Facebook’s guidelines, cover photos may not contain price or purchase information, contact information, references to user interface elements — such as Like — or calls to action. It’s also worth noting that you can’t encourage people to upload your cover photo to their personal Timelines.
Focus on What’s Important
The ability to add a landing tab to your Facebook Page has been removed, but that doesn’t mean you can’t highlight what’s important to your brand. Directly below the cover photo is your navigation bar, which houses your photos, Likes, and apps.
This information was previously displayed along the left side of your Page. Facebook has given it more prominence as well as the ability to rearrange the order of the bar. You can feature up to 12 apps and we recommend that you put the most important ones first — like your own.
Additionally, the About section is now front and center —previously it was buried in the Info tab — which gives you the opportunity to revise or rewrite. New visitors are likely to click on this to get a better idea of what your brand or business is all about.
Tidy Up and Fill in the Gaps
With Timeline, you’re given a chance to display your company’s history in a unique and visually-compelling way. Use this time to add important milestones, clean up your photos, and edit parts of your story.
You can review what’s already in your Timeline by hovering over a story. You’ll have the option to make the story wider by clicking on the star or to pin it to the top of your Page, hide, or remove it entirely by clicking the pencil.
It’s also worth spending some time with your content strategy to determine which stories you’d like to pin to the top of the Page. Anything that’s pinned will stay in the first position — regardless of stories published afterward — for up to seven days. You can un-pin any time by re-clicking the star.
Don’t let Timeline intimidate you. While the design has changed, your strategy is still the same. The people who Like your Page have chosen to follow you regardless of the layout, which is why you should be focused on interacting with your followers and sharing quality content. The new interface just supports what you’ve already been doing. If you’ve crossed everything off of your to-do list and you’re happy with your Timeline, you can publish any time before March 30th.