Lots of questions coming in on the new Facebook Timeline feature. As there should be. it's a drastic change to what we are used to and a big change on how you use Facebook for marketing. Or I should say how the new TimeLine hiinders your marketing efforts, basically taking them away!
You may have seen this message recently when administering your Facebook business page (you will also see a message in your profile area as well). You can click Preview to see how your site will look with the new Timeline format. Read on to learn all about it and how it will affect your business and Facebook marketing.
To sum it up:
- New Timeline Feature (mandatory)
- FB new Cover option (like a banner at the top of your Facebook page)
- Yes, you can still have a custom page, but not a reveal page (not one forcing a "like" to get "this or that") and not one that will be front and center on a landing page/squeeze page/splash page.
- And there are more features detailed in the TechCrunch links highlighted in this Facebook Timeline article.
Custom Pages in Facebook
YES, you can still have them. But will you want to? Some of you or all of you may want to continue with a "custom tab" but it can NOT be defaulted any more.
- This means no more reveal pages.
- No more "like this page" to get "this or that".
- No more pretty (professional) page to show up when someone first comes to your FB site (page).
You can still have a custom page, but it will NOT be front and center. It will be where the user will have to search and voluntarily click on that page to see it. However, it may be at the top area of the new Timeline where there are thumbnails of different apps such as Photos, Events, your custom tab.
Facebook Timeline Information –
Must Read articles
Timeline for Business Pages Here is Getting Started help: http://www.facebook.com/help/timeline
Here is FB introducing TimeLine:
Must read on Timeline Implementation and new features: http://techcrunch.com/2012/02/29/facebook-timeline-for-pages/
Great information about how to use the new Timeline format for Business Pages:
New info on custom pages — there is no more squeeze page, landing page, forcing a like to get — nothing will show on the main page (there is no more main page just the timeline view):
Creating a new Facebook Cover
What they talk about now is having a nice "cover" to be at the top of your page. Here is an example below for Coca-Cola. For Stampin' Up! demonstrators, you can even create one in MDS! Here is the video from Patty Bennett to create a banner in MDS…you would just modify it to the new dimensions of 851×315: http://www.blogsbyheather.com/2010/09/featuring-patty-bennett-wwwpattystampscom-creat-your-own-blog-banner.html
Just read the rules for your Cover below. You can also create a modified version of your blog banner. Contact your designer, such as Michelle Laycock, me or whomever designed your banner. Or you can of course have a new Cover image created that coordinates with your blog's theme (but not simply a copy of your banner w/o the contact info). That is up to you!
You may want to focus on a new Cover image (which is definitely seen) instead of new Custom Page (which may not be seen).
Cover The Timeline cover displays a giant 851 x 315 pixel banner across the top of your Page. Facebook’s Product Director of Ads Gokul Rajaram tells me its “goal is to symbolize what an organization is all about. For a restaurant it could be a popular menu item, a band could display album cover art, and a business could show a picture of their customers using their product.”
Covers may not display calls to action or references to Facebook features such as “Like this Page”, purchase or pricing info such as “40% off” or “Download at our website”, or contact information such as web address. Rajaram says “brands have been very positive [about the restrictions] because they don’t want to be seen as overly promotional — it’s a turnoff. Pick a visually stunning, high-resolution image that will delight or intrigue visitors and make them want to scroll down to your updates. (TechCrunch)
In summary,I again would like to say that custom pages will still be available, you can still run contests, the custom pages just cannot be the default landing page. That is no longer an option with the new Timeline format.
Furthermore, you do not have a choice, all pages will be converted to the Timeline format. So you need to make the choice to have a custom page or not, but you should definitely create a nice Cover (similar to having a banner on your blog). For SU Demos you may want to create a Cover that matches your blog design or showcases a bunch of samples of your artwork. Remember, no calls to action, no website address, no asking to "Like".
Be sure to read all the articles above as they are really great articles by TechCrunch covering Facebook's Timeline format.