The Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages Checklist


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What every brand needs to know about the new Timeline for Brand Pages, with a step-by-step checklist on everything you need to change, create and optimize for the ideal user experience from Spredfast. What's new with Facebook Brand Timeline? Private messages, Cover Photos, Application location, Starring and Highlighting content, Milestones, and more.

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The Facebook Timeline for Brand Pages Checklist

  1. 1. PRESENTSFacebook Timelinefor Brands Checklist
  2. 2. On February 29, Facebook announced that Timeline is now available for Pages. Along with this excitingnews, Facebook also informed brands that they have 30 days to activate Timeline themselves before itautomatically happens on March 30.Don’t panic. While change can be difficult, Timeline does have a lot to offer brands. We’ve outlinedthe key features of Timeline along with the simple steps that will help you seamlessly transition yourPage to Timeline in no time at all. Activate TimelineActivating Timeline allows you to plan, change, and control the experience your visitors will havewhen they visit your Timeline. To activate, visit the Timeline for Pages Preview manager and chooseto add Timeline to your Pages. At this point in time, your Page’s administrators will see Timelinewhile visitors, including your fans, will see the old Page design.With Timeline activated you can now walk through the features detailed below. Once you’ve gottenyour Page updated, click the “Publish Now” button at the top of your Page to start showing off yourTimeline to the world. You can make this transition anytime until March 30th, 2012, at which pointTimeline will automatically become publicly visible for all of your Pages. Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  3. 3. Cover PhotoThe Timeline Cover Photo displays an 851 x 315 pixel banner across the top of your Page. When think-ing about an image for this space, you’ll want to select one that best represents your brand, but isalso visually interesting. The Cover Photo is a large part of what visitors see when they visit yourPage, so it’s key part of your Facebook identity. Have fun with it.Facebook has created some guidelines that you need to consider before selecting your image. You’llwant to avoid the following strategies in your Cover Photo: - Calls to action (“Like Us”) - Price or purchase information (“20% off today only”) - Contact information (phone/email/website information)The goal of these guidelines is to urge brands to be more personal rather than overly promotional.Facebook’s advice regarding Cover Photos is to pick a visually stunning, high-resolution image thatwill delight or intrigue visitors and make them want to scroll down through your Timeline. Images for Facebook ApplicationsThe location of Facebook Applicationsis one of the biggest changes forbrands in Timeline. Applicationshave moved from the left navigationsidebar to the area on the rightside of the About section. Theynow appear as large thumbnails Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  4. 4. as opposed to text links. There are fourApplication tiles above the fold. Photospermanently occupy the first tile, while youcan choose which Applications you’d like tofeature in the remaining three tiles abovethe fold. You could choose to feature someof the custom Applications you may havecreated before, or you could feature Likes,Events, Photos, or Videos.Pages also often used “Like-gates” on theirdefault landing app, requiring users to Likea Page in exchange for the ability to usethe application. While Like-gates are stillpermitted, they won’t be the first thingusers see when they visit a page.To edit which applications you display, clickthe drop-down icon to the right of the tiles,click the ‘+’ button to import your customapps, and then hover over them and click thepencil to swap them around. We recommendputting the native or custom applicationsmost crucial to your business above the fold,so coupons for ecommerce brands, contestsfor consumer packaged good companies,events for promoters, etc. Automatically Highlighted PostsWhen users visit your Timeline, they’ll see a combination of highlighted stories that have beenpublished by your Page, by the visitor’s friends, and stories from other users that have received alot of engagement (determined by Likes, comments, and shares). If a post is automaticallyhighlighted in your Timeline that you’d like to hide, simply hover over it and select to hide them,or delete them if necessary. Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  5. 5. Starring to Highlight ItemsBeyond Pinning a specific post, you can choose to highlight important posts throughout your Timelineby Starring them. To make the most of the new Facebook layout, you should go back through yourTimeline to Star all your best photos and links that are still relevant, while hiding posts that are nolonger current. Brands should consider Starring posts from visitors to promote engagement. Pinning PostsPinning a post allows you to feature a post in the top left corner of your Page’s Timeline feed forseven days. This new feature gives you control over what visitors see when they first visit yourTimeline. You can use Pinning to direct users to an Application, a promotion, or to display animportant status update. Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  6. 6. MessagesRolling out Timeline creates a new channel for visitors to communicate with your brand by allowingthem to privately send Messages to your Page. One thing to note here is that Pages cannotproactively send Messages to Facebook users, they can only respond to users. Messages can beespecially helpful for brands in customer service scenarios, so you’ll need to consistently monitor andrespond to messages through this new channel. We recommend creating an internal plan on how toaddress inquires that come in through this route. Recent Posts by OthersIn the top right of your Page’s Timeline’s feed, there may be a section called Recent Posts byOthers on [your Page]. The content in this section will vary since Facebook’s algorithms willautomatically choose to feature posts that are most engaging. You have little control over whatgets featured in this section, however just like with highlighted Timeline stories, you can choose tohide or delete those posts if necessary. Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  7. 7. AboutBeneath the Cover Photo of your Timeline, you’ll see a standard profile picture, your company name,your total Pages Likes, and the number of “people talking about this”. Your can leverage the Aboutsection beneath these stats to describe your brand, your industry, or include contact information.Visitors can expand the About link to learn other basic information about your brand. Prior to publishingyour Timeline, you’ll want to make sure you have a short but impactful About statement for your brand. MilestonesBrands can go back in their Timeline to publish special Milestones and events relevant to theirhistory. These events can mark interesting moments in time such as product launches or companyaccomplishments. They appear full-width on your Page with a special flag icon on top and are agreat way to help visitors learn more about your brand. Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  8. 8. Admin PanelThe new Admin Panel drops down and appears on top of Timeline when clicked. It’s not just a place tochange the preferences of your Page. It also provides a great summary of activity on your Timeline byfans, your most recent Facebook Page Message conversations, new Likes, and pieces of Insights data.A “Manage” button on the Admin Panel reveals the “Edit Page” which is where you can configure all ofyour Page’s settings including whether fans can post to your Timeline and who can see those posts.Once you’ve completed these steps and you understand the various engagement features Timelinehas to offer your brand, you’re ready to click the “Publish Now” button at the top of your Page. Afterthat sit back, relax, and engage on your brand new Timeline! Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist
  9. 9. About SpredfastBased in Austin, Texas, Spredfast provides social business software for social media managementthat allows organizations to manage, monitor, and measure their social media programs, and theeffectiveness of each piece of content, across multiple social media channels. Spredfast allows itsclients to extend their branded content and engage with its audience from a single administrationinterface to the blogosphere and the major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube,and Foursquare. Some of the enterprise and agency adopters on board with Spredfast include AARP,Nokia, Bayer, HomeAway,Porter Novelli, ING Direct and AGAIN Interactive. For more information, visit Facebook Timeline for Brands Checklist