15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page

facebook2561 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business PageYup, Facebook did it to us again. This time they have added the new timeline to business pages. With it come both good and bad changes.  As I wrote in this earlier post “ Quit Blaming Facebook and Fix Your Own Marketing Problems” it’s important you don’t waste too much time complaining. Instead use that same negative energy and turn it into a positive. Use it as a lesson for not putting all of your social eggs in one basket!

The best thing you can do is stop complaining and get to work. The new Facebook business page timeline is here to stay at least until they decide to make the next round of changes. Might as well get use to it and make the most of it!

Below are some must know tips as well as loads of Facebook reference urls at the bottom to hopefully save you some time in case you get stuck or have further questions.

Note, there are more changes than what I included in this blog post. For this post I tried to keep it specifically focused on the “need to know” changes.

15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page

1. Know the dates.

The new Facebook timeline is set to launch on all business pages March 30, 2012.  You can start playing with your new page now and see it in preview mode before actually pushing live. I encourage you to do this as soon as possible. Don’t wait until the last minute and then be stuck with a boring page that shows you were not prepared.


2. Create a new Facebook timeline cover image.  

The cover image provides amazing opportunities for branding and to visually inspire and connect with your fans. The options are endless as long as you stay within the Facebook guidelines outlined in #3 below.

Create several different timeline covers so you can provide a fresh and inspiration experience for your timeline visitors!

Image dimensions: 851 x 315

Download a free template I created in both Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator formats here.

pmncover 300x143 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page

 

smart kid small 218x300 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page3. Know the Facebook cover image content guidelines (rules).

 Facebook has set pretty strict guidelines for what can and can’t be displayed and communicated on the new timeline cover image.

What you CAN do:

  • Brand the heck out of your company, book or personal brand. This include brand images, logos, photos and any other visual marks.
  • Inspire your audience with visually appealing graphics, colors and images.
  • Use simple language that will help you inspire and connect with your fans.

What you can NOT do: (Per Facebook cover guidelines)

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

Basically the cover image is provided to inspire and connect with your fans. It is not meant for blatant self promotion or hard sales.

*Obviously make sure you have legal copyrights to all images and content.

4. No default landing tabs. 

You can no longer set a tab as a default landing tab. Now before you go off on a wild rant about how terrible this is, remember this is a post designed to help you move forward and do good things with your new Facebook timeline.  Got it? Okay, great! Now here are a few things you CAN do:

  • Maximize use and space of cover image.
  • Use the unique urls of apps to direct people directly to the app from pages outside of Facebook as well as posts, status updates within Facebook.
  • Maximize use of the top apps shown underneath your cover photo.
  • Use the apps for call to actions and to engage your fans.
  • Use this as an excuse to get out of your box and focus on truly inspiring and connecting with your audience

 

5. Tabs are now Apps! 

Apps are the new tabs. Although you can’t set one as a default landing tab for new visitors to your Facebook page, there are still many ways you can leverage apps.

  • 4 apps are always on display underneath your Facebook cover image.
  •  You can utilize a max of 14 custom apps on your timeline.
  • Create a custom thumbnail for your app. (see #7 below)
  • Apps have a unique url that can be used to drive traffic to a specific app (see #6 below).
  • You can change the order of the apps by clicking on the pencil to the right of each app and then selecting the app you want to swap it with for that particular spot.

iStock 000012552769XSmall1 300x225 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page
6.  Use a unique url in place of landing tabs. 

Although you can no longer set a default landing tab, you can still easily get around this.  Since each app has it’s own unique url you can use the unique url to direct traffic from inside or outside of traffic to a specific app.

I suggest purchasing a unique url that you can use to drive traffic to your Facebook app of choice.  For example, I purchased the domain www.pamsfanpage.com and use to use it to direct traffic directly to my default landing tab. Now I will use it to drive traffic to an app of my choice.  The best part of using a domain that you own is that no matter how many times Facebook changes the apps, tabs, timelines, pages or other, you can stick to one or two urls that you use on a regular basis.

