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Facebook Brand Timeline Goes Live

by | Mar 1, 2012

Facebook has finally rolled out Timeline for Brand Pages. As of Wednesday, February 29, 2012, Page owners can opt-in to preview the new design and features; automatic upgrades to the new Timeline-style interface will be implemented on all pages by March 30, 2012. The preview period allows for brands to begin testing the new features and to adjust their social strategy accordingly in order to optimize their online social presence.
The most recognizable upgrade offered by this new layout is the expansion of creative real estate for brand content, images, and apps. This new format employs a cover photo at the top of the Page, along with the capability to post larger images that can be posted on the timeline and “featured,” which spans across the width of the Timeline. As for the applications, they’re no longer listed on the left-side of the Page. They reside as rectangular panels underneath the cover image. The new space only allows for three tab panels to be displayed at one given time. To see additional apps, users must expand the tab panels by clicking on the drop-down arrow. Brands will want to rotate the tabs that are visible, according to current company objectives, promotions, events, etc.
Brands can now also outline their corporate history to their audience (such as product launches, store openings, etc.) by using “milestones.”  Similar to the old Business Pages, posting “milestones” in addition to vibrant content, behind-the-scenes activities, exclusive updates or promotions encourages user interactions and promotes higher engagement rates. 

With the new Timeline Page format, you will no longer be able to set a default landing Page. This means Pages can no longer display one of their custom “welcome” and ”like-gate” page as their default landing tab for fans and non-fans to see when they first visit the page.Since there are no more tab Pages, there is no way to set one as a default. Brands will now need to be more strategic about the content they post and when, as these posts will be the first items seen by visiting users.
Likewise, Facebook ads for brands will also become more important than ever. Setting up an advertising campaign for a Facebook promotion or new application will be the only way to guide users directly to that application (as landing on this Page cannot be achieved by default). 

Another new feature that brands can capitalize on is the ability to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline, allowing it to precede other content. A pinned post is indicated by a small, orange flag. Brands can only pin one item at a time. The pinned item will be marked in two locations—as the top item on the Timeline itself and within its chronological place. Once unpinned, which happens automatically when a new item gets pinned or after seven days, the post remains in the chronology of Timeline posts with no visual history that it was ever pinned in the past. 

Lastly, Brands will be able to send and receive private messages with their “likes” or “subscribers”. This will allow Page admins to have direct interaction with consumers and to take extended customer inquiries off (Time)line and into a private inbox message. Page Administrators can also hide or expand an admin panel right from the Timeline, without having to navigate to a separate page to make changes, updates or additions. The admin panel includes notifications of activity on your Page and chart-based performance data.
How do you see your brand utilizing the new Timeline features for your Brand page?

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