If you're like us and you find yourself on Facebook at least a few times a day, you've probably noticed they've been introducing all sorts of changes recently. The most noticeable change is the introduction of Timeline (that's Madonna's Timeline above) a new look that's replacing the traditional Wall we're all so used to. Up until recently Timeline was only available for your personal Facebook account but now not only is Timeline available for fan pages, but it's also going to be mandatory starting at the end of the month!
That means if you have a fan page for your company (like us) or your band (like you, maybe) you have until March 31st to get your Timeline ready.
We've Got the Scoop!
We're getting ready to switch GigMasters' Facebook profile over, so we're pretty well read on the topic of the Timeline. Here's the basic stuff you'll need to know:
Cover Photo - The first thing you'll notice about Timeline is the big 'cover photo' that lives at the top of the page. The photo displays at 851px wide by 315px high but you don't have to worry about the specifics - Facebook makes it easy to move things around and will even look through your existing photos and suggest one that might work.
It's worth spending a little time to find a good cover photo since it is going to live front and center on your page. And if none of your photos seem to work up there, just grab a camera and create a new one!
Go Back in Time - Another big difference between Timeline and the old Wall-look is that Timeline allows visitors to easily scroll through your entire history on Facebook. Visitors will be able to see literally everything you've ever posted. Once your Timeline is live, it might be worth taking a brief stroll down memory lane, deleting anything you don't want on your permanent record along the way.
You can also go back even further than your Facebook join date to add major milestones. Tell the world about when your band first got together, when new members joined, when you joined GigMasters, etc. It's all about telling your story.
Pinning - In the past, messages you posted to your Wall got just as much prominence as those left by your fans. With Timeline the focus is much more on what you post. And now Timeline let's you 'pin' important info to the top of your page. Music Think Tank explains:
Facebook isn’t joining up with the new darling of social media, Pinterest. But rather, Facebook now allows you to “pin” certain posts to the top of your Timeline. I’m particularly fond of this feature because it allows bands to keep promotional posts at the top of their page instead of endlessly posting the same promotion over and over again.
Your New Landing Page - With the "old" Facebook, you used to be able to select which of your pages you'd like to set as your landing page. By default your Wall was set as your landing page, but it didn't have to be. Did you know that? Well it doesn't matter because that's all over. Now it's Timeline or bust. Even more of a reason to get your Timeline into shape.
Those are the basics but obviously there's a lot more to this whole Timeline thing. We suggest you do your homework. Here are a few good places to start:
Facebook Timeline For Pages: What Does It Mean For You? (ReverbNation)
Facebook Timeline For Brands: It's About Storytelling (Forbes)
Facebook Timeline Arrives For Business: Prepare Your Page (PCWorld)