Facebook is giving brands until March 30th to completely transition to the new timeline for fan pages. It’s important for your business to understand the changes and learn how to make the most out of your fan page.
Facebook has completely removed the “forced fan gate” option where you could require someone to like your page before viewing the wall. But you can still direct traffic to a custom app or landing tab.
There has been a lot of discussion about the changes and the impact those changes will have on brands using Facebook fan pages. But I see it as a great opportunity for brands to do some great social marketing.
Here are some tips to help you build an effective marketing campaign on Facebook using the new timeline layout.
1. Facebook Timeline Cheat Sheet
This will help you make the necessary changes when you are re-designing your page. If you need a killer design and custom tabs created, you can hire me to do it all for you at a very low cost of course!
But the PDF is yours to use-FREE!
*Be sure to download the Facebook Timeline Dimensions cheat sheet.
2. The Cover Photo
The biggest change is the introduction to a much larger cover photo. This is going to give brands a huge opportunity to showcase great design and branding.
Having a creative and stylistic cover photo will give your brand a boost.
However, it does come with some limitations as Facebook is giving strict guidelines as to what you can and can’t have in your cover photo.
- No Calls to Action-You can’t ask people to “like” or “share” your page and there can’t be any graphical representation (arrows pointing etc) to imply any calls to action either.
- No pricing information-Price or purchase information cannot be included (60% off or download it at our website www.coolmusic.com).
- No company information-This is one of the most frustrating guidelines in my opinion. You can’t include any details about your company such as your web address or contact information. These details are supposed to go in the about section of your fan page.
Some creative examples of the timeline cover photo so far include:
3. Profile Image
Your profile image has been changed too. It appears next to every post in the news feed as 30 x 30 pixels. The profile picture can be best utilized as your logo but as seen in the examples above, can be creatively incorporated into the overall cover photo.
4. Pinned and Highlighted Posts
Now you can pin a post for 7 days to increase exposure to whatever topic you are wanting to place above the fold.
To help you tell your stories you can also highlight a story by clicking the star icon in the upper right of a post. This way it spans all the way across the timeline.
Here’s an example of Ford using it:
5. Company Milestones
To spice up your page, you should use milestones. You can tell people about big events in the life of your brand or company.
Click on the line that runs down the middle of your timeline and select milestone. Then you can fill out the information needed.
This is one more reason why people might want to come to fan pages much more often than before.
Facebook has removed the ability to have a default landing page for all visitors. You can still direct ads and traffic to a specific app but you can’t force people to like your page as before.
You have complete control over the top row of apps. To move apps around, simply click the “+” sign to open the drop-down for the app you want to edit. The you can click the app you want to replace in that position. This allows you to move the apps around. You can’t move the Photos app though.
To change the photo or name for your app, click on the pencil icon for your custom app, click edit settings, then select the name and photo for your app.
7. Facebook Offers
Facebook is slowly rolling out the offers feature to fan page owners. This is one of the most exciting new features for businesses on Facebook.
Better than deals, this new feature lets fan page admins create an offer which is then sent out to the news feeds of your fans, making it more visible. Offers are easy to share too, both through the post itself and then when the offer is claimed. Fans get the offer by agreeing to the terms and then clicking the claim offer button.
The offer is then emailed to the fan. This is powerful for local businesses!
There can be some issues with this system though. Make sure you set an expiration date on your offer and make the discount manageable. And make sure you can handle the response incase the offer goes viral!
8. New Facebook Admin Panel
The new admin panel is a lot more user friendly. There’s a nice tab at the top that says admin and when you click on it, a swift menu drops down allowing you to see notifications, messages, page tips, new likes, and insights.
9. Facebook Ad Changes
Fan pages currently only reach about 16% of their audience each week with posts according to Mike Hoefflinger, Facebook’s directory of global business marketing.
That’s why Facebook has created what they call the “Reach Generator” which are ads designed to connect to your existing audience and will include the page post stories.
These ads will not be based on CPC or CPM models. After you use the reach generator, businesses can expect to reach 75% of fans with one post. These ads will be sown on the right side of the page and will be placed in mobile streams and news feeds.
Another ad feature is Premium on Facebook. This places an impactful story ad in the news feed, mobile stream, and is visible to logged out users.
I personally think this is a great move for Facebook and brands will definitely benefit from the new features.
We’re seeing Facebook grow up and learn from their mistakes in the past.
What do you think? Have you made the switch to timeline yet?
If you need help with the process, have questions, need a Facebook ad expert, or need a custom designed cover graphic, please let me know.
Please leave your comments below: