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Facebook Timeline for Brands -- Getting Your Page Ready for March 30th and Beyond


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At the inaugural Facebook marketing conference in New York City on Feb. 29,
Facebook announced the most fundamental reimaginings of the way brands participate with
the Facebook community since Brand Pages were first introduced.

From the new Timeline design, to new content considerations, to apps, to community management
to how media can be used as an amplifier—everything has been given a new veneer.

These changes not only affect the look of a brand’s page, but also how a brand’s fans interact
with and experience the content on that page.

With all brand pages automatically being switched to the Timeline design on March 30, Proximity’s
SocialWork team has created the following list of immediate considerations to ensure
your page is ready for the Timeline Era.

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Facebook Timeline for Brands -- Getting Your Page Ready for March 30th and Beyond

  1. 1. TimelineFor Brandsgetting your page ready for march 30th and beyond 1
  2. 2. The New at the inaugural facebook marketing conference in new york city on feb. 29, Facebook announced the most fundamental reimaginings of the way brands participate with the Facebook community since Brand Pages were first introduced.Facebook From the new Timeline design, to new content considerations, to apps, to community manage- ment to how media can be used as an amplifier—everything has been given a new veneer. These changes not only affect the look of a brand’s page, but also how a brand’s fans interactTimeline with and experience the content on that page. With all brand pages automatically being switched to the Timeline design on March 30, Prox- imity’s SocialWork team has created the following list of immediate considerations to ensure your page is ready for the Timeline Era. 2
  3. 3. Designfacebook’s launch of timeline for brands will significantly changethe way your Facebook Page looks and feels to visitors. While it will be in line withwhere Facebook has taken personal profiles, there will be significant creative op-portunities to tell your story visually at the top of the Timeline through the following Acomponents:Cover Photo AAn 851x315 px image that tells your brand’s story. There can be no overt marketingor calls-to-action in the image.Profile Picture BThe familiar 180x180 px image that also acts as the page’s avatar in posts on thepage and other pagesApp Icons C111x74 px icons for the four apps displayed prominently. You can’t put a custom Bimage on a stock Facebook app (photos, likes, etc.), but you can on many third Cparty apps or apps you design yourself. Photos is always the first app by default. (It dis still be determined whether a particular image can be selected as the photo app’s“album cover,” or if it will default to the most recent photo posted.) The order ofthe next three apps is up to the Page to determine, with a remaining maximum of 8more apps hidden, but still accessible.App sizeThe size of the custom app canvas has expanded to 810 px wide from 520 px wide.Existing apps will continue to function and will stay their current size and float in thecentre of the page.App functionalityApps with embedded video or animations can now play automatically withoutrequiring a user interactionAbout section dThe “about” section features prominently under the cover photo and is a chance totell a quick story about the brand in approximately 120 characters and includes theability to post a hyperlinked URL. 3
  4. 4. Design ChecklistBy March 30 By April 30Select/design a dramatic cover photo that captures the essence of Create Facebook graphic standards manualyour brand. Determine your cover photo refresh protocol. With an odd-sized im-Select/design a profile picture that quickly identifies your brand. age, it will be difficult to insert images in an ad hoc manner, so someSimple logos are recommended. planning will help ensure this valuable real-estate is maximized. Will you keep the same image forever? Switch monthly? Highlight sea-Design app icons for your three visible applications outside of sonality? Profile particular products in the portfolio?photos. Design app icons for buried apps, if required.Consider a unified design, where each of the above elements worktogether to tell a story and intersect/interact. Complete/update entire basic information section of Page.Apps currently in development will need to be evaluated to deter-mine if creative changes need to be made to accommodate sizingthem up to 810 px or to incorporate auto-play functionalityReview existing apps to determine whether creative refresh or re-build required, or if they will operate satisfactorily at 520 px.Draft new about section and determine what URL will be used. 4
  5. 5. Contenttimeline for brands has introduced new ways to post content to thewall that can draw attention to what you really want to highlight by allowing greatercontrol over what can be seen and how prominently it is placed on the wall. The Afamiliar “Composer” panel is still at the top left of the page, but now includes onlyfour options (“link” and “video” have been removed and “milestone” has beenadded): Status, Photo, Ask Question and Milestone.Status AA 403 px-wide post that includes any text-only update (maximum 60,000 charac- Bters). If a URL is included, it will be hyperlinked and a thumbnail and a non-editabledescription will be included from the site’s meta data.Photo BA 403 px-wide post (approximately 260 characters) that includes a 403x403 pxphoto or video uploaded from the current PC, a photo or video chosen from anexisting Facebook album, or a photo or video captured via the current PC’s web-cam (maximum 20 minutes). Another graphically interesting feature is the ability toupload a photo album that will display multiple photos in one post (maximum of 4 innormal post; 8 in a highlighted post). C CAsk QuestionA 403 px-wide post that includes a poll. The number of poll answers is unlimited,but only 3 are displayed in the post when it is displayed on Timeline.Milestone CA 843 px-wide post that features a key moment in the organization’s history dis-played across the two columns of Timeline. The name of the event, an 843x403image and a 140 character story, including a URL can be customized and placed onthe Timeline on the date that it happened. These Milestones can be hidden from thenewsfeed should the brand not wish to broadcast them to its fans.Once posted, new content can be made more prominent in three new ways: • Highlights • Pinned Posts• Other pages can be tagged in posts, but not individuals 5
