Timeline for Facebook Pages is here

As heralded in a recent blog post, Timeline – Facebook’s replacement for the Wall – is now available for your business Page. When you visit your page you’ll be given the option to preview the new look and if you like it you can ‘publish’. I suggest you preview and optimise now as the new Timeline will be rolled out to all Pages from 30 March 2012.

This new approach to Pages gives your business or organisation the opportunity to demonstrate its history since incorporation. It’s therefore great for businesses and brands that have been around for some time. So for example, if you were in business 30 years ago you can post updates from the 1980s together with photos of your products, offices and so on. See my post on the Dove Facebook Page or check out the Manchester United Page for examples. The latter shows the full history of the club from when if was founded in 1878 – there’s even a photo of the first team – through to the present day.

Here are five things you need to know about Timeline for Facebook Pages:

Cover photo – The most striking feature of the new style Page, the cover photo is displayed at the top of your Timeline, above your profile picture. Like your profile picture, cover images are public, which means anyone visiting your Page will be able to see them. There are a number of restrictions that Facebook have placed on the cover photo. For example, you can’t use it to promote products or encourage visits to a web page. However, it’s a great way to show off your business and to make a big impression when people visit your Page.

Welcome pages are no more – A major change is that you can no longer have a default landing or welcome page – all visitors now arrive at the Timeline. However, content can be highlighted by pinning and starring (see below), you can still add application pages (previously known as tabs) and there’s the new cover photo (see above). You can also use tabs which are now more prominent than before to display offers and campaigns. Read more in this blog post.

Pinned posts – Admins can now display Page posts prominently at the top of their Page. A pinned post appears in the top left of a Page’s timeline and has a flag in its top-right corner. Once pinned a post will remain there for 7 days. A great feature for highlighting an upcoming event, a great tip or a link to a useful resource.

Starred posts – You can also highlight posts you think are important by starring them so they appear widescreen style across your Page. Note that you can’t pin and star at the same time.

Messaging Pages – At last! It’s now possible for people to message your Page and they don’t even have to be fans. This is done via the Message button at the top right of your Page. A great way for fans to contact you which you should encourage.

If you want to know more about Facebook Timeline for your Page then please post a question on my Intranet Future Timeline or book a place on my next Facebook workshop on Wednesday 25 April. I’m also available for consultation on a hourly rate – please contact me to book an appointment.

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