April 5, 2017

What Will the New Facebook Timeline Mean to Your Business or Fan Page?

Facebook Timeline Business PagesJust when you thought you had your Facebook business page all fixed up with special tabs and a fan gate to encourage Likes, Facebook has announced the rollout of Timeline for business pages.  While this is not going to be much more than a cosmetic rearrangement for many pages, if you have a highly customized business or fan page, there are some things you will need to know.

One of the biggest changes from a marketing perspective is that, as of now, those “fan gate” pages that many use to hide content unless the user has Liked the page will no longer work.  This, of course, has upset a lot of people who were relying on this type of custom tab to grow their following.  While there will probably be a workaround in the near future, this is a good opportunity to examine whether or not it was a good idea to force users to Like your page.  On one hand, these reveals are a good way to get more likes from curious users and those who may not always remember to give the thumbs up. On the other hand, some may see it as being pushy and resent being “tricked” into endorsing something without seeing it first.  They really aren’t very user friendly and kind of side-step the “social” part of social media and remove some of the personal feel and replace it with something like the spirit of email capture forms that leave the user feeling like they have to sign up for something just to read an article. In terms of user experience and generally making the internet a friendlier place, the disappearance of Facebook gateways is a good thing.

fake Facebook Likes

Stop The Fake Like Madness!

In the long run, it is better to have real interactions, followers, friends and endorsements. Have you ever visited web page and noticed their Facebook widget that shows thousands of people who ‘Like’ the business; yet you know that would have to be every single customer they have ever had along with all of their extended family members?

Otherwise, no sense in complaining about the change to Timeline. Instead, let’s get to know what’s new before it becomes mandatory at the end of March 2012.

Here are a few of the more significant new things about Timeline:

Cover Photo
The most obvious new feature is the Cover Photo.  This 851 pixel wide banner allows you to really make an impression visually. There are some restrictions on what you can put here – no phone numbers, URLs, coupons and that sort of thing – so read the notice when you upload.

Sticky and Featured Posts
With Timeline, you can stick a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to a week.  If there is something you really want people to know, like a weekly special at a restaurant, you can continue posting updates without worrying about pushing the really important post down too far to be noticed. You can also change dates, which will allow you to further fine tune your message and you can also hide those random blurts you don’t need to delete, but don’t want to be your first impression.  Timeline posts can also be featured so that they take up the full width of the page.

Company Milestones
You can add company milestones to your Timeline, which is a good way to highlight your company history. Milestones can also be used for events like new store openings or product launches.

Admin Panel
The new admin panel is a big improvement. Previously, tracking activity through Insights could be a little confusing and hard for some users to find and manage.  Facebook page activity stats are now easily found on the admin panel.  Private messages to your company are also in the Admin panel, which will help keep complicated customer service issues or complaints out of public view. There are times when you don’t want to be 100% transparent.  The Notifications tab shows your notifications about comments and Likes so you can check on them on your time, and not just when your email inbox is overflowing with notifications.

Test Drive
If you haven’t already seen the notification on your Facebook page, you can take the tour now and see what your new Facebook Timeline will look like before the mandatory switch on March 30th.  If you like what you see, you can make the switch now and get a head start on finding your way around.

What do you think?

Is Timeline going to change how you use your Facebook Business Page?

Like it, hate it, don’t care or planning on closing your account?
Let us know in the comments section below or on our rather minimalist Facebook page.

And if you need help reworking your Facebook page, be sure to contact us.