 

7. Create custom thumbnails for apps. 

It is super easy to create a custom thumbnail image for each and every app. Note custom images can not be set for photos and likes.

a. Create an image that is 111  x  74 pixels.

b. Click on the arrow to the right of your timeline (underneath the cover image). It will show a number which represents the number of apps you are using.

c. Click on the arrow next to the image of the app you want to change.

d. Click on edit settings.

e. Click on change (for the image)

f. Upload the new image


iStock 000011571924XSmall3 300x300 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page8. Fans can now send you a private message. 

You can not message your fans. The messsages are user (fan) initiated.  Messages are a good way to encourage one to one communication if you have an interest in doing such with your fans.

 

9. Milestones

You can set milestones for your business for current, or past dates. This is a great way to highlight key events such as grand opening, ribbon cuttings, launch of new products, new partnerships, business milestones and achievements.  Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.

a. Click Milesone in the sharing bar at the top of your page

b. Add a headline, date, location and details

c. Choose to add a photo

d. Click Save

10. Highlighted Posts. 

You can set any post to be highlighted which means it will take up both sides of the page. I know, the name “highlight” just doesn’t make sense to me either. I expected to see some type of real highlight. This feature enables you to bring special attention to a particular post within the timeline.

11. Pinned Posts.

You can set a post to be pinned to the top of the page. Pinned posts will stay on top of your timeline for up to 7 days.If possible, try not to wait the full 7 days before you change out the post unless you have a very important message to share. Chances are you have repeat visitors coming to your page throughout the week. Give them something new and fresh to check out.

iStock 000014250706XSmall1 300x225 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page12. Like button and interest lists. 

The like button will now show as “liked” for all fans who have already liked the page.

There are also new interest lists that can be accessed with a simple hover of the like / liked button.  You can create your own list as well as subscribe to lists the page owner has created.

Users can also select if they want to see your posts in their timeline right from your Facebook timeline by hovering over the same like button.

I will do more research on these feature and provide further detail in a subsequent post.

 

13. Know the required image sizes.

iStock 000016860317XSmall 300x225 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business PageNo need to over complicate this. Note the required image sizes and jot them down on a sticky. Stick it to your computer monitor and you won’t have to look them up or worry about forgetting them.

  • Cover photo: 851 x 315
  • Profile picture: 180 x 180
  • Thumbnail image for apps: 111 x 74
  • Highlighted & milestone images: 843 x 403
  • Images within wall posts display as 404 x 404.

14. It’s what happens after the “like” that matters most. 

Don’t get too hung up on all these changes. If you are focusing on only “likes” then you have much bigger problems than the Facebook default tab going away.

As I always say, it is what happens after the like that matters most. Check out this post I wrote in December, 2010 which still stands true today for tips to engage your audience after the like!  “What Happens After the Facebook Like? 20 Tips to Engage Your Audience After the Like!

15.  Don’t freak out. 

The worst thing you can do is go into “freak out” mode. If you are completely freaked out over these changes then you really need to do the “double think” on your online marketing strategy. Remember, you do not own Facebook. Facebook can make any changes they see fit, whenever they decide to do so. It is a free platform and although you may have put too much weight into the platform for the success of your business, use the anxiety you feel today as a positive to move at least a few eggs out of the Facebook basket. Putting all your eggs in one basket is never a good thing, particularly when it is a basket you do not own!

Additional Facebook Resources: 

Below I have compiled numerous Facebook pages to help you get acquainted with the most recent changes as well as the standard guidelines for Facebook features such as advertising and promotions.

