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Facebook’s brand pages will transition over to the new Timeline layout later today, and data from Vitrue suggests that brands could see fan engagement decrease if they are not properly prepared.

The data shows 52% of brands that initiated the switchover before today’s deadline saw a reduction in engagement rate.

However, 27% saw greater than a 20% increase in engagement when implementing best practice for brand pages.

Vitrue defines best practice as having sharable content, improved visuals that take advantage of the new layout and prioritised content for brand milestones.

Earlier this week we highlighed 10 excellent examples of Facebook Brand Timelines, and Facebook has published the following six tips for taking advantage of the new features within Timeline.

1. Upload an eye-catching Cover Photo 

"The new Cover Photo captures the culture and essence of a brand and can showcase its products – it’s the first thing people will see when they visit a brand’s page.

Time Out London’s cover photo is great for creating a good impression of London as a city people want to explore."

 

"Brands can change it as often as they like and use it to engage fans through creative, stimulating images that will catch people’s eye."

2. Use a clearly branded profile picture 

"This is the best spot to use a picture that visibly identifies their business. 

Since the profile picture represents a brand’s page on other parts of Facebook as a thumbnail (such as in ads or news feed), a high quality image (such as a logo) that people associate with their brand should be used."

3. Add milestones to the page's Timeline 

"Businesses can now take advantage of larger photo, video and link stories to visually engage fans. 

To ensure fans see the best posts, posts can be featured on the timeline so fans can engage with a post past the time it’s in the news feed.  

Milestones can also be used to define key moments in their company’s history, allowing fans to interact with a business beyond the present. 

BA has created a timeline that goes back to 1919, meaning fans can learn more about BA’s history and look at how flying has evolved since the first transatlantic flight by a UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill in 1942."

4. Pin a post a week 

"Businesses can anchor the most important story to the top of their page for up to seven days so that fans don’t miss the best content." 

5. Arrange views and apps 

"A brand’s photos and custom apps will appear at the top of its page and can be reordered at any time. 

Brands can also create custom thumbnails to highlight what matters most to it – whether it’s events or custom-built apps for specific products or promotions. 

O2 is a great example of a business that displays its custom photos and offers at the top of its page – the O2 Just Ask and Gurus panel for example are easily accessible so people can quickly find what they need."

6. Manage your page 

"Administrators can now easily manage their page through the Admin Panel, which gives them a high-level dashboard where they can edit content, track new activity and respond, and view Page Insights."

David Moth

Published 30 March, 2012 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1690 more posts from this author

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Alec Sharratt

Alec Sharratt, Digital Marketing Executive at Koozai

I am personally not looking forward to this at all, I don't like the time line one bit!

over 4 years ago

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MonSun C

Thanks for the article. Mari Smith posted this on Facebook and love A#4 pin idea - simple and easy to do without having to think too much. Love it. Thank you

over 4 years ago

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Crystal Hart

I'm not sure which I dislike more. The new timeline or the fact it's being shoved down my throat. Isn't that suppose to be something that's usually optional?

over 4 years ago

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peter jacobs, digital project manager at haymarket network digital

I was interested to see the link to "how to create amazing facebook pages" - but I think it is out of date - I cann't see any mention of timeline in the document- its still talking about 'old' facebook. Can we get an updated version please?

over 4 years ago

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Denise White, Managing Director at 22nd Century

Agree Peter, the best practice guide for creating Facebook pages is dated. eConsultancy: When we can expect a revised version? Same goes for many of the best practice downloads available across range of topics. To maintain value in membership, these need to be consistently revised with up to date information.

over 4 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Peter and Denise, we are aware that the Facebook Pages guide is now out of date and are in the process of creating a new one. It will be published by April 13th at the latest.

over 4 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at EconsultancyStaff

@Peter and Denise, we are aware that the Facebook Pages guide is now out of date and are in the process of creating a new one. It will be published by April 13th at the latest.

over 4 years ago

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David Titley, Senior Designer/Developer at The Partnership UK Ltd

I like the new timeline - it levels the playing field after a couple of years of sometimes hideous customised welcome pages.

Facebook's insistence on maintaining a high level of control over the design and layout of pages has worked well for them over the years, and despite complaints every time they make an update to the interface, eventually everyone calms down and sees the sense in these well-considered design tweaks.

You only need to look back at the mySpace versus Facebook battle a few years ago to see why Facebook won mass appeal in the end. While mySpace had great tools to customise the interface within an inch of its life, anyone who ever tried to find information on there knows that every page had the potential to alienate the user with unfamiliar layouts, poorly executed graphics and intrusive soundtracks. It became a kids playground, for amateur 'designers' with very little mass appeal.

Facebook's customised welcome pages were in danger of heading the same way, and I think they reined it back in just in time. Don't see Facebook as a substitute for a good website - if you want to do something amazing and creative, do it on your website and link from Facebook.

over 4 years ago

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Phil Barker, Head of CRM at Global Radio

I wasn't looking forward to the Timeline transition from both a personal (and business) point of view. Yet I've been converted and recommend business embrace it.

You just need to put in the time and be creative. Every business has a story to tell and Timeline lets you do that in an engaging way. Plus it also enables us to use big brand images.. something old style FB pages lacked.

Check out how Classic FM used Timeline to tell the story of 1,500 years of classic music to engage with listeners:
http://www.facebook.com/ClassicFM.

Are there any other examples of brands using Timeline well.. please post..?

over 4 years ago

Matt Owen

Matt Owen, Head of Social at Econsultancy

Hi Phil, we've asked for other examples in our recent post on this: http://bit.ly/GUd294

Would be great to get your input there:)

@Peter and @Denise - we're knee-deep in an update for the report as we speak, expect publication shortly.

Thanks all!

over 4 years ago

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Denise White, Managing Director at 22nd Century

@David - thanks for the update, will forward to it!

over 4 years ago

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Joe

This is pretty lazy journalism to eek a story by just republishing some bland advice from Facebook.

There's been far better, more specific and brand-focused advice in Marketing magazine and elsewhere.

over 4 years ago

James Downton

James Downton, CMO / Director of Operations at Froggo Marketing

Really like the use of the brand colours on the Time Out example. I've seen some really creative examples too. I got some great ideas from here: http://www.hongkiat.com/blog/creative-facebook-timeline-covers/ Logic tells me that the more creative "clever" examples should get a higher share rate. Food for thought...

over 4 years ago

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Jon at accessplanit

These are simple and practical ideas. We're still identifying the best approach for our B2B product, we'll try these out though.

over 4 years ago

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