ADOTAS – Below is a quick overview of some of the things Facebook page administrators should know right now to manage their Facebook pages with Timeline, but first, start with a quick “Are you ready for Timeline?” quiz to test how much you know about Timeline and what it means for your page.
• It’s not Optional. That’s right — as you’ve seen from March 30, with a few hiccups, Facebook started migrating all company/ brand pages to Timeline… a switch that it had started with personal pages several months ago.
• Facebook Pages “look” different. There are all sorts of “new” things with Facebook Timeline:
– Pages sport a “cover photo,” which is a great way to set up the page personality, feature a close-up of a product, etc. Just be aware that there are rules about what can/cannot be included.
– Your profile picture has a new size — if you try to use your old one, it probably will end up off-center, with random cropping.
– Tabs are now near the top of the page and feature icons. You can have 12 at a time.
– Pinning and starring are new ways to highlight important posts.
– You can no longer set a default tab for first time visitors — bye-bye to “Like-gating” your page. However, you can still Like-gate tabs.
• Private messaging is here. This means brands can respond directly to fans or visitors, with the caveat that only the visitor can initiate the conversation. This is a huge opportunity for companies, but make sure your business has a strategy for dealing with a possible flood of inquiries and comments — positive and negative. If you aren’t ready, you can turn this feature off. If you welcome a flood of inquiries, this is your chance.
• Interaction is more important than ever. Timeline provides new opportunities for companies to interact with and engage their audience. The best way to take advantage of these opportunities is with engaging, interactive content. Videos, quizzes, surveys, sweepstakes, contests and coupons are the type of content most often interacted with, liked, shared and otherwise consumed — your best bet is to fill your Tabs/Favorite Apps slots with quality, interactive content and update it frequently. For more details on why interaction is so important, read up on EdgeRank — Facebook’s algorithm for deciding which posts appear at the top of News Feeds/ Timeline.
• New Admin panel and “Insights.” Use the tools available to you to manage posts, post milestones and keep track of Likes, networks, People Talking About This, etc. To get deeper analytics on how your individual apps are performing, including impressions, share rates, responses to calls to action and so on, make sure that you are choosing a solution that offers this information.
For more details on the changes, visit Facebook’s Timeline for Brand Pages. In addition, my company, SnapApp, recently hosted a webinar on Marketing Strategies using Facebook Timeline that featured tactical information like how many pixels a cover photo or profile image should be, as well as information on some of the strategic/content options that companies should consider.