  6. 6. ContentHighlights D DAny post can be selected as a Highlight, which will expand the post to cover the fullwidth of Timeline at 843 px. Any photos will expand to the full width as well, so theoriginal square image will be cropped significantly. However, the option is there toreposition the image to ensure it looks acceptable.Pinned Post EAny post can be selected and pinned to the top left of the Timeline for seven days.Pinned Posts are always 403 px wide even if they started as Highlights or Mile-stones. By the same token, content can be de-emphasized by either being hiddenor deleted from Timeline or full-width milestones or previous highlights can bereduced to single column 403 px wide if preferred. EDefault Landing pagesFacebook has removed the ability to select any tab as the default landing page fornon-fans to see when they first visit the page. This had been a useful shortcut forbrands who were driving people to their Facebook URL ( that functionality gone, and restrictions on overt calls-to-action in the coverphoto, the Pinned Post will now act as the pointer to richer experiences within cus-tom apps. 6
  7. 7. Content ChecklistBy March 30 By April 30Draft company milestones and source/create supporting images Develop weekly pinned post calendarReview Timeline to hide/remove old posts that are no longer relevant Create protocol for highlighting, un-highlighting, hiding postsReview Timeline to highlight worthy posts Project list of milestones for the future and plan supporting copy/ imagesReplace default landing tab with pinned post 7
  8. 8. Community Managementthe community manager is the glue that holds the facebook pagetogether by keeping fans interested and engaged with proactive content, while alsodealing with issues, questions and concerns on a daily basis.Timeline for Brands includes several new features that can both help and compli-cate the community manager’s role.Admin Permissions AWhile not launching with Timeline, Facebook will be soon adding different levelsof administrative access to Pages to recognize that different people or agencieshave different needs to access the back end of a Facebook Page. These roles mayinclude everything from full administrative access, to publishing-only permission to Binsights-only permission.Messages APages now have the option to accept direct, incoming messages from people whovisit the page. This direct dialogue, however, must be intiated by the the user. ThePage cannot direct message any individual person without first being contactedthrough the messaging functionality. These messages can be retrieved and re-sponded to from the admin panel, or the admin can be notified by e-mail when new Cmessages appear.Pre-moderation BCommunity managers now have the ability to hold posts from Page visitors inmoderation until they are approved for posting. This will help reduce spam and theneed to watch the page round-the-clock for those rare occasions where someoneattacks your brand at 2:30 a.m. Comments left on posts from the Page can not bepre-moderated, so setting a blocklist is still requiredActivity Log CThe activity log shows a record of posts that are hidden or marked as spam and al-lows the community manager to change the visibility status of certain posts quicklyand easily. 8
  9. 9. Community ManagementRecent PostsPages have the option to display a listing of the five most recent posts or commentsthat people have left on your page. If enabled, this would show in a 403 px box on Dthe top right of the page.Friend Activity DActions taken by friends of people who visit a page will be prominently displayed intop right of the Timeline. EPage Likes EFive of the Pages your Page likes will be featured in a 403 px box on the right side ofthe Timeline. These five can be selected by the community manager.Spam FilterFacebook has added an automated spam filter that will hide and flag posts andcomments as spam. Community manager can reinstate posts that aren’t spam anddelete comments that are.Posting as Page FCommunity managers have the option to post as themselves or as the name of thePage. This option can be selected under the Admin Panel. F 9
  10. 10. Community Management ChecklistBy March 30 By April 30Create and publish a list of “house rules” for the Page that details Determine admin access levels for those with administrative accesswhat’s acceptible content and language from visitors, response times to the Pagefor direct Messages, other ways to contact theorganization, etc. Re-evaluate decisions on messages, recent posts and moderation based on usage and community feedback.Decide whether the Page will disable the Messages feature. It isenabled by default.Decide whether Recent Posts will be enabled on the TimelineDecide whether posts from Page visitors will be held in moderationand approved before postingDecide on which five pages will be featured in the Like box onTimeline 10
  11. 11. Mediafacebook has launched two new approaches to media:Premium and Reach Generator. These are large-scale buys for bigbrands best discussed with your media buyer to determine theirsuitability for your brand’s needs. Marketplace “like” ads still existand can be used tactically to drive awareness to a page or customapp on your page.By March 30Determine where current Facebook media buy is driving visitors toand modify if requiredBy April 30Determine role of Facebook media within Page strategy related toacquisition of likes and amplification of content and communityinteractions. 11
