Facebook Timeline for Pages
By Anthony Calabrese
6 Things to Know About the Switch
On March 30, 2012, all Facebook Pages were automatically switched over to the new Timeline design. Use the tips, tricks, and resources below to make sure that your Page is prepared.
The Timeline creates dynamic new way for you to tell your story and interact with users who visit your Page. Instead of a just a second stream of news to complement your RSS feed, blog, or Twitter – Pages break new ground by creating a fun and interactive experience that is easy to manage and use.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Admin Panel & Activity Log
The Admin Panel helps you run the show. In the past, the information was scattered across several screens and hard to find. Now everything that you need to manage your Page is front and center. You can view Page Insights, Notifications, and Messages right at the top of your Page when you are logged in. An added bonus is the Activity Log which provides you with quick way to see everything that has been posted to your Page. This section will also allow you to see if a post received likes, comments, or has been featured by a Page Admin.
2. Started Date & About
The first thing you should do is set a “Started, Founded, Born…” date. This will anchor your timeline in the past. Your start date must include a day. Ex. 1776 - July - 4.
Once you set this up, you will not be able to post Timeline Milestones or anything else earlier than this date. Make sure you update and utilize the About section. This is prime screen real estate that you can use to introduce your Page to the world.
3. Cover Photo
The Cover Photo will be the key visual element similar to a billboard image on a website. There’s no default landing Tab anymore.
* Do: Use a compelling photo that illustrates your mission.
* Don’t: Use an image that has your URL, a call to action, instructions to Like This Page.
4. Profile Photo and Custom App Photos
Your old Profile Photo might not cut it anymore. New profile pics must be square. On the plus side, you have more control over your Tabs – and by the way they’re called “Apps” now. You can customize the order, the App name, and most importantly the App image. But you can’t move the Photos App and it displays the most recent photo that you uploaded or posted to your Timeline.
5. Featured Content
Make your posts pop. Facebook is now a visual medium and you can “Star” or highlight posts to make them more prominent. This will display images and videos in widescreen and it will make your timeline much more appealing. You can also “Pin” posts to the top of your Timeline for up to a week. These tools are very effective and can keep visitors coming back.
6. Travel Back in Time
The genius of the Timeline is that it gives you the ability to weave your program or agency’s history into the Page. And it allows you to back fill your Timeline with important content - just use the small clock icon to set a date on status updates, photos, or milestones. You can choose whether or not to display these updates in the News Feed. Now you can go back and fill in the gaps to create a seamless user experience from start to finish.
See the Timeline in Action
- HealthCare.gov Facebook Timeline : We switched this page over on Friday March 16th and have seen user engagement skyrocket.
- At HHS, the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and StopBullying.gov were early adopters. Down the street, the Department of Education is using it too.
- On the other side of the Potomac, the Coast Guard , Army , Navy , Marines , and Air Force started using the timeline ahead of schedule.
- Some well-known brands have already switched earlier this year. You can see other examples showcased by Facebook .
Crash Course & Cheat Sheet
If you have waited until the last minute…
- Update your Cover Photo
- Update your About info and Started/Founded/Born Date
- Update your Profile Photo
|Cover Photo: 851 W x 315 H|
Started Date: Year - Month - Day
Profile Photo: 180 W x 180 H - Make sure your image scales all the way down
App Images: 111 W x 74 H – This might be buggy but be persistent. It will work!
Links to non-federal websites below…
- Pages Overview Guide (PDF – 1.81 MB)
- Pages Product Guide (PDF – 3.47 MB)
- Interactive Course: Learn About Facebook Pages
- Video: Customizing Your Page
- Video: Controlling Posts on Your Page
What do you think about the new Facebook Page design and the Timeline? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Anthony Calabrese is a Program Analyst. His full office location acronym is HHS/OS/ASPA/WCD
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