How To Use Facebook Timeline For Company Pages

What does the launch of Facebook Timeline for Pages mean for your comapny page? This development is an opportunity to boost your engagement, but also lots of initial work. A host of new features became available yesterdag when Facebook gave all Pages around the world the option to upgrade to the Timeline redesign. Here’s how it works, and how to implement this to benefit your business.

Activate your company Timeline

Start with visiting the Timeline for Pages manager and select to add Timeline to your Page. Then you will need to enter a review period where only your Page’s admins can see the Timeline. Everyone else including your fans will still see the old design. go through the  features as detailed below, and when you are ready, just click the ‘Publish Now’ button on top of your Page to start showing the Timeline to all your fans. You can upgrade anytime until March 30 this year. From this date onwards Facebook automatically change your page to Timeline and become public for your page.

Cover image

The Timeline cover displays a very nice 851 x 315 pixel banner across the top of your Page. Here you can symbolize what your organization is all about. A restaurant could show for instance a popular menu dish, a band could display their latest album cover image, and a business could show a picture of their customer logos etc.

In the covers it is not allowed to display call-to-action or references to Facebook features such as ‘Like this Page’, purchase or pricing info such as a discount or ‘Download our whitepaper now’, or contact information such as website URL.  Just pick a visually great looking, high-resolution image that will interest visitors and make them want to scroll down to your updates in the Timeline.

About Section

Under  the Cover image is your Page’s standard profile picture, name, and two statistics:  total Likes and the number of  ‘people talking about this’. The About section shows a description for brands or an address and contact info for local businesses. Visitors can go through the About link to unfold a map and view other basic company info. Be sure to fill out a short, strong description of your comapny identity like your mission of vision.

Page Apps

The Timeline re-design of how Page apps are displayed could be the disadvantage of Timeline for your Page. Apps have been repositioned from a left navigation sidebar to the right side of the About section. They appear with a small photo instead of text-links, they are pushed away by the impressive cover image above. There are four app thumbs above the fold and the first image is always occupied by Photos. The rest can include Likes, Videos, Events, Map and a Page’s custom apps.

In the old design, Pages could set a default landing tab that all non-fans would first see instead of the wall when they visited a Page. Though this was very popular and effective for businesses, this is no longer allowed by Facebook. Instead, existing fans and new visitirs will always see the main Timeline view and have to actively go through to custom apps on your page. Unfortunately for your internet marketing activities, this means that custom apps for your companies contests, promotions, games, media, coupons, and signup widgets may receive much less visibility and engagement from visitors who find their way to your company Page.

You can edit your apps display by clicking on the drop-down icon to the right of the images, click the ‘+’ button to import your custom apps, and then hoover over them and click the pencil to swap them around. We recommend putting the native or custom apps which is most crucial to your business above the fold. For example coupons for ecommerce brands, contests for consumer packaged good companies, events for promoters…. We recommend only to display the Likes panel if you have a lot of them and want to peer pressure new visitors into Liking your company Page.

Messages

The Page Timelines allow users to send direct, private messages to your Page. This feature creates a new customer service channel where you can address users’ concerns without having to discuss issues publicly on your Page’s wall. Pages cannot proactively send messages, you can only respond to users that have already contacted you.

Highlights Feed

When people visit your Page, they will see a mix of stories published by your Page itself, by their friends, and stories from other users that have received a lot of Likes, comments, and shares.

Because every user can post which can be negative posts, you can disable the ability for random users to post directly to your Page, and prevent their Timeline from displaying mentions of your Page. However, posts to or mentioning your Page by a visitor’s friends are always visible. If you see negative posts, hover over them and just select to hide them, or delete them if they’re really bad for your image.

Admin Panel

Admins will not have a separate interface anymore. The new Admin Panel drops down and appears overlaid over Timeline when clicked. It shows notifications of recent activity like posts on your Timeline by fans, a list of your most recent Page Message conversations, new Likes, and a snapshot of your Insights data including the volume of your own posts, total reach, and the number of “people talking about this”.

Activity Log

Here you can see every post your Page has ever published, as well as all those by users mentioning them. You can highlight posts to expand them to the full width of you Page, allow them to appear if Facebook deems them relevant, or hide them from view. Posts written directly on your Page’s Timeline may also be deleted. Activity Log makes it easy for you to curate your Timeline and make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.

Here is a summary checklist of the most important features of your page Timeline:

  • Choose a beautiful cover
  • Provide a punchy description
  • Feature your most important apps
  • Pin the post you want to drive the most traffic to
  • Highlight great historical posts by you and your fans
  • Hide or delete embarrassing, out of date, or negative posts by you and your fans

With thanks to: techcrunch.com

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