An In-Depth Understanding of the New Facebook Pages Timeline for Businesses
On March 30 2012, all Facebook Pages will change to the Timeline format, this format is still rolling out to Facebook Profiles though many of you may already have it and have become accustom to it. Now, with Facebook changing the look and navigation of Facebook Pages, although it looks similar to Facebook Profiles Timeline, it is different. Understanding its purpose for your brand, band or business is important to obtain. Therefore, we have gathered all of the information you will need to comprehend how to use the Timeline on your Facebook Page to your advantage.
The first thing you will notice changed is your “welcome” page; it is no longer as effective as it was prior to this change. What becomes emphasized is the cover photo that is placed at the very top of your page. This is now a hub to highlight your latest promotions, contact information or to highlight your businesses personality. The point of the cover photo is for it to be changed as often as needed and will be the first thing people who visit your page will see.
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What is the cover photo dimension for Facebook Pages?
The dimension for the cover photo is 851×315 pixels and cannot be used for any form of advertising; this includes encouraging people to “like” your page.
You will also notice that your avatar dimension has been changed and the long and wide “profile” page picture is now a small square box, you will need to cater to these dimensions to have your page remain looking professional and up-to-par when the change comes, this is an alteration you will want to make prior to the 30th. Remember that your pages profile picture is what is seen in other areas on Facebook, including and most importantly, the newsfeed, where majority of your posts and content is viewed. It takes a person 17 times to view a picture associated with a name prior to making the connection, so change the picture using the same colors or use the same picture just by making it smaller if you do not want to restart that process.
What are the dimensions for the new Facebook Profile Picture?
Although the width to the new Facebook Profile picture can go as wide as 180 pixels, the recommended pixels for the newest change to pages profile picture is 124×125. You will also want to make any adjustments to your thumbnail by hovering over the picture and clicking on the “Edit Thumbnail” option, you can click and move the image around as well as tick the box that reads “scale to fit”, if neither options show your profile picture as you would like it, you will need to fix it and redo the process again.
As you will see these are not the only changes that will occur, there are many, and here is what those changes are and how you need to use them for your business.
Changes to your Facebook Page
Your Facebook Page will become a Timeline, to allow people who have “liked” your page to see your history and to view how long your page has been on Facebook, giving your page a scrapbook feel that makes the page friendlier and more inviting.
What are the Changes to my Facebook Page?
There are a lot of changes that comes with this new Timeline look, it is not just a superficial change, it is actually going to relocate the navigation of features on your page as well as add new features that you will need to familiarize yourself with in order to become acquainted enough to still be able to effectively use your Facebook Page for your business.
Where are the Apps, Likes, and Photo sections on my Facebook Page?
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Your Facebook Pages “about” section is now located directly under your new profile picture and also located at the top are now your photo section, your pages “likes” and any applications your page uses. You are able to choose what you want highlighted in this section and therefore people will see what is most important out of these features.
For example: If you have a Twitter account and have added an application that allows people to see your feed and follow you and want that to be seen over another application that does not benefit your business than choose to move that one and replace it with the Twitter application.
Be sure to choose the most important applications to be displayed first (we recommend Twitter, RSS and YouTube) or any other applications that are in direct assistance to your business that you manage and maintain regularly since these will be seen the most. However, you are able to showcase up to 12 applications.
Every post you now make becomes a part of your newly designed timeline; this includes any past posts or activity you made on your Facebook page. Although, this change looks drastic, it actually allows you to have more control over the content you post. When posting to your page, hover over the story and click on the star located on the right-hand side. This star will now allow you to make the story the highlight of your page by making it wider.
LOOK OF POST BEFORE CLICKING STAR
LOOK OF POST AFTER CLICKING STAR
You Now Have More Control over Your Facebook Pages Content
When posting to your page, hover over the post to choose “edit or remove”. This feature allows you to do much more than meets the eye.
Pin a Story to the Top of your Facebook Page
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Once you click “edit or remove”, a drop-down will appear and you will have options to “pin to top” this allows a story to become sticky, and will remain as your top post with a bookmark (so you can remember that you pinned it to the top.) This new feature is great for short-term promotions, contests or anything you deem important for the people who have “liked” your page to see. To unpin the post from the top of your timeline, simply go back to “edit or remove” by hovering over the post and in the drop-down, click “unpin from top”, now it will go back to its original position within your timeline prior to pinning it.
Change the Date on a Post in Your Facebook Pages Timeline
Another newly added feature within the drop-down under “edit or remove” is the ability to change the date of your post. Therefore, you can change the position you want the post to show within your timeline. You will only be able to do this if you have given your page or business a date it began on your page. If you have yet to do this and want to change the date on your post it will ask you to add the date your business or page was created. Once you add it, you will have to go back and click the “edit or remove” drop-down again to change the date of the post.
Along with these two new features you will also be able to remove, delete and hide a post if you choose to from the same location.
What is the Admin Panel Button?
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The admin panel button located now at the top of your Facebook Page is for those who have admin access to your page. It is a quicker way to view and respond to activity on your page, which includes the names of the newest people who have “liked” your page, your insights graph and tips from Facebook for your page. To view a more in-depth look at your pages activity you must go to your “activity log”. This feature is now supposed to help you be able to manage everything in one place for a quicker way to view your statistics without having to click all over the place. This part of your pages new feature is not open to the public and although you will be able to see it, unless others have admin access the people who have “liked” your page will not be able to see the button or view your insights.
Private Messages on Facebook Pages are now Enabled
Now your business will have even more of a reason to remain productive on your Facebook Page with the newly introduced ability for people who have “liked” your page to be able to message you privately. That is right, your page is now able to receive messages, much like e-mail from those looking to speak with you or share feedback. Think of this as an even greater way to keep the communication flowing between you and those who have chosen to “like” your page. It also increases the chance of people who have negative sentiment to reach out to you more privately and decreases the chance for that negativity to be as prominent on your Facebook page. There are many positives to this new feature and a little encouragement from you will help this along, as long as you have someone who is able to respond to the private messages as well as to the comments on your page.
This is a lot of change that is occurring to your Facebook Page and is why you have been given ample time to familiarize yourself with the changes prior to the 30th of March. This breakdown will hopefully provide you with the help to make you feel more comfortable in understanding the changes and aid as a guide if needed through the transition.
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If you want to see the changes more visually, check out the official Facebook video for the on-coming changes to your Facebook Page. In the meantime you can preview the way your page will look with all the navigation features enabled as well as have the ability to have your page go live prior to the pending end date, just remember that once you change it you will not be able to change it back. You can also check out more information on the Facebook blog.
What do you think of the Facebook Timeline for Pages?
Erin Ryan is a writer for various blogs and a Social Media Promotional Director who has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date with the Social Media Industry. Erin enjoys teaching and helping people and businesses on how to use and connect through Social Media. You can connect with Erin Ryan on Twitter.
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