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Facebook Timeline for Pages : the New Features

Facebook Timeline

Yes I’m talking about Facebook timeline once again. You might think Facebook pays me for this. Well I wish, but No!

I’m back today to talk about the Facebook “Pages” for Business, that have only been with us for barely 3 years.
We have been learning to liven up our page, keeping you entertained and learning more about you by getting statistics out of it. At this point I was about to proclaim myself as a Facebook Page Expert Analyst but guess what! THEY HAVE CHANGED!  I now have to learn it all over again. Thank you Facebook for changing your UI all the time.  Can you imagine how frustrated I am?

So well, since I’ve read many articles about the why, the how, the when I thought, maybe, you would be interested.

New Features

The Cover Photo

The new timeline gives the option to upload a giant landscape-oriented cover photo of 851 x 315 pixel across the top of the page.

It should introduce people to your page and give your fans (and soon to be fans) first impressions.
Note that the cover photos should not look like banner ads! Facebook will not allow cover photos with the following content:
·    Prices or Purchase information: “30% off” or “Available for Download at our website”.
·    Features such as : “Like this Page” or “Share” this page;
·    Calls to action: “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”
·    Contact info: Web addresses, email addresses, mailing addresses or other information of this kind. These will have to appear in your Page’s “About” section.

The profile pictures are still available but definitely less visible. It is suggested to use a square image that is at least 180 pixels wide.

About & Apps

Facebook has made them less visible, relocated under the cover photo; it is shaped as a menu bar.
“About” section is on the left side and “Apps” are on the right side.

About shows a preview description of the Brand/Company. When clicking on the About link the whole description address and contact info, map show up. Be sure to make your description short and punchy enough so that it is  readable without clicking the link. Depending on the category of your brand or you page you will have different options in this section. From a 15 characters description to contact details  such as Phone Number, Directions….

Apps appear in thumbnail with in the first spot Photos,  Likes, Videos, Events, Map and custom apps that can be unfold by clicking the drop-down menu scroll to the right of your Page’s apps. You can change the order of the customs ones. Facebook will allow you to show a maximum of 12 apps, so think about which ones you want to feature and in which order you want them to appear.

Forget about the default landing page tab that was dedicated to non-fans visiting a page. That was creative and fun, that’s part of the past now. It no longer exists.  Same fate for contests, promotions, games, media, coupons and pages.

So you might ask yourself, does the page looks the same for Fans and Non-Fans? Well, yes it does!
I have been wondering, how can this new timeline receive more engagement if custom apps involves that the fans actively look for it?

Timeline

If you already have a personal Facebook you might already know the star icon. It allows you to make your post the full width of the Page (as large as you Cover Photo). The pencil allows you to hide, delete or pin a post to the top of the feed (yeah, “pin” makes you think of Pinterest, me too!). Pining one of your best new or old post will make it available at the top left side of your timeline for a week. As Default Landing Page or other custom pages are no longer available you might want to use this feature to direct fans to an important promotional app, show off a special photo, or display a timely status update. You can highlight your posts or your fans posts. Take advantage of this feature to highlight user posts that are positive, while hiding negative ones.

Message

Fans can now message a page directly. This feature is new and  will be helpful for marketers to keep sensitive conversations private. It will keep you from discussing issues publicly on your Page’s  Timeline. It can be considered as a new customer channel service. Note that you can only answer to you fans message but will not be able to initiate contact them. Make sure to respond to messages or you’ll risk to be perceived as ignoring your fans. You better disable this option with the Admin Panel rather than taking the risk of being perceived as so.

Management Tools

Admin Panel

The feature now drops down and displays notifications of your recent activity (posts on timeline, message conversations, likes and Insights Data). If you are wondering if your fans should be able post to your Timeline or not, you still can now change settings by clicking on the Edit Page.

Activity Log

This is basically a list of each and every posts and mentions done by fans. You will be able manage what you want to be published, highlighted, hidden and even deleted.

Several marketers are already grumbling, considering that it kills one of the most crucial marketing feature: default-landing tab that non-fans would first see when they visited.

To be honest with you I’m a little reluctant too. I believe that it will receive much less engagement from users or at least for the beginning.

So, amongst the beautiful covers and pinned posts … what’s your opinion?

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