Facebook Timeline – What Your Business Needs to Know

by Evotive

  

 

Time to Get Movin’

Only 10 Days

until

All Facebook Pages Convert to Timeline

What You Need to Know!

 

** Due to the abrupt and dynamic nature of Facebook these details may change; however, as of now these are the latest updates.

** This guide is for Facebook business pages not personal profiles.

Deadline March 30, 2012

If you don’t publish the new Timeline version of your Facebook Page by March 30,2012, your page will automatically convert.  You will not lose your page if you do not take action. It will simply be converted to the default layout.

What’s Changed

The Layout

There is no longer a left hand column containing:

  • Photo or logo image
  • Custom tabs
  • Basic stats such as number of likes, talking about, and check in

There is now a cover image and profile image (or logo).

The custom tabs, now called apps, are located under the cover image. Their page has an increased width.

The basic stats (number of likes, check-ins etc…) are under the cover image and next to the logo image.

Preview Your New Layout

You can see what the default layout will look like by pressing the preview button on your page between now and March 29th.

You can make changes to your timeline layout and try arranging the layout without it showing on your live Facebook page. Your changes will not show on your live page until you hit the “publish” button. Once you hit that button your page will have the new Timeline layout. If you don’t hit the publish button, you can make changes, add a cover photo, explore the new layout and not change the way your live Facebook page is seen by the public.

Cover Photo

Create your image to the size of 850 x 315 pixels. You may need to contact your favorite graphic designer to create a strong representation of your brand, and use your logo or photo for your profile image.

Facebook has rules about the cover photo including not having your website address, or contact information appear on the cover photo. See below:

  • http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php  Section III   B talks about the Cover photo guidelines
  • Covers can’t be deceptive, misleading, or infringe on anyone else’s copyright. You may not encourage people to upload your cover to their personal timelines.
  • Covers may not include:
  1. i.              price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it on socialmusic.com”;
  2. ii.             contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section;
  3. iii.            references to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features; or
  4. iv.            calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Custom Tabs/Apps

If your Facebook page has custom tabs (such as Twitter, Networked Blogs, Email Capture, Menu, Welcome Page etc…), those will be now be called apps.

They will no longer be on the left hand side of the page. They will be under your cover photo.

Only four apps (tabs) will be featured although you can have up to twelve total apps.  You can arrange your tabs to show your best ones. You can change them periodically to give them all some exposure. Most Facebook users won’t think to click the dropdown arrow to see all of your tabs/apps.

To arrange your apps so the ones you want featured are in the first four placements:

  • Click the arrow next to your apps; this will open all the apps.
  • Now click on the pencil icon, and you’ll see the option to switch with another app.

The new size for the custom tabs or “apps” is wider. It is now 810 pixels wide (previously it was 520 pixels). If your content is currently set at the old width of 520 pixels, it will be centered and surrounded by white space.

You can create custom images for your tabs/apps as well. This is in the settings option:

To change the image of the app icons:

  1. Click the arrow next to your apps, this will open all the apps
  2. Choose the one you want to change
  3. Click the pencil icon
  4. Click on “Edit Settings”
  5. Click on change custom tab image
  6. Then select browse and upload your 111 X 74 image

** Currently there is a known issue/bug with some apps showing random images rather than ones you’ve uploaded.  This issue should be fixed in the near future.

Facebook Landing Page

Like Page/Welcome Page

If you had set up your Facebook page to have a “Like Gate” meaning if a non -fan came to your page they’d automatically land on your “Like Our Page” custom tab, this will no longer work. Timeline has no options for landing pages. All visitors, both fans and non-fans will land on your Timeline/wall.

That custom tab, or welcome page, will still exist, but it will not be the page non-fans land on. It will only appear as an app under your cover image.

You may choose to call this app “Home” and have it placed next to your photos app, just under your cover image.

 

New Features

 

Highlighting and Pinning

 

When you have a post that you’d like to draw people’s attention to, you can either pin it or highlight it in order to call attention to it.

Highlighting:

If you want a particular post to run the width of the page (both the right and left column) this is the highlight feature. It will show as a rectangular shape post across the page. It won’t jump to the top of your page; it will remain in its location.

To highlight a post simply click the star icon that’s on the upper right hand corner of that particular post. If you change your mind, simply click the star and “remove from highlights.”

Pinning:

When you pin a post, it will appear on the top left hand side of the page, just under the cover photo.  It will stay there for seven days unless you unpin it sooner, or you re-pin it to keep it there longer. You might want to pin a contest announcement, a coupon, an upcoming event etc….

To pin a post to the top of your page simply click the pencil icon that’s on the upper right hand corner of that particular post. When you hover over the pencil icon, it reads “Edit or Remove”.  Simply click the pencil and click “pin to the top of page.”

Highlighting does not have the seven day life span that pinning does.