Start setup of a new Facebook Business Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages

Facebook Basics: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=260315770650470&ref=hcnav

The Facebook Bloghttps://blog.facebook.com/

Facebook Marketing Solutions Timeline Page: https://www.facebook.com/marketing

Build Your Brand with Facebook Pages: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=198605806884743&ref=hcsubnav

Facebook Ads & Business Solutions: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=195623423828629&ref=hcnav

Facebook Advertising Guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/ad_guidelines.php

Facebook Promotions Guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/promotions_guidelines.php

Facebook Cover Guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/help/search/?q=cover+guidelines

Facebook Pages Guidelines: https://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

Amended Facebook Pages Guidelines for State & Local Government in the United States: https://www.facebook.com/terms_pages_gov.php

Facebook Platform Policy: https://developers.facebook.com/policy/ (apps on pages must adhere to these)

How to make a Facebook milestone: https://www.facebook.com/help/?faq=279680818764230#What’s-a-milestone?-How-do-I-make-a-milestone-for-my-Facebook-Page?

Facebook Community Standards: https://www.facebook.com/communitystandards

Facebook Data Use Policy: https://www.facebook.com/about/privacy/

Facebook Statement of Rights & Responsibilities: https://www.facebook.com/legal/terms

Facebook Apps, Games & Credits: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=310847352301318&ref=hcnav

Facebook App Basics: https://www.facebook.com/help/?page=222844857728639

Facebook App Guidelines: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/guides/canvas/

Facebook Personal Timeline: https://www.facebook.com/help/timeline

Facebook Safety Timeline Page: https://www.facebook.com/security

Facebook Family Safety Center: https://www.facebook.com/help/safety

 

Your Turn!

So what are your thoughts on the new Facebook timeline? Are you ready for the changes? Have you already implemented and launched the new Facebook timeline cover on your page? What are your favorite features of the new pages? What tips do you have you can share with others who may feel stuck or need inspiration?

About the Author

Pam Moore

*Forbes Top 10 Social Media Women, Forbes top 50 Social Media Power Influencer - CEO / founder of Marketing Nutz, full service social brand, digital marketing agency. Social media marketing speaker, author, strategist, consultant, coach, & trainer. I help businesses of all size integrate social media into the DNA of their business, connect with target audiences to nurture authentic customer relationships. 15+ years experience working with Fortune 500, Franchised corporations with 4000+ local franchises to entrepreneurs and startups!

  • Noreen9qkzkzc

    @BertCarson This is gorgeous @ipaddep

  • HLeichsenring

    Thank you for theat great summary. There are various new information for me which are of much vlue and help.
     
    Kind regards from Germany
    Hansjörg

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

      @HLeichsenring Glad you liked it!

  • DcRomance

    @pushingsocial @PamMktgNut

  • Raeox2u0

    @PegFitzpatrick Looks fantastic, check this profile @ipaddep

  • Saundrazqdap

    @12Most Look that out @ipaddep

  • mdewing

    @confluencemedia Great tips… thanks!

  • Jessienaqfqieg

    @kathikruse This looks amazing @walmartmarket

  • http://tweet4ok.com/ Tweet4OK

    I love the Timeline design and gained some more grey hair over the question on what to do with the default landing page problem. In the end it’s all about an improved experience!
    The only thing I bemoan is the lower visibility of posts by “others” penalizing anybody that really built a community (thoughts anybody?)
    My favourite point in your post: #15 
    Thanks for this @PamMktgNut 

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

       @Tweet4OK I agree #15 is most important! So to answer your question… re-read #15 first! ;)  You can get around the default landing tab going away by using a unique url. As I mentioned to Susan above you can purchase a unique domain and simply redirect it to the tab/app of choice. Another thing is why do they have to keep changing names? Apps, tabs, fans, likes. Oh well.. it’s not our platform, is it? 

  • simsv6

    @PlanB_Marketing http://t.co/DoRUnVq8

  • lovessd7

    @PlanB_Marketing What Are The First Steps You Should Take If You Want To Make Money @_HomeMakeMoney

  • Ana Lucia Novak

    Thank you Pam! I reshared it via Posterous!

  • Pam Moore @PamMktgNut

    Thanks Ana Lucia Novak! Glad you like it!

  • Pam Moore @PamMktgNut

    Thanks Ana Lucia Novak! Glad you like it!

