Facebook are rolling out their timeline for fan pages this month. It’s quite a big change and for now is optional. Facebook will switch over from the old fan page to the timeline on 31st March 2012.
Once you have made the switch you can’t “get rid” of the Facebook timeline – so take some time to get to know it!
Here are 5 tips to help you make the change smoothly…
1 Facebook Timeline Rules
The timeline is much more visually appealing. However, resist the urge to use that huge cover image for advertising and call to action. I know… what a waste of space! But, if you use this free resource then you do need to play by Facebook rules.
I’m still tinkering with my cover image, and it probably does fly close to what is not allowed. Facebook do seem to want nice big pictures of scenery and fluff.
Here’s what their guidelines say…
Covers may not include:
i. price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
ii. contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
iii. references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
iv. calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
2 Facebook Timeline For Local Business Pages
If you have your page set as a local business page then you do need to make quite a tough decision. By default, the about section shows your address and phone number. It will not show your website link. You’ll notice in the example below that the about section cannot be customised.
One way around this is to delete your phone number in the about section and make sure your website is included in the website section. Of course this is far from ideal. You cannot put your phone number on your timeline cover image, so you do need to choose which contact method has the potential to work best for your business.
Another alternative is to add a contact tab app and make it one of your three optional tabs available.
3 Previewing and Editing Your Facebook Timeline
On a good note, you can preview and edit your timeline before it goes live. You do need to be logged in as your personal profile to see the preview and make any changes.
Here’s a quick video showing you how to preview your Facebook timeline.
Facebook Business Page Timeline
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How to preview your Facebook page timeline
4 Facebook Timeline Tabs
You’ll notice the tabs running down the left side of the page have now gone. What you have instead are 4 tabs above the fold in prime position. You can change the position and image of three of these tabs. Only the photos tab cannot be changed.
With the new timeline, you no longer have the option to set a landing page so the practice of “fan gating” is more difficult. Fan gating is setting a landing page that reveals a gift or offer once the page has been “liked”. You can still set one of your tab pages as a welcome page with a fan gate.
Since the tabs can now be seen without scrolling, they are in a much better position. They almost make up for the lack of marketing opportunity with the timeline cover image! Choose the tabs you want to show wisely and reflect any current promotions you are doing.
The video below shows how to change tab images and position.
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How to change tab images
5 Customising Your Facebook Timeline
There’s is already a lot of information online about customising your Facebook timeline and more, so I won’t dwell on it too much here. For quick reference, here’s the new image sizes:
Cover image – 851px by 315px
Profile image – 180px by 180px this will be resized automatically to 32px by 32px next to your updates and posts
Tab images – 111px by 74px
Have you made the switch to the Facebook timeline yet? I’d love to hear your thoughts, pop them in the comments box below.Facebook Timeline For Local Business Pages – 5 Important Things You Need To Know by Jan Kearney