Late last week, Facebook announced the new Facebook Timeline Fan Pages. The Timeline changes will be pushed live to all fan pages on March 30, and page administrators have less than a month to explore the new features and review your page before the changes take effect. Of course, if you’d already had your workload for the month planned out, seems like a sudden upheaval that will put a damper on your big plans.
But the changes to fan pages are actually an improvement you should be excited about. So take a deep breath, and learn what you can do to prepare for the Timeline fan page changes:
1. Take the opportunity to freshen up your social media plan
Although the format of Facebook Timeline Fan Pages is new, your strategy doesn’t have to be. You’ll be engaging with fans in pretty much the same fashion. If anything, this change gives you the opportunity to take another look at your Facebook engagement strategy, and fill any gaps you see.
A huge part of the upgrade is the Timeline itself; it will be easier for fans to go back in your page’s history and dig up old posts. So this is your chance to do a bit of spring cleaning before the changes take effect for fans. Go back through your timeline and:
- Note your variations of status update types. Are you seeing enough images? Shared article links? Videos? Or are you just seeing a lot of text? Perhaps it’s time to mix up your content strategy a bit.
- Track your fans’ participation. Did you miss any interaction opportunities over the past year? Reviewing your page history can help remind you that you should frequently visit your fan page to respond to any activity on your page.
- Delete any spontaneous posts. Were you a little excited Friday afternoons last summer? Shared a few too many personal weekend plans? Now’s your chance to clean up any posts that probably didn’t belong on your fan page to begin with.
2. Prepare your new cover photo
On Facebook’s Timeline Fan Pages, you’ll have a glorious 851 x 315 pixel space to show off your brand (because 851 seems like such a logical width, don’t you agree?). So now’s the time to start brainstorming what you’d like that to look like. There are many ways to be creative with this space, and even incorporate your fan page’s profile image into the cover image itself.
Here’s an example, which you can see live at the U Stand Out Facebook Fan Page:
3. Look on the bright side of your like-gated content
Yes, the most disappointing change to many is the fact that you can no longer set your default landing page for non-fans as your like-gated content tab. Now, the Timeline will be the default landing page for every Facebook page out there, fan or not. But take a deep breath… it’s all going to be ok. You can now pin a story to the top of your Timeline to promote and link to whatever you’re offering on your like-gated content tab.
4. Update your basic page info
The About box is now prominently featured in the new Timeline page design. This gives you an opportunity to fill that space with a high-value statement and keywords that you want to rank for in the search engines; not to mention the URL to your website! Additionally, you should take this time to go through the rest of your page info, which you can now access via the Admin Panel in the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
5. Get all the Facebook Timeline knowledge you need
While marketers everywhere are scrambling to figure out what all these changes mean, you can download the Stand Out on Facebook eBook, which has already been updated for Facebook Timeline fan pages. It’s all the information you need to:
- Update your page for the new Timeline Fan Page design
- Get more likes with the like-gated content offer strategy
- Learn how to create a Facebook fan engagement strategy
- Build a content schedule to keep fans coming back for more
You can also read about the Facebook Timeline changes in this blog post