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  • PamMktgNut

    @AskAaronLee thanks Aaron!! How are ya? Good weekend? I need a serious vacay!

    • JessicaNorthey

      @PamMktgNut i have no idea how but i missed @joshroinut calls last week. hope you are all good. yes take a vacay!

      • PamMktgNut

        @JessicaNorthey no worries! The two of you (and you and I ) can hook up early next week! @joshroinut

        • JessicaNorthey

          @PamMktgNut @joshroinut kay :)

        • PamMktgNut

          @JessicaNorthey @joshroinut do kay! :-)

        • PamMktgNut

          @JessicaNorthey soooo wish you were here to go to worship with us tomorrow night! You should watch via online one night! @joshroinut

      • JoshROINut

        @JessicaNorthey hope u are having a good Sunday! We can catch up this week. Blessings to you:)

  • SheriABell

    15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/ZoQyBwF1 via @PamMktgNut RT @prosperitygal

  • PamMktgNut

    @danielnewmanUV Thanks Daniel! How are you? Have some things I’d love to talk w/you about some time over next couple wks. How’s your sched?

    • danielnewmanUV

      @PamMktgNut I’m sure we can find time. Facebook message me? We can try and line up calendars.

  • Annabellevs7g7g

    @KatrinaMoody My first I’m love an word @ipad_dep

  • JessicaNorthey

    @AskAaronLee @PamMktgNut @portergale cool a Pam Moore blog post tweeted by aaron lee & retweeted Porter gale. must be good :)

  • JessicaNorthey

    RT @portergale 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/zzS8nfCo via @PamMktgNut @AskAaronLee

  • Guyuqpdm7sfys

    @CompanyFounder just someone more has you’re give home right @ipad_dep

  • Liz Christopher

    Thanks Pam Moore @PamMktgNut this is a really great resource, and I know a number of people that will be interested in reading.

  • Codyrpmgab

    @AsioStudio This is thing is great @DepWalmart

  • Noemimc15qfns

    @WigSuperstore lol, free walmart coupon @DepWalmart

  • dave4homes

    @socialmouths @PamMktgNut great info especially #5- TABS ARE NOW APPS-

  • Jamiecpubd1e

    @wordmasseur Eq5fvghb3 @walmartmarketdp

  • Pam Moore @PamMktgNut

    Awesome, great to hear. Thanks for sharing Liz Christopher!! Have a good week!

  • mindykoch

    @IMRSocial Thanks for RT! @PamMktgNut writes good stuff, doesn’t she?

  • Ross_Quintana

    @mqtodd Thanks Michael, for the RT have a superb week, we should chat sometime let me know when you have about 30

  • mmangen

    @PrimoAssistance thanks!

  • loiscreamer

    What a great post! Thanks for putting this together Pam. A great, comprehensive guide to changes that are coming. Thanks for this great resource!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

       @loiscreamer Thanks Lois! Glad you liked it! 

  • SkyView Projects

    Thanks for the tips Pam Moore @PamMktgNut! Shared it on my page, always appreciate your roundups!

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  • mikefixs

    RT @lorirtaylor: 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/p0Kaj5fO via @PamMktgNut

  • rocknhorses

    @TobeyDeys ToBeY !!! Miss tweeting with you my friend. Hope you are doing good.

  • ebuzzedge

    RT @ruhanirabin 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/Cdht8Rjd via @PamMktgNut

  • SuperAthens

    Hi pam! Great info! I am having a lot of trouble figuring out how to change the image in an app on my business page. I followed the steps in #6 above. Any hints you can give me??? THANKS!!!

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

       @SuperAthens I am going to do a video on this w/in the next day or so. Basically each app has a unique url. When you click on the app just grab the url in the address bar of your browser. That is the unique url.  I also recommend purchasing a domain that you can then forward to the url of choice.  For example I use http://www.pamsfanpage.com and I can redirect it to whatever tab/ app I want. Does this help?  

  • http://SocialMediaLady.ning.com/ Susan Daniels

    This is good information. I was looking for some good Timeline tips. I especially am excited about the distinct URL.

