Facebook announced recently that its new format, Timeline, will soon become available for pages. Timeline has been available for several months on personal profiles, but pages have had to wait. How long of a wait that would be was the source of much conjecture. Even when Facebook announced beta testing starting March 1, there was a lot of uncertainty over when pages would have to switch to Timeline. The press on this has been unclear, so let me draw the bottom line: As of March 30 your Facebook page will switch to the new Timeline format, ready or not.
Much has already been made of the changes this will bring to pages. Here are a few of the big ones.
1. Landing Pages will be less valuable. Brands have poured a LOT of money into developing special and customized landing pages, places where visitors would go first and that were generally more effective in collecting Likes. Timeline will allow Landing Pages to continue, BUT they will no longer be the first place a visitor lands. That will be the page’s main wall now. Relying on a visitor to click through to the landing page drops their stock significantly.
2. If Content was King, now it’s Emperor. Content will continue to drive interaction, promotion, and new Likes for pages. Indeed, Timeline takes away or lessens the trick of Landing Pages to collect more views. That means the rich content of your page, or lack thereof, will be more important than ever. You can also “pin” a particular post to the top of your page. If you’re running a contest, managing a charity drive, or have an otherwise important post you want highlighted, pinning helps keep the attention on longer.
3. Private Messages. Unlike Twitter and YouTube, up until now Facebook has not allowed private messages to pages. That meant any message or concern was aired on the Wall for everyone to see. You can see how that would dissuade even an exploratory message like “I’m looking for a home loan”. Timeline will allow private messages, which could be a serious boon for one-on-one messaging. Pages that already have good interaction going on will be most helped.
4. Graphic Design. The 200 by 600 pixel avatar on Facebook pages is going away, replaced by a much bigger 851 x 315 cover photo. Graphic design was often overlooked on previous Facebook pages (those with the itsy bitsy thumbnail photo). Timeline ups the importance of good, graphic design more than ever. Brands and personalities that have great photos and greater graphic designers will be at an immediate advantage by having a good and engaging photo across the top of their page.
There is more, but the above 4 are the big and immediate changes that will impact ALL Pages starting March 30. Some of the larger social media consulting firms are charging a handsome ransom to get clients ready for the new Timeline format. At Super Charge Marketing we are happy to help our existing clients make this critical change at no additional cost. For other businesses, if you already have a designed Facebook page, we are happy to offer a FREE upgrade to Timeline for new clients.