Last week, Facebook gave us a big shock by releasing timeline for fan pages overnight. As if that’s not enough, Facebook mandated that we absolutely have no choice but to switch because on March 30th, like it or not, your page will be converted to the timeline format.
Timeline itself is not new. Facebook released timeline for personal profile a while ago which was met by strong reaction from people who absolutely hate it.
And the first reactions to fan page timeline are not so good either. Just do a search and you will find people saying that fan page timeline is as good as killing businesses, unless you are a big corporation with deep pocket for branding and advertising. I’m sure you have read those articles and know the reasons why it’s bad for businesses (and internet marketers like us), but let me just shortly repeat them here.
- Want to advertise? Use our Facebook Ads, will you?
Facebook give us huge cover image above the fold (it’s 851 x 315 pixels), only to tell us that we can’t put any kind of advertisement or promotion there. So no website URL, no Twitter username, no call to action text, no promotional message like ‘Click here’ or ’50% Off’, no reference to Facebook interface like ‘Share’ or ‘Like’. Basically you will be safe if you follow Mark’s example below.
- Yes you can pin big banner, but come back every week to re-pin it
People are creative. One of the new feature in timeline is you can highlight a post so it stretches the page and you can pin it too so it’s sticky at the top. So why not create extra huge in-your-face banner and stick it at the top? Although it’s not above to fold, it will be the first thing visitors see when they scroll down. However, the catch is after 7 days the post will not be sticky anymore. So if, for example, you have a contest running for a month and want to announce it using sticky post, you need to re-pin it every week.
- Fan-gating your content? There’s no more landing tab, haha!
This is probably the worst change in timeline. Businesses use fan gate to attract more likers by rewarding them with coupons, free gift, free reports, basically anything to pick visitors’ curiosity which results in them clicking the ‘Like’ button to get whatever is hidden behind the gate. Timeline still allows you to have apps and tabs, but you can’t make it a default landing page anymore. Instead, everyone will land on your wall.
- Apps and tabs have thumbnail icons now
Just below the cover image you can see a row of 4 thumbnails which can be expanded to display more. These are called Custom Tab Image and as the name says, is customizable. You can also re-arrange the order of the tabs with the exception of Photo. These tab images are small, 111 x 74 pixels but they occupy the prime position above the fold.So here’s what you can do: put your call to action in that tab images. Similarly, you can put call to action in your profile image which is about 180 x 180 pixels. If you have a company logo, probably you want to use the logo in your profile image so just ‘advertise’ through the Custom Tab Image.
In the image above, there are call to actions on both the profile picture and the custom tab that used to be the landing page. The custom tab image tells visitor what to do since the timeline doesn’t make it clear that they need to like the page first.
I’m sure by now you know my stand about fan page timeline. How about you? Do you like the new timeline? Have great ideas how to make the most out of it? I’d love to hear it!
Stay tuned also for my next post. I will be giving my first freebie on this site and launch free membership site on Affiliate Marketing Insights. See you soon!