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

       @Susan Daniels Hi Susan. Yes, many people don’t know about the unique url. It can work basically the same as the default landing tab. Only difference is you have to use the unique url.  I suggest purchasing a domain to redirect. That way no matter what changes Facebook makes you can use one consistent url! Good luck and let me know how it goes. Feel free to come back and share your fanpage image or share on my Facebook page! 

  • annelizhannan

    Pam:  This is just terrific. The step by step is what I needed. Thx

    • http://www.pammarketingnut.com/ PamMktgNut

       @annelizhannan Awesome, so glad to hear it! I need to do more of these posts. I am so close to it I forget how many people aren’t and can find this information useful. Will try to do more going forward! 

  • MedonSheikh

    Pls ff back @ImagineBeauty_

  • victorpan

    @GlenGilmore thanks for the tips. I’m absolutely ready for Friday.

    • GlenGilmore

      @victorpan Great!

  • PrecOccasions

    Great advice! RT @PamMktgNut:15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/GUIEeuXJ <-Are you ready?

  • AshleyPeck

    This has been such a useful post. Thanks for the help and for making it easy to adjust to the new facebook changes. 

  • keridwyn

    Is there a way to make interest lists AS a page? 

  • http://www.verticalelevation.com/ Carol Schultz

    Great tips Pam.  Thanks.  I really hate FB, but am working on building a fan page.  I find FB very user Unfriendly so your tips have already been helpful.

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  • Sharliebel

    LIKE RT @PamMktgNut 15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/Eint8X7O #facebook #sm ~Charlotte #FB

  • http://www.brittandersonphotography.com/ Britt Anderson

    Do you have any suggestions on specific apps that are good for businesses? 

    • dbsupply

      @Britt Anderson We use NorthSocial.com & they are great. Easy to use, GREAT customer support & they are adding new features all the time.

  • meetmikemorgan

    @Qwanz Thanks! Appreciate the RT!

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  • CoachJaynine

    @CorongKoe Happy Friday – thanks for the RT

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  • dbsupply

    We let our customers know right away about how to communicate with us. We have had a great response so far and have had zero complaints.
    https://mydbsupply.com/index.php/blogs/2012/03/01/a-new-way-to-communicate-on-facebook/
    Thanks for the helpful links.
    -jen
     dbsupply 

  • ciesla504

    15 Must Know Tips to Rock Your New Facebook Timeline Business Page http://t.co/RnqfMA7C #sm RT via @PamMktgNut RT @SusanGilbert

  • http://riskdoctor.com wizzard1222

    Time’s are changing…thot’s to remember…

  • LovelyLu

    @PamMktgNut Always a great hour Pam!!! #getrealchat

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  • PamMktgNut

    @360consultancy thank you!!

    • 360consultancy

      @PamMktgNut our pleasure :) thank you for the great work.. keep it up :)

  • PamMktgNut

    @SharitaKnobloch thanks!!

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  • http://www.capital-concierge.com/ Lisa Slater

    Great information and in simple terms, thank you for the tips!

  • PamMktgNut

    @McKremie thank you!

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  • http://agmarketingsolutions.com/ agsmarketing

    Thanks for the resource! Very helpful.

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  • http://113tidbits.com/ tonygreene113

    Very good too for driving residual traffic back into the sites that you own.

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  • http://crazydreamersdo.com/ susand333

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful of anyone’s culture, but I would love to get just ONE message from fans of my pages that has I name I can pronounce and doesn’t tell me how beautiful I am, give me their direct email address, tell me they would like to be in a relationship with me and expect me to actually contact them. It would be nice to hear from actual business people. What am I doing to attract that and nothing else? I am definitely someone who needs to learn more about what happens after the “like”.  Warmly, Susan Daniels

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  • http://www.buraq-technologies.com/ ambreen11

    Good thing you post such useful information like this. It could help us,
    It looks much better. I think I am going to give this a try! Thanks for
    the nice idea.

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