Pixel Sizes to Keep in Mind

Sizes for the new Timeline Pages
Cover image-850 X 315 pixels
Profile/Logo- 125X 125     Update April 25, 2012 Facebook Changed the profile photo size to 160×160 pixels
Apps (Tab) Icons- 111 X 74  pixels
Page Size Width – 810  pixels

Known Bugs to be Aware of:

Recommendations

A note about recommendations:

With the new layout, there have been glitches and bugs. Some of these will get worked out in time and others may not. Most of them are not a major issue. The main one to be aware of is that sometimes when pages convert to the new timeline the recommendations that your fans have written disappear.

These recommendations may be very important to you. We recommend you take a screenshot of your recommendations. That way, if they disappear, you can show them as an image and have them for your personal use.

App Images 

When you choose to change the image of an app under the cover image, it may show random images rather than the one you uploaded. This is a known bug. If this happens, just go back to settings and choose “delete” the image and you’ll go back to having the default image. In time, this glitch may be taken care of, but as of now it’s still likely to be an issue.

Additional Resources:

Additional FAQ Help from Facebook
http://www.facebook.com/help/pages/new-design

Facebook’s Guidelines
http://www.facebook.com/page_guidelines.php

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Paige | simple mindfulness March 20, 2012 at 12:30 am

Thanks so much for this very useful overview! Facebook at its finest – creating turmoil. I also discovered as I updated my Timeline that most of the Help topics within Facebook are very dated (about two versions old for the topics on adding apps). There seemed to be no support within Help on Timelines. Thankfully there are people like you, Aileen, who can help!
Paige | simple mindfulness recently posted..Head vs. Heart: Which Is Smarter?

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:14 pm

Hi Paige. The Facebook help area is really outdated. I wish they would update it as they make updates, especially when it’s a major change!

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Betsy at Zen Mama March 20, 2012 at 3:05 am

Thanks you so much Aileen! You’ve really laid everything out here. I resisted changed to timeline but now I actually like it. (Like most change in life!) There were still some questions I had and you’ve answered them here. Thank you so much!!
Betsy at Zen Mama recently posted..Start Thinking You’re Lucky With “Lucky Thinking”

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:16 pm

Hi Betsy, you made me smile when I read “I resisted changed to timeline but now I actually like it. (Like most change in life!)” So true about resisting change only to discover it’s positive side after we melt into it a bit.

It does take some getting used to for sure.

Reply

Tess The Bold Life March 20, 2012 at 5:50 am

Aileen,
Can we please switch brains!!! Thanks for the info. I’m going to go print this out. Breathe, Tess, Breathe!

Reply

Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:17 pm

Tess, I wouldn’t mind switching brains for a little while :) I’m guessing your biggest challenge will be finding a cover image that you feel is just right, but I know you will!!

Reply

Cathy Taughinbaugh March 20, 2012 at 7:33 am

Hi Aileen,

I know these changes have caused a bit of concern for all us with Fan Pages. I am about ready to switch mine over, but I appreciate reading this line – Currently there is a known issue/bug with some apps – as I have been wrestling with changing one of my app pictures, so know I know it is in the system. Thanks so much for this informative post – I will save it as well.
Cathy Taughinbaugh recently posted..My Journey Through Al-Anon

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:20 pm

Hi Cathy. We expect that the issues and bugs should get straightened out shortly. I have an app I love that keeps having the image change to a something random – my welcome page image looked like an edible arrangements photo. That’s one reason we’re holding off a bit longer on making the change to Timeline. We’ve got a few more days. If the issue is still present we’ll go with the generic default app image until its resolved.

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Fran Sorin March 20, 2012 at 8:51 am

Aileen,
YIKES!! I’m printing this post and keeping it right next to me as I trek into the new abd better Facebook. Thanks for such great information.:) Fran
Fran Sorin recently posted..10 Top Ways of Celebrating Spring

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Glad it’s helpful Fran :)

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Angela Artemis March 20, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Aileen,
You did a fabulous job. I learned so much! I was so confused about this. I will know who to ask now. lol

Reply

Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:21 pm

Angela, I love the cover image you chose! It’s gorgeous!

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Justin Mazza March 20, 2012 at 7:12 pm

Change is a good thing and I am totally loving the new look of FaceBook.
Justin Mazza recently posted..Forgive Yourself, Forgive Others – We Are Only Human

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Hi Justin. Change is good, you are right. I was resisting this change for a moment, but I’m beginning to see it’s good side :)

Thanks for stopping by today :)

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Sibyl March 20, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Amazing article that everyone should bookmark:) Thanks Aileen for all the information. I sooooo needed this summary.
Sibyl recently posted..Some Simple Pieces of Wisdom You Really Want to Know

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Evotive March 21, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Thanks Sibyl! :) Glad its helpful.

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Evelyn Lim March 27, 2012 at 6:18 pm

I have not been liking the idea of a change into the new timeline. I don’t find it clean. Because of my resistances, I have not read or done a single thing to my FB page until reading your post. Thanks for laying out the info so clearly for me. I guess I should get round to doing something soon!
Evelyn Lim recently posted..The Meta Mirror Model: View Life From A New or Higher Perspective

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