  12. 12. Imperatives of the Timeline Era embrace content offer activate the for your ecosystem conversations utility advocatesFully embracing the entire Facebook For a brand in the social space, the Simply put, the need for brands to Activate your fans to take some sortecosystem is key to connecting with value of the relationship is obvious; offer utility cannot be understated. As of business action that helps driveyour fans and advocates. From Open loyalty, advocacy, and revenue. For the a brand, you want to be part of your your business forward. Create uniqueGraph on your site, to a robust and consumer, the reason to be “friends” consumers’ actual life—not just their experiences that makes fans feelinteractive page, to compelling and use- with a brand is less obvious. Let’s face virtual one. Offering utility that starts valuable: provide VIP access for fansful apps, to notifications and smart use it, people know what your product costs in—or extends out into—the real world only, give them first crack at samplingof Facebook media, creating the right and where to buy it (or can easily find and then uses the Timeline canvas a new flavor, recruit a focus grouprecipe for your brand is crucial to social out) and they probably aren’t interested to record and amplify whatever they from your community, crowd sourcesuccess that drives business results. in discussing last night’s game with you are participating with through your ideas. Start thinking about unlocking Timeline has created an inflection (unless your brand is last night’s game). brand will be the quickest and most the power of the motivated brandpoint that provides an interesting op- And that is why the content of your powerful way in. What brand or product champions on your Page.portunity for brands to rethink how they conversation is so crucial in creating extensions can you create that will add Nothing shows the power of a brandare participating with their communi- a connection that your consumer also value to their story as well as yours? than the strength of its communityties, while on the flipside, brands who regards as having value. It requires that How or where do they already use to carry the brand on their collectivehaven’t fully realized their Facebook you know who you are as a brand, and your product, is there a story to tell, shoulders to help promote and/orpresence have an opportunity to catch more importantly, that you listen and and what are you doing to facilitate the defend with the situation calls for it.up with what is, arguably, a leveled play- learn and adapt to what your “friends” frictionless sharing of that story? This ising field. are telling you, sharing with you, and the sweetspot. asking of you. Easier said than done, but well worth the effort. 12
  13. 13. AboutSocialWorksocial isn’t a channel, medium, skill or content strategy; it’s a behavior. not a new behavior, but a new wayof instantly connecting and collaborating with communities of shared interest. how we connect to thisworld will define our ability to make brands more valuable to people and people more valuable to brands.this real-time environment requires a careful alchemy of insights, creative, conversation and amplification,which is exactly what socialwork guides us to deliver through the strategic planning, creative develop-ment, execution, paid media community management and insights phases of our work. 13
  14. 14. About SocialWorkSocialWork comprises three equally important trains of thought that contribute tosuccess in the social spaces: trigger truth1  Getting to social-ready work Listen, analyze and understand the online conversations around a brand or topic;2  The role of paid media use these insights to design the social experience3  Executing in the social spaces recruitmentgetting to social-ready work Use media and other amplification opportunities to efficiently attract people toUnderstanding how social fits into people’s lives as part of our insights and stra- your social experiencetegic planning ensures that the social layer is properly considered throughoutthe ideation phase of our work. It’s more than simply coming up with an idea for interactiona TV ad and convincing a brand that the more outrageous ones would make a You’re always on and must be in constant contact with those who have honoredgreat viral video. Sometimes social is THE idea, sometimes it supports an idea and you with the time they spend in your social presencessometimes social is not involved at all. give valuethe role of paid media Provide ongoing opportunities and experiences that make it worthwhile for yourIt’s naive to believe that social media and social networks are the end of advertis- community to stay engageding and the advent of a new era of technology-driven word-of-mouth marketing.Paid media has a tremendous role to play in the success of many social media pro- get valuegrams. Contextually relevant, strategically placed advertising within social plat- Activate the community to take a win-win business actionforms can go a long way to driving awareness, grabbing attention and bringingthe right people to the social presence that has been carefully crafted for them. enrich Reward a loyal community with exclusive, medium-specific opportunitiesexecuting in the social spacesAt the heart of SocialWork is a framework for how we approach social media plan- returnning, execution and evaluation. It’s a real-time acronym for the real-time social Extract insights from the space that help the brand’s business and informs itsmedia world and lays out the steps to follow for a winning end-to-end social strat- future decisionsegy. We call it TRIGGER. 14
  15. 15. More InformationblogsSocialWork blog: www.thesocialworkblog.comDigital Lab blog: www.digitallabblog.comwhitepapersFacebook CommerceSocial ShoppingThe Social StageAll BBDO Proximity whitepapers can be found here: http://digitallabblog.comtwitterProximity WorldWide: @ProximityWWBBDO: @BBDOWorldWideDigital Lab: @TheDigitalLab 15