Whether you love it or hate it Facebook Timeline is on it’s way & change is coming, Especially for brand fan pages. Facebook announced this month that all fan pages will be updated to the new Timeline design. This means companies will have to change the way they market on Facebook & rethink a few things. Before we get into how to restructure your marketing approach let’s discuss the changes.
What is changing?
- Remember those default landing pages you arrive on when your check out a page you haven’t like? A lot of them feature an arrow pointing to the LIKE button to entice you to become a fan. Those pages are moving & you’ll no longer be landing on them unless directly taken there via FB ads or external link. This means if you go to http://www.facebook.com/dove you’ll see the page with the timeline wall, cover image, profile pic, etc. No default branded page will appear.
- A large cover image is now visible on fan pages. This will be the first thing that people see when they come to your fan page.
- Facebook tabs, featuring custom pages right below the profile picture are moving too. They will be more visible & above the fold, meaning you won’t have to scroll down to see them. They are now called “apps”.
- Long vertical profile pictures will be a thing of the past. You’ll only have a square to work with which will house your logo or company name.
- Fans are now able to send companies messages via the fan pages. This feature can also be turned off if desired.
- Got something important? You can either highlight or pin wall posts to your timeline. Highlighted posts appear larger than regular posts & pinned items stay at the top of the fan page for up to 7 days.
- Companies can also chronicle their history to get fans to engage & learn their company story via the Milestone feature. Great examples of this are Coca-Cola & the US Army.
Now that we covered the changes, let’s talk about how to run social media campaigns with the new timeline format in mind.
Your Facebook Cover image & profile picture are going to play a big role in gaining organic followers to your Facebook fan page so think of ways to be creative yet relevant to your brand. Keep in mind that you are not allow to have a call to action (Like this page or Share this post.), web address, email, or retail prices on the cover image. This is clearly stated by Facebook.
Restructure your custom pages for the new app format. You are going to have three visible apps to play around with so make them count & make them stand out. The photos app cannot be moved.
If you are running a promotion or contest be sure to pin a post about it. It will stay visible for 7 days. Take advantage of this new feature.
Give fans a reason to dig through your companies timeline. This can be done in several creative ways. See what Fanta is doing for example.
Facebook ads are even more relevant than ever! If you are running a campaign be sure to budget some Facebook ad money to help support it.
Another important point is to promote your Facebook page using your other online channels such as newsletter, website, & video content. These do help drive traffic & will build your community on Facebook.
Got any thoughts on this blog or would like me to cover another topic on social media? Leave a comment to let me know.
Renelly AKA Nelly