For regular users of Facebook personal profile pages, the “Timeline” has become old news, even if you were reluctant to make the switch. The public’s reception to Timeline has been mixed; some rave about it, while others threaten to quit Facebook if their profile is switched over, and still others are unhappy about the switch and want to return to the old format. Ahh, the good ole days. Whatever your opinion, be ready for yet another change: Timeline for brand pages.
The newest installment in this transition towards the “future of Facebook,” is supposedly taking place February 29th. While it is not conclusive at this point how current brands will be affected by this change, it’s a good idea to prepare a bit ahead for some of the likely obvious changes, just so things don’t look too goofy once the implementation takes place. Most companies working in social media (ours included) agree that from a branding standpoint, the new timeline will be a good update that will help showcase businesses even more, and for some, a bit more easily, if you have some creative chops. Being such visual creatures, you can bet on one thing: emphasis will be placed on images used in the new layout, so now, more than ever, it’s important to use solid imagery to support your posts.
Prepare the basics before the switch
First and foremost, we highly recommend selecting a strong and effective image to place as the “cover photo”, or header image at the top of the brand page the moment the change occurs. Since this image will be the main focal point of the entire page, it is important to design one that speaks directly to your brand in a positive and effective manner. Facebook will “right size” pretty much anything you choose as this new profile picture, but consider a more rectangular choice to be safe.
Second, it will be extremely important to dedicate some time to sit down and really interact with the new Timeline page, to get a better understanding of what posts may be emphasized, how to highlight certain aspects of your brand page, change avatars, edit where information can be found, etc. Speaking as people who already made the switch on their personal pages, it takes some time to get familiar with the changes and a lay of the land, so to speak.
Those over at AllFacebook.com also suggest a few other pointers:
- Plan which material in your archives you’ll want to feature on the timeline; it’s a chronological paradise now
- Determine whether to add more administrators to the page, and whom, since the workload may increase, at least initially
- Determine a new editorial process for timeline
While the new Facebook Timeline for brand pages is nothing to panic about, the changes may seem drastic at first; it’s quite a different look and feel from what most of us have gotten used to. However, the feeling of the “unknown” will be fleeting, especially if you take a few steps to prepare beforehand. In time it will become old hat, like all other Facebook updates before this, that is, until the next round of Facebook updates roll out 🙂