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Social Media Marketing for Business



February 27, 2012

An Early Look at Timeline for Fan Pages

February 27, 2012 | By | 23 Comments">23 Comments

A timeline used to be an annoying target of memorization in high school.

The history teacher that insisted you know the dates of key battles during the Civil War.

The geography teacher who claimed knowing the timeline of rock formations would, in some way, enrich your life.

Timeline is about to take on a whole new meaning. The difference? We’re not in high school anymore Dorthy.

Timeline will become the most effective online tool for brand building when Facebook releases the feature on February 29th.

Do these 4 simple things to get ahead of the changes…

Live Webinar on Thursday, March 1st:

Timeline on Fan Pages, 6 Things You Need to Know

1. Create cover photo

One feature sure to be present when Timeline’s come to Fan Pages is the cover image. Use this space to heighten the brand experience on your page. Go ahead and take the time now to design an 850px by 315px Fan Page Timeline cover image.

Try and get creative. This space will be the first chance you have to impact the minds of new viewers.

We’re hoping that, because fan pages are commonly used for commercial purposes, Facebook allows brands to feature products and offerings in this timeline photo. Because of the large size, this image has potential to work as an effective CTA (Call to action) for brands leveraging the new layout.

2. Plan first update

While not released to the public quite yet, Facebook is already testing Timeline for pages with major brands. As you can see in this slip up, Coca-Cola was clearly experimenting with the new Timeline by adding updates from the page. (Thanks Mari Smith for the image!)
Timeline for fan pagesTo get a leg up when Timeline is released, think through what your first update will be.

The goal with current status updates is always to get engagement. At this time, we’re not sure if Timeline on pages will have an effect on edgerank and how status updates appear in people’s news feed.

However, because of the leaked documents relating to Facebook ads, its safe to say that engagement will still be a predominant factor.

Think through an update that has a Timeline twist that will surely invite engagement. Maybe something like: “Can you guess what year our company was created?”.

3. Start thinking about new ways to engage

With the release of Timelines on both personal profiles and fan pages, you’re going to want to start thinking about how your company can leverage Facebook’s open graph.

In short, the open graph allows your brand to auto-post to users personal timelines if they are engaging with your brand. Examples include: “Listening on Spotify” or “Watching on Hulu”.

Is there a natural fit for your brand? “Building with Lujure” or “Eating at Joe’s Restaurant”? Think about how you can leverage action verbs into your Facebook engagement strategy.

The 27 ways to get engagement on your fan pages still does apply, but how will you use this new branded action idea in your Facebook marketing efforts?

…. hopefully custom tabs will still be an option for engagement too!

“And it’s likely that apps will be displayed in ‘boxes’ at the top right of the Timeline design, similar to the personal Timelines. I certainly hope that we can still drive visitors and fans to custom landing tabs/areas.” says Mari Smith.

4. What dates in your business history will you add to timeline?

Thing about adding fun dates like the day you opened your company. Who was on your original founding team? When did you launch your first big partnership? When did you make your first sale? Did you open a second location? If you didn’t do any of these maybe you opened a new division of your company?

All of these dates in a businesses history give you an opportunity to craft the story your brand is made of. This will enable you to connect at a richer level with your brand advocates.

You’re turn

Yes or no, do you think Facebook will keep tabs when it releases Timeline for pages? Tell us in the comments below!



Nathan Latka has supported the growth of over 100,000 small businesses using social media and data driven campaigns — all without a college degree.