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Friday, March 2, 2012

7 Thoughts on Facebook Timeline for Brands:

Hello Friends, So all brand pages on Facebook must get converted to the new 'Timeline' look by March 30. Here are some notes (7 thoughts) I made after reading all about it.

1) First Look:
The ‘Cover Photo’ look on the new pages is just like the personal timeline cover photo, so people will probably get used to it quickly. Cover photos cannot have any call to action. Most pages would have a ‘Welcome’ tab that traditionally have a little "Like Us" with an arrow pointing to where the "like" button is. You can no longer have this. The Welcome tab is no more! Back to the Cover Photo: The size is (851 x 315 pixels). It can change as often as you like. Here are the rules on Cover Photos that I cut ‘n’ pasted from the FB Product Guide. You cannot have:  

    • A. Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”.
    • B. Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section.
    • C. References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
    • D. Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”.

 ….so… put your marketing & graphic design people to work and come up with some clever ideas for Cover Photos!
2) Pin The Gold
No, not a roll-out of Pinterest on Facebook. The term Pin Post means you can put what you feel is the most important story/post to the top of your page. This is cool for timely, relevant stuff. This is awesome. In the past, some posts you’d make would get lost in a sea of audience posts. This way, you can ensure your ‘top call out’ stuff gets the placement you feel it deserves.

3) There’s An App For That: 
Apps will be featured more prominently right under the cover image, instead of along left hand rail (which was hard to find) Which, in all honestly, we know didn’t work. A static tab with no outside push,  in comparison to a tab with some marketing was not even close. If you or your team are actively selling partners into programs/contests/sweepstakes on your page, then I think these changes are amazing. Apps will be much easier to find for audience and should result in more activity. You can also mess around with the app image, so it should look really great. Also of note: the “Photo” tab cannot move. It is native and you cannot get rid of it.

4) To Screen or Not To Screen: 
In the back-end there will be a new way to 'screen or modify' posts from fans/audience. This means you can put posts in a 'queue' until an admin says it's okay. Please give this some thought as to what your brand should do. Turn this on or off? My thinking turning this feature on is NOT A GOOD IDEA. Let your audience speak their mind! But totally up to you adn what fits with your brand. 

5) Keeping It Private: 
New pages have offer the ability to Private Message the brand. Hmmm…  Could be quite messy depending on the page you admin. This could result in an overwhelming amount of messages that need to be dealt with. --- OR ---- Could be the ultimate customer service tool. A real back-and-forth based on real issues. I think Community Managers or Social Media people will like the fact that you can see an issue on the wall and offer to take it privately. Of note: Brands can’t send PM’s. They can only receive them. Also of note: People do not need to like your page in order to be able to Private Message you.  May want to gather in the boardroom to discuss this with all parties involved.   

6) Page Timeline & Friend Activity: 
What I think is super cool is that audience can see how their friends are interacting with you page. I imagine that will spur on conversations, if you actually know the people behind some comments. It will be interesting to see what Milestones brands will try and use.

7) Admin Panel: 
Really neat that Admins will have super quick and easy access to see insightful data. We can know keep a watchful eye on monitoring page performance along with every single interaction on your page.  Here’s a screen shot of the new Admin Panel: 

Hope you enjoyed my little summary. I know there are plenty of other features I didn't touch on, but these are my first thoughts on the upcoming changes. All in all, I feel the Timeline look is very positive for both brands & audience.  

I’d like to hear what you think! I’m @JonSinden on Twitter, or comment below. Thanks for reading.

Any feedback is most welcome.