It’s here – the new (and obligatory) Facebook Timeline. What now? And how does the new Timeline affect your list building? The 30-day period for switching to the new Facebook format is over and, starting last weekend, all fan pages have been switched to the new timeline. If you’ve found yourself in the new reality and are not sure what to do, don’t worry. We’re here to help. Some technical advice first.
A lot has been said about the new timeline, and there are a lot of resources around the web. Today, we’d like to give you a few tips and show you how you should now use our web form app on Facebook effectively, as the changes have some effect on it, too.
1. It’s a lot more visual
This is the first change you’ll notice. You now have a big image at your disposal – the Timeline cover – which you can use for branding. The size is 851 px by 315 px, so there’s plenty of room to showcase your activity. There are, however, certain restrictions on what you can and cannot show. You’ll find them here; make sure you follow them, as Facebook can be really strict about this. The most important include:
- no prices
- no web addresses or contact info
- no call-to-action.
Include a profile picture on your timeline cover and make the two work together. Here are some nice examples that might inspire you.
And here’s our cover photo.
2. What happened to my tabs?
One of the most important questions people have been asking recently was what would happen to their landing tabs – in fact, any tabs on their company profiles.
Well, actually the news is both good and bad.
I’ll start with the bad news. Landing tabs no longer have the same functionality. In your page settings, you can no longer set a tab as a default landing tab, as in the old format.
However, each tab has a unique URL address, so you can link them, e.g. in your Facebook ads or on your blog, and bring your customers straight to a specific tab.
The good news is that they are now much wider, so there is more space to design. Of course, you’ll want to redesign your existing graphics, if the existing ones don’t fit the new space.
Also, your fan-gating strategy has to be reconsidered. Until now, you were able to present different content to non-fans who got to your landing tab and encourage them to “Like” your page in order to see fan-only content.
This is still possible – using an external app that facilitates building such tabs. But remember, for this to work you’ll have to direct users to your tab first (for example by linking the tab to your Facebook icon on your website or in your emails.)
Also note that your tabs now appear below the timeline cover, and only four are visible at first glance. So make sure the tabs you want to highlight are there. Just click the arrow on the right and click the pen icon in the top right corner of the tab you want to move; then choose the one you want to switch places with. Only the Photo tab is fixed.
3. Where’s my sign-up form?
All of the above applies to your GetResponse sign-up form app, too, if you’ve added it to your fan page before. Here’s what also changed:
- You can’t set the sign-up form as your default tab anymore, but you can link to it from other places.
- Make sure it’s there, right under the timeline cover, not hidden from view – as described above.
- Apart from that, the app works exactly the same, so no worries – nothing has changed. But since it is more difficult to find your way to the tab, make sure you remind your fans about it from time to time on your timeline.
4. What and how do I post on my Timeline?
Facebook now allows you to pin a status update, so it stays on top for up to a week – this might be useful for reminding people of the sign-up opportunity or an ongoing promo, linking to the desired tab.
You can also highlight status updates (so they take up more space and are more visible) or hide them from your Timeline if you so choose.
Use the Milestones option to add important events in the history of your Company (e.g. when it was founded – or when you reached the first 1000 fans on Facebook )
5. Your Customers can now reach you via messages
Note that there is now an option that allows your Customers to send you private messages – don’t miss them! This option can be turned off, if you don’t want to communicate via Facebook messages.
More tips on the way
Of course, this is just a bunch of technical tips for you, but there’s a lot more. With the introduction of the new timeline, it is more important than ever to engage with your fans, so they go where you want them to.
So watch for the next episode, where we’ll give you some useful tips and examples of how to use this to your advantage and tell an enticing story.