Facebook’s new Timeline format offers businesses more flexibility in arranging their business page layout than did the previous model. With the new setup, users can highlight and feature postings and items more effectively, and they can tell their story with a wide array of useful features.
The primary advantages of Facebook Timeline for business are the following:
- Cover photo
- Feature and Pin options
- Arrange various page elements
- Insert stories anywhere in the Timeline
- About section
- Admin Panel
As the name suggests, Timeline is about telling your story, the story of your business, via a composite chronological graphic layout. The feature allows businesses to provide more information about themselves in a way that builds relationships and trust.
The cover photo is the first thing that visitors to your page will notice. The old profile photo still exists overlapping the cover near the latter’s bottom left-hand corner. The profile photo retains its old size, but the new cover stretches across the Timeline at the top of the page measuring 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall.
Facebook makes it simple to change the cover by hovering your mouse over the photo and then selecting from the Change Cover menu. Many creative Timeline users create composite images that combine the cover and profile photos. Businesses can use the cover photo to showcase their services, customers, products, or team while retaining the profile photo for their main logo.
Note that Facebook has guidelines on the cover photo that prevent you from including items like prices, website URL or calls to action. You can read the full cover rules when you create your Timeline.
Feature and Pin options
The Timeline divides two columns with stories appearing in each column. However, if you wish to feature a particular story, you can hover your mouse over the article and then click the “star” graphic in the upper right-hand corner.
When you feature a story, it spans across both columns just like the cover photo. By featuring a story, you can draw visitors’ attention more quickly to this item.
Another option for stories known as “pinning” is available when you click the pencil icon in the upper right-hand corner of a story. When you pin a story it stays at the top of the Timeline for up to seven days. Since Facebook does not restrict stories in the same way it does the cover photo, you can use the pinning option for more direct soliciting and for calls to action on your page.
Arrange page elements
Unlike the old format, in which everything stayed in the same place, you have more options to organize page elements with Timeline. Facebook uses the term “Views” for these items and they include your photos, friends, likes and apps. You also can change the photo displayed with each app and rename the app on your Timeline. Here’s another opportunity to create great Call To Actions for your fans and customers.
Use this capability to highlight views and apps that you think fans will find most interesting and useful.
Insert stories anywhere in the Timeline
With the old Facebook, all stories automatically appeared at the top your profile page newsfeed. With the new format, you can select where stories will appear on your Timeline.
When you post a story, select the clock icon on the bottom menu bar to set the date for the item. When you post the story, it will automatically appear in correct chronological order. Facebook still notifies your fans that you have posted a story, so they do not need to search for the new item.
You can also use Composer to create stories based on Milestones in your company’s history.
The About section is the similar to the Info page on the old Facebook format, but with different layout and options.
In this section, you can include your business address and contact info along with your website URL. The description segment allows you to describe what your company offers along with the company’s overall mission values.
The new Admin Panel appears as a drop down menu when you click on the Timeline. The interface allows you to manage your layout and has a “Build Audience” menu that provides “Invite Friends,” “Share Page” and “Create and Ad” options.
By clicking on “Page Insights,” you can view Facebook Analytics including information on who visits your Timeline and on which content is most popular.
To activate the new Timeline format, check for the “Welcome to Your Page Preview” message when you visit your page. Click on “Start Tour” to learn more about how Timeline works. You will then have the option to start designing your page without any changes appearing until you select the “Publish Now” option. You can preview your page changes until you get the format just right for publishing.
Need help redesigning or managing your Facebook page? Check out our social media marketing services!
Have you switched over to the new timeline yet? Let us know what you think of it by commenting below.