3.15.12

The New Facebook Timeline for Brands: Are You Ready?

BY KRISTI PETRIE

Companies have two weeks until Facebook forces the timeline layout on all brand pages on March 30. There are some big changes that you need to start thinking about now'

THE TIMELINE

Now, your updates will show up on your page in chronological order instead of the order you are posting in. This is helpful because you can add photos and posts from the past, and they’ll show up correctly on your timeline. Facebook will still show that you recently posted them (as ‘recent activity’), but will put them in order based on the date you assign to the update or photo.

Milestones are another new addition. Adding these will add a large marker to the timeline to highlight a major event in your companyÕs history. Maybe it was the day you opened your doors? Perhaps it was a new product release? Company anniversary? Addition of a new client? Big event? Award?

So what? This is a great opportunity to fill in the history of your company! You can go back all the way to the beginning and add in key milestones to really help people understand the evolution of your company.

COVER PHOTOS

The cover photo is the large picture at the top of your timeline and is public, so anyone can see it. At a minimum, it needs to be 720 pixels wide and the ideal size is 851px wide by 315px high. It’s a nice, big piece of real estate to use for branding purposes. Not so fast though - before you go back to the original best practice of including contact info and encouraging fans to like your page - there are some new rules you need to know about. In an effort to make self-promoting brands less, well, self-promoting and more engaging, Facebook has set some rules regarding cover photos. Here are some elements you CANÕT include in your cover photo:

  • Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website"
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends"

So, what can you do? Lots! Some companies are already embracing the new timeline layout and have done some pretty cool things.

Check out Mashable’s 20 Facebook Cover Photos to Inspire Your Brand. We particularly like Macy’s cute use of the avatar by making it look like a shopping bag. Red Bull nailed the essence of their brand, and Toyota made us want to go out and buy a Toyota AND a dog immediately. Check them out.

We recommend using the space to visually communicate what lies at the heart of your brand… is it people? Is it an emotion? Your industry? The options are endless - so get creative!

PROFILE PHOTOS

The big change here is that the profile photo size is fixed at 125px wide by 125px tall, however, you must upload an image that is minimum 180px wide. If you upload anything larger, fans will only be able to see it in your profile photo gallery. The profile photo overlays the cover photo, so again, get creative!

We did a little scouring of the web to see what other companies are doing and recommending. Here's a few links to more information:

Confused about the new dimensions for various photos on the timeline? Look no further! (Courtesy of Jon Loomer)

facebooktimelineimagedimensions21

We’ll be helping clients make the big switch to the timeline layout over the next few weeks and I’ll update this post with links to their pages. We’re excited for the new changes!

Kristi Petrie
written by KRISTI PETRIE
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