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.”