Facebook is notorious for making updates that send the vast majority of its users into a panic. It’s not that they are bad updates, it just seems that most people hate change and will fight it for as long as they can. That’s why Facebook often puts a date on when the updates will be made for you, whether you like it or not.
The date for Facebook Timeline for pages is March 30, 2012.
That means if you procrastinate and don’t get your page ready, it might look a little something like this when you stroll into the office on Monday morning:
Before you start trying to get your page converted, here’s what you need to know and understand about Timeline for pages:
1. Cover images are replacing landing pages – This is a huge change. This means that businesses can no longer set their pages up to have non-fans land on a custom landing page that tells them why they should “like” the page (also known as “fan-gating”). No biggie, you can just put that type of info right on the cover image… right? Wrong (see #2). The nice thing about the new cover images is that it gives a lot more space to get creative (815 x 315 px). Here’s an example of what the new cover images look like:
2. Cover images have strict guidelines – Facebook has made it pretty obvious that they don’t want businesses blatantly promoting anymore on their site (they want them to pay for advertising instead). In my opinion this is a good thing and will help weed-out some of the spammy business pages. Here’s a snapshot of some of the restrictions:
3. Your applications will still exist, you just have to prioritize them – You are allowed to have up to 12 custom applications, four of which will show up as featured applications just below your cover image. We came across this company that has a good way of making their applications stand out with the new layout:
4. Take advantage of the new “Milestones” feature - This gives you the ability to go back and showcase different milestones of achievements your business has had (first hire, first dollar of profit, various levels of growth, etc.).
5. Personal profiles can now message business pages – With the new messaging feature, profiles can now private message a Facebook page. A page cannot initiate a conversation or message with someone, they can only respond to messages initiated by a profile.
Our suggestion would be to get started on optimizing your new page ASAP. Facebook gives you the opportunity to preview your page prior to publishing. This allows you to customize it and get it ready prior to taking it live. Take advantage of that opportunity.