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Leveraging the timeline feature for Facebook Brand Pages

Summary:

The Timeline is now available for Facebook pages for
businesses too. As a page owner, you can switch to the Timeline version now, or
you can wait till the 30th of March 2012, when all pages will automatically
switch to the new look.

Summary:

The Timeline is now available for Facebook pages for
businesses too. As a page owner, you can switch to the Timeline version now, or
you can wait till the 30th of March 2012, when all pages will automatically
switch to the new look.

However, if you want to stay ahead of the competition, it
will be a great idea to make the switch now! Make the most of visually engaging
features such as the cover photo, profile picture, views and apps. Connect with
your fans like never before with features like cover photo and Page timeline, direct
messaging and other features. The brand pages have been revolutionized and its
time you did the same with your Facebook strategy.

The Cover Photo:

One of the most exciting new features of the Facebook
timeline is the cover photo. One can make an indelible impression with a
picture that spreads across the screen. The dimensions of cover photos are 851
pixels in width and 315 pixels in height. Now, when you will upload a picture
that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger
size. You must remember that for the cover photo to be at least 399 pixels wide
so that the picture, when fitted to size, will look its best.

After the size, let us tackle the photo itself. What sort of
a cover photo you choose depends on the message you want your visitors to get.
You must use a unique image that represents your brand. With the ‘welcome tab’
out of the picture, it is the most important factor of your page in establishing
a first impression. So you must think creatively and out of the box to choose
images your audience responds well to.

However, as per the new guidelines, you must not have any
‘call to action’ lines on the image. These include:

•           Prices or
purchase information, such as ‘discounts galore’ 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 “Buy now” or “Share”

Remember that your cover images are public and hence be
respectful, interesting portrayals of your brand.

The Profile Picture:

The profile picture changes its prominence in the Timeline.
But it will represent your Page in the news feed. So make sure the picture
helps people identify with your brand. You can use a 180 pixels wide square
image so that it fits the best.

Understanding Friend
Activity on Your Facebook Page:

You must understand that engaging with users and existing
fans is a must if you want your fan base to multiply rapidly. With the new
timeline, people who visit your Page see how their friends have interacted with
you. This provides for a highly personalized experience. So, if a fan mentions
you, tags you, checks in, then the people they originally shared with will see
these stories highlighted for them on your Page’s timeline. So you need to get as
many mentions, tags are possible so that friends of friends visiting your page
are encouraged to become your fan too.

The Pinned Post:

Want to highlight the best offer you have running for the
whole week? Then you must ‘pin it’ to the top. Pinned posts are Page posts that
admins have chosen to display prominently at the top of their Page. As the name
suggests, when you will pin a post to the top, it will appears in the top left
of a Page’s timeline, with a small yellow banner/flag in the top-right corner.
If you pin a post to the top of their Page will remain there for 7 days.

This is a great feature for highlighting time bound offers.
Make the most of a new announcement by keeping it displayed prominently all
week long.

The Starring of a
Post-Highlight What’s Important:

You can star a post on your Page to make it bigger. Simply
hover over a story on your Page’s timeline and then click on the star icon.

The idea of starring a post is that it highlights the posts
you think are important. A Post when you starred, expands to widescreen. This
option gives you the golden chance of highlighting the important stuff on your
page.

The Setting up of the
Milestone:

As with timelines of regular profiles, Milestones are key
moments you’ve decided to highlight on your Page. The best part of Milestones
is that once a milestone is set, it will automatically expanded to wide-screen
and will be highly prominent to your fans.

To add a milestone:

1.          Go to
sharing tool at the top of your Timeline

2.          Click
Milestone

3.          Add details
like- headline, location, date and details for your milestone

4.          Choose to
add a photo

5.          Click Save

Once you have made the switch, you can scroll along your
page’s timeline to a spot and click   to
post a milestone or other type of story to a particular date. The Milestone
photos display at 843 pixels wide and 403 pixels tall. So add pictures with the
right dimensions.

The Smarter Apps:

Now, the default tabs and apps have moved from their earlier
position on the left hand side of the page. They are now on the top of your
page, below the cover photo. This ‘Views and Apps’ area is designed to help
users navigate thru your page’s timeline better.

The default view has only 4 apps visible. Photos remain
where they are, the rest three you can move around. There is a drop-down menu
of all other tabs or apps. Your apps should have a thumbnail of 107 x 70 pixels
in size.

Admin verification

Identify yourself as the admin with the Timeline anytime and
manage things much better and faster from the efficient admin panel.

You can follow and keep track of your activity on your Page
from the admin panel. This involves answering posts by fans as well as
following your latest insights. To gather how much activity is happening, you
can visit your activity log to review all posts. People can message you now and
you can respond to them from here.

The Takeaways:

Keep your page alive by sharing updates, questions, photos,
links and other content regularly. Make regular/weekly/bi-weekly postings to
spike people’s interests. Use the Pinning feature to make people notice your
most important content. You can also highlight posts by starring them. Use all
these enhanced features for an engaging user interaction. Here are some pages
to take inspiration from:

Herbal Essences

Dove

Burberry

Starbucks

HSG Accounting

Chevrolet Volt

Jive Time
Records

Magnolia Bakery

Verizon

Navneet Kaushal is the CEO of PageTraffic Web-Tech, India’s premier SEO, SMO & PPC Agency. You can follow him at twitter @navneetkaushal

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