Brands using Facebook for business no longer have the option to not use the Timeline format. The social network made a mandatory change at the end of March 2012. But as someone who works with a social media management company, I still see many business owners struggling to understand and implement Facebook’s Timeline. With that in mind, I’ve put together a basic guide to help brands make the most of this social networking tool. And because getting this right is so important to your social marketing strategy, I’ve broken this up into two blog posts.
One of the biggest changes many brands experienced (besides the major changes in look and feel) was that Facebook no longer allowed consumers to be directed to a brand’s “landing page.” Most social marketing agencies recommended these welcome pages as they were an effective way to give something valuable to visitors in exchange for a “Like” for your page. All of the social network’s users will now stop first at your brand’s Timeline page which means you must understand how to set up this page correctly and take advantage of all the new features it offers.
Feel the Heat
A month after Facebook made the switch to Timeline a mandatory one, I ran across an interesting FacebookTimelineeye–trackstudy. The data in this study showed that this new format, “…changed the way consumers experience brands on Facebook.” The biggest takeaway from the eye-tracking study was that, “…viewers always looked at the cover photo first. In all but one case, they spent a longer time looking at it than at Timeline content.”
Best Foot Forward
Because your Facebook Timeline cover photo is front and center and noticed by all of your visitors, it is very important you utilise this space to put your best foot forward. A good social media management agency can help you get your USP front and center in a creative, fun, eye-catching way. At a minimum, this image must make a great impression and connect emotionally with your visitors.
If you plan to upload a cover photo yourself, you need to understand some of Facebook’scoverphotorequirements. Cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. Brands are not allowed to use calls to action (sales, download at our website, etc), ask users to “like” or perform other social actions, or include contact information (website address, email, etc.) in the cover photo image.
The next location that gets the most attention from your visitors not surprisingly can be found directly under your cover photo. The boxes for photos, events, Likes and other apps are the now a focal point for Facebook users. Lucky for your business, these boxes are also customisable. Your brand should take full advantage of this space by placing valuable information and conversion apps like blogs, event calendars, contest apps and newsletter sign-up apps in this location.
In the second installment of this two-part blog post, I will continue the Facebook Timeline discussion. We’ll discuss how to showcase important posts, ensure your fans have a say on your Timeline and much more as it pertains to your Facebook for business Timeline page. Do you have any comments about the information introduced above? Please share your thoughts below.