How Facebook Timeline for Brands Affects your Content Strategy

By Liam Foy

The new layout for Facebook brand pages brings new ways for you to manage your content and the strategy that you implement. Previously, your content strategy was based on two main aspects:

1. News Feed – The News Feed was focused on engaging Facebook fans in hopes that greater awareness would spread the word through virality. For example, you would post a photo or status and a fan would like it, which automatically appears in their newsfeed for their friends to see, which you would hope that their friends would engage in.

2. Custom Tabs – The content strategy for custom/landing tabs focused on engaging visitors with a clear call to action in mind. This used to be the option choice to get people liking your Page.

Now with Timeline, Facebook allows you more freedom to tell your companies story.

No Default Landing Tabs

You’ve probably heard by now that with Timeline you no longer have the ability to set a default tab for non-fans. Default tabs in the past were primarily used as a way to increase fan conversion rates on a Page. Now you’ll have to do that with your cover image, highlights, and other ways to make that first impression. So here is a little guide of how the new Timeline features can affect your content strategy:

Utilise your cover photo

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Think of your cover photo as the new landing tab, you may not be able to add calls-to-action, but this image showcases your company. When a person visits your Timeline this is the first thing that they see so make sure you wow them!

Last week we put together a list of brands that have cool Facebook Timeline cover photos. Have a look at them if you need a little bit of inspiration.

Simplify your Profile Picture

The new profile pictures are 180 px sqaure. This means that it would be pointless attempting to fit a call-to-action (as many companies did on the old format of brand Pages/profile pictures). Especially when it is scaled down and used as your Timeline’s thumbnail. Could you imagine attempting to read a tiny call-to-action in a 30 pixels square box? No neither could I. You don’t necessarily have to include your brand’s name in the profile picture, as the brand’s Timeline name travels anywhere that the profile picture goes. If you have a recognisable logo, go with that!

Your Company History

Timeline allows visitors to interact with your story from the beginning, the middle, and the modern day. Facebook users now have the ability flip through your story in a variety of ways (as shown above). The main way would be through the dated sidebar, on the right hand side, so make sure you fill in your history (no matter how brief!). The easiest way to fill in your Timeline is through using Milestones…

Create Milestones

Up until now, anything posted on the Facebook Page was automatically tagged with the date it was posted. Milestones allow you to select any date in the past. So, whether you’ve changed your logo, headquarters or launched a new product draw people’s attention to it by creating milestones for that momentous occasion.

Direct Attention with Highlights and Pins

In the old format of brand Pages, Facebook admins had little control over how posts were displayed on their Page. and visitors would see updates in either reverse chronological order or in an order determined by Facebook’s Edgerank.

Pinning allows you to give any Timeline story more attention by moving any post story to the top of your Facebook Timeline. When you pin something to the top of your Timeline it stays for seven days, or until you unpin it, so it’s a good idea to think about what you want to feature at the top of your Timeline each week. Each week, you can feature one post at the top of your Timeline, so it will be one of the first thing that your visitors see when they visit your Page. To pin a story at the top of the Timeline, hover-over the pencil icon at the top right hand corner of any post and select ‘Pin to Top’.

Timeline now allows you to control feature specific posts on your Timeline through Highlighting or Pinning. Highlighting turns any story, which normally occupies a single column, into a full-width story. This is perfect for large horizontal photos (dimensions for highlighted photos are 846px by 403px).

Photos are Gold

Again, Facebook Timeline is much more about your visual story told over time, rather than what’s happening now. As much as possible, it’s best to focus on telling that story through images photos and other visual content. If you are trying to to fill in your Timeline and need a little bit of inspiration check out Red Bull, their Timeline is full of interesting, visual content.

Let us know when you have completed your brand’s Timeline so we can have a look!

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This post was written by Liam Foy

As Head of Client Services, Liam ensures that all of his clients’ strategies are on track, delivering ROI and coming up with new ideas to drive them forward. Beer makes him tick, reading, learning and drinking it.