Facebook is scheduled to fully switch over all Facebook brand pages to the new Timeline look and feel at the end of March. Search Engine Watch’s Miranda Miller wrote about the new changes in her post, “New Facebook Brand Pages Guide: Everything You Need to Know”.
For marketers who manage a few Facebook pages, changes like these are almost never easy to deal with. But after you take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that you have to play by Facebook’s rules, you can start thinking about creative ways to reinvent your page. Here are just a few ways to use the new Facebook brand pages.
Featured Cover Photo
Facebook now offers brand pages the ability to capitalize on the featured photo section. A massively awkward space of 851 by 315 pixels is offered up for you to customize. With some imagination, however, this awkward space can be transformed into something pretty awesome.
Think about ways to use this space to your advantage. Facebook does limit you from adding obvious calls to action in the graphic like “click like now” or “tell your friends”. Additionally price or purchase information can’t be contained in the featured photo, contact information and no references can be made to user actions like Likes or shares.
These 40 examples of Facebook timeline designs can help you get an idea for what the possibilities are for your page. Or you can take a play out of Verizon’s book and ask your fans to submit their favorite photos, giving them a chance to have their photo chosen to be featured as a cover photo.
Switch out the photos daily, weekly or have monthly photo contests. This takes the guess work out of choosing the design – let your fans do it for you!
Have you heard about the Red Bull Timeline Timewarp contest? Talk about creative!
The folks behind the Red Bull Facebook page launched an incredible scavenger contest. Fans were encouraged to search through the brands timeline to find historical milestones that led them to clues. The initial clue was to go back to the first Red Bull ever sold – April 1, 1987.
This contest was pretty complex, but other pages could roll out similar contests.
Coca-Cola leaves riddles for their Facebook Fans, leading fans to third party websites. Think outside the box like Coca-Cola and Red Bull by leading fans across multiple platforms to win prizes. There’s a lot you can do with contests on and off Facebook with the new timeline and pinning abilities.
In addition to setting up milestones, you can also tell the story of your company or brand in chronological order. New product launches, awards, fiscal numbers, and momentous occasions in your brand's history can be added. Get your employees involved and see what they think should be added to your new timeline.
Brands like Burberry are adding vintage ad campaign photos. ESPN and Ford are sharing old commercials and images too. Ad Age’s Facebook page highlights their founding and shows an issue of their publication.
If your company has been around for a while, try to find content you’ve used previously and add it to your new Facebook page.
Pinned Posts & Starred Posts
Some brands are taking advantage of the pinned post and starred post options on Facebook. Status messages that administrators pin are kept at the top of the timeline for 7 days. You might highlight a very engaging status message, promotion or a contest.
With the lack of landing page settings on the new timeline, a pinned post is your only real way to highlight a promotion for viewing when someone first visits your page. Starbucks, as pictured below, has opted to pin their Kona promotion for maximum impact.
Another option Facebook has given pages is to star posts, giving them preferential treatment in the timeline. A starred post is expanded to display the full width of the profile, 843 by 403 pixels. You might star a status message that contains a great image or video you want to be highlighted in your timeline. Starbucks has opted to star the status message below, a photo of coffee cherries.
These are just a few of the creative options you have available to you as a Facebook page administrator of the new Facebook timeline. It's time to start thinking about ways to fill in your timeline and make the switch to the new profile today.
How do you plan to use the new Facebook timeline for your brand page?
Meet Your Favorite Search Engine Watch Contributors
Many of SEW's leading expert contributors will be at ClickZ Live, the new online and digital marketing event kicking off in New York (March 31-April 3). Hear from the likes of: Thom Craver, Josh Braaten, Lisa Barone, Simon Heseltine, Josh McCoy, Lisa Raehsler, Greg Jarboe, Dan Cristo, Joseph Kerschbaum, John Gagnon, Eric Enge and more!