The long-awaited Facebook Timeline for brands is finally here and some of Facebook’s biggest kept secrets are out of the bag! This sudden overhaul of our favorite social network has left many brands in a frenzy: How can we leverage this new format? What should we put in our cover photo? What is “pinning?” Luckily, Facebook gave us a month to preview our pages, test them out, and figure out how we can utilize this most effectively and make sure that we are featuring our brands in the best light possible. Here’s what we’ve found so far:
1) Cover Photos should be visually compelling, but simple. Since profile pictures are now a lot smaller than they used to be, it is especially important that your cover photo resonates with your fans and you use this new space to effectively communicate your brand message. If your cover photo is too cluttered, you are giving off the impression that your brand is disorganized. Fans connect best when the brand’s message is clear and concise.
2) Although cover photos allow for more customization, Facebook’s guidelines for branded cover photos prohibit brands from featuring contact information, prices, or calls to action in this section of the page. If you can’t feature this information in your cover photo, how are you supposed to promote your brand’s initiatives? Pin your posts! Facebook now allows brands to “pin” posts to the top of the page so it’s the first piece of content fans see when they land on the page. Once you pin a post, it will remain pinned for 7 days. If you have a sale, contest, or other initiative occurring, post a status update about it and pin your post!
3) One of the best features of Facebook Timeline is its increased connection to storytelling. Using the new “milestones” feature, brands can feature important moments and events in the brands’ history. Just as we ask our fans to tell their stories, now brands can tell theirs! Setting up milestones on your brand’s Facebook page provides fans with background information and allows them to connect with the brand on a more personal level. This can be especially beneficial for fast-growing, family-owned businesses who have relevant, relatable stories to tell. This feature makes storytelling for brands easier than it ever was before!
4) We’ve been able to see the “People Talking About This” metric for quite some time now. However, the “Likes” app provides fans with a graph that displays how this number has fluctuated over the last month. Now, fans can see if the number of people creating a story (liking the page, commenting on a post, liking a post, tagging pictures, etc.) about your brand has increased or decreased over time. What does this mean? It’s becoming increasingly important to engage your fans! In order to keep this number up, brands need to make sure that their content is engaging and they are actively acquiring new likes to the page (which means lots of consistent advertising!).
Now that we’ve had some time to play around with the new Facebook Timeline for brands… what have you learned?