Have you updated your company's Facebook page?

At the end of February Facebook announced the introduction of the new timeline, a feature that would be rolled out so that all company pages conformed to this format by the end of March 2012.

The new Facebook timeline layout brings with it a number of new attributes, such as a banner or cover image in addition to the regular profile photo, similar to the new private profile timeline set up. This capacity allows companies to brand their page more obviously and create a more customised feel. The page is then divided into two columns to emulate the passage of time. The 'About' tab has been relocated to a more prime location along the top bar, making company information more accessible, as well as all other tabs being compiled into rectangular boxes along this bar. You can now create up to 12 new custom tabs, 4 of which will remain visible at all times whilst the rest can be clicked through to by users. The first tab will always be the 'Photos' tab but you have complete control over the remaining 3 (and subsequent tabs). Therefore, you can get creative, setting big custom tab images and names to attract your users' attention and make your page more bespoke.

Content-wise, companies can now highlight significant stories and posts (such as founding date, office moves, shop openings etc) by marking them as 'milestones', which helps illustrate the company's heritage and history more effectively. Whilst, key content can also be emphasised by 'pinning' it to the top of the company page for up to seven days, meaning top activities and stories gain prevalence over other content. The 'star' feature means choice posts are given full screen width to accentuate their content and draw the user's attention as they scroll through the timeline. In addition, post dates can be edited to move them up or down the timeline in accordance with content structure preferences.

Facebook timeline has also implemented more efficient page management, by allowing administrators to control everything from one place. Recent activities and even private messages can now all be viewed and responded to from the top of the company page, promoting increased interaction and responsiveness. Moreover, the whole ethos of the timeline endorses the maintenance of content and regular updates, promoting more proactive and engaging company pages that more fully meet users' demands.

One restriction incurred by the new Facebook timeline is the eradication of the 'default landing page', a system that allowed companies to control a user's first impression of the brand on Facebook. Now all companies will be obliged to present information in the same format (i.e. the timeline) to all users. While this levels the playing field it means that companies will have to be more inventive in capturing user's attention through Facebook advertising and content positioning.

Obviously there are a number of best practices to follow in order to get the most out of your new company timeline. Below is a brief outline of the basic design guidelines:

  • Cover photo/banner image - size 851 x 315 pixels
  • Profile photo - requires a 180 x 180 pixels upload image
  • Custom tab image - 111 x 74 pixels
  • Tab content - 810 pixels wide and 800 pixels in height by default

Our recommendations:

  • Give your company page more personality with a bold, representative banner image
  • Ensure information contained within the key tabs in the top bar is up-to-date and understand that this is some of the first content users will see when they visit your page
  • Maximise on the ability to customise tabs - get creative and make your page stand out
  • Make the most of 'milestones' to create an engaging narrative, whilst better communicating the character of your brand
  • Optimise the 'pin' functionality to emphasise calls to action or recent key messages and content, which due to positioning can directly relate to the tabs in the top bar
  • Use the 'star' feature to underline superior content throughout the company's history
  • Consider the value of Facebook advertising to support your overall online strategy
  • Adhere to design guidelines to create the best user experience possible.

The new Facebook timeline structure gives marketers the chance to create a highly interactive online experience via their company Facebook page, one which supports the generation of a strong and consistent brand image and an active and engaged online community.

So, make sure you're ready to launch your new company Facebook page by March 30th!

If you want to create a dynamic company Facebook page, that efficiently communicates your brand vision and engages with your target audiences, our digital marketing experts are on-hand to supply a range of services, from full Facebook account creation to upgrading your company page to the new Facebook timeline format, copywriting and content generation. Contact us on 0141 33 11 323 or at [email protected]