Timeline for Pages – It’s Happening!

I’m not happy.  I thought I would get that out of the way.

Facebook, on February 29, 2012, introduced us (as was expected) to the new pages format.  They have recreated the Timeline feature, that was not well received, on our Business Pages.  It’s happening, and there is nothing we can do about it.

New Facebook Timeline – EsquireTech Solutions    

Old Facebook Page – EsquireTech Solutions

So, what does this mean for us, the small business owner?  First, here are some of the negatives:

  1. Default landing tabs are gone.  That’s right.  All that hard work creating your beautiful landing tab is wasted.  They are still there, within the Application slider, but you can no longer set your fans to visit that first.  Although they do show as an app (see below), so people can click on them.
    1. Research has shown that custom landing tabs increase engagement by allowing an immediate call to action.  This function is now lost.
    2. The page is now organized similar to personal Timelines.  Your Photos, Likes and Apps are located at the top of the page.  Photos will always show in the first spot, but you can change the order of everything else, allowing you to decide what is to be seen.  However, you can only show a maximum of 12 apps, so be careful in your choices.
    3. We can now use the greater “Cover Photo” real estate to showcase our company or product.  But wait, the following is not permitted:
      1. Price or purchase information;
      2. Contact information that should be within the “About” section;
      3. References to Facebook elements, such as “Like” or “Share”; and
      4. Any calls to action.

What do I like about it?

  1. The ability to pin your favorite post to the top of the page.  Just click on the pencil icon, and you can pin the post (or delete it altogether).
  2. The ability to message fans directly.  That’s right, you can initiate private conversations with your fans, and those messages will appear right within your admin panel.
  3. The ability to go back, through the Timeline, and add events or milestones to your company’s history.
  4. Can upload pictures to use for your featured apps, enabling you to turn them into dedicated calls-to-action.

As I said at the beginning, I’m really not happy about these changes.  And, I’m not sure how things will change over the next 30 days (the new format is opt-in until March 30, 2012), so things may very well change between now and then.  I’m also not sure how companies that built their business, and reputation, on Facebook Landing pages will handle this.  It will be interesting to see how companies like Lujure, Tabsite, Pagemodo, and others will adjust to this new reality.

To help us cope with this change, Facebook has set up a complete video tutorial, which can be accessed here:  http://www.learnfacebookpages.com/.

Let me know what you think of the changes.  Do you agree with me?  Have you already changed your page over?

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Comments

  1. Personally, I don’t mind all the changes. I think the new timeline will–in the long run–allow more consumer engagement because there are no default landing pages, apps are discouraged, and conversation is in the forefront. I think more and more when a consumer wants to learn about a business they are going to the Facebook page before they go to the website, and the new Timeline feature puts everything the consumer needs in one place. Change is not always easy, but focus on what we now have to work with and make the most of it!

    • Thanks for the comment, Dawn.

      I do agree, that we must make the best of it. I don’t know if I agree about Facebook discouraging apps, as they are still available within the Timeline, and quite prominently. In fact, you can now add a custom picture for the apps you have featured.

      I just feel that this will make it more difficult to draw people to specific pages, and reduce the “call to action” that we were able to use before.

      Again, thanks for taking the time to read and comment!

      Craig

  2. Craig,
    I hear that Lujure is replaying their webinar this coming week on March 6, 2012,
    Lujure Timeline App Builder and Webinar,
    http://www.facebook.com/Lujure/app_182666908511259

    The video of the facebook conference is also available,
    Facebook Marketing Talks Live,
    https://www.facebook.com/business/fmc

    In addition to all the great resource reading material you provide at the end of your post, these both sound like good videos for people to view to learn more about what is going on with facebook, specifically timelines and covers for pages as well as all the technical changes.

    As you and I discussed, it seems like this is at least, in part, about making facebook much more attractive to big business as a branding and marketing tool. Increasing facebook’s ‘Kred’ with corporate America will certainly have a huge impact on social media and beyond.

    Thanks for your offer of help. We are like the two sides of the brain, you are more technical and I am artistic. I still think there is the opportunity for a business redoing facebook pages. I can design the covers and you can be in charge of all the technical changes. What do you think? Sounds like fun to me!

  3. Craig,
    I hear that Lujure is replaying their webinar this coming week on March 6, 2012,
    Lujure Timeline App Builder and Webinar,
    http://www.facebook.com/Lujure/app_182666908511259

    The video of the facebook conference is also available,
    Facebook Marketing Talks Live,
    https://www.facebook.com/business/fmc

    In addition to all the great resource reading material you provide at the end of your post, these both sound like good videos for people to view to learn more about what is going on with facebook, specifically timelines and covers for pages as well as all the technical changes.

    As you and I discussed, it seems like this is at least, in part, about making facebook much more attractive to big business as a branding and marketing tool. Increasing facebook’s ‘Kred’ with corporate America will certainly have a huge impact on social media and beyond.

    Thanks for your offer of help. We are like the two sides of the brain, you are more technical and I am artistic. I still think there is the opportunity for a business redoing facebook pages. I can design the covers and you can be in charge of all the technical changes. What do you think? Sounds like fun to me!

  4. Thanks, Alison. And I just may take you up on the offer. You know you can always ask me for help. That’s what I’m here for.

    I’m not changing my page, just yet. I saw a great product from Lujure (www.lujure.com) to create Timeline Pages, and will create one there, before I change.

    As always, let me know what I can do.

    Thanks!

    Craig

  5. Thanks, Alison. And I just may take you up on the offer. You know you can always ask me for help. That’s what I’m here for.

    I’m not changing my page, just yet. I saw a great product from Lujure (www.lujure.com) to create Timeline Pages, and will create one there, before I change.

    As always, let me know what I can do.

    Thanks!

    Craig

  6. Craig,
    I can’t thank you enough for your post on facebook’s new page timelines and their covers. I am so excited and having great fun doing the cover artwork. I started changing all my pages the minute I heard about it. Photoshop is getting such a workout as I am glued to the computer as a visual artist rather than a blog writer.

    As far as the technical aspect, the landing page change is something I noticed right a way too. As far as other aspects of the content, I will be ‘picking your brain’ to find out what I can’t figure out how to do.

    By the way, would you like me to design a cover for your timeline page? I would have great fun and it would be a challenge too. Perhaps I should start a new service doing this for other professionals and businesses. After all, design is my background and doing visual design came naturally to me way before verbal communication.

    Let’s talk. I design cover pages and you can coach me and others on the technical issues. How’s that for an idea? Anyone else need a design and technical ProTeam for their timeline page?

  7. Craig,
    I can’t thank you enough for your post on facebook’s new page timelines and their covers. I am so excited and having great fun doing the cover artwork. I started changing all my pages the minute I heard about it. Photoshop is getting such a workout as I am glued to the computer as a visual artist rather than a blog writer.

    As far as the technical aspect, the landing page change is something I noticed right a way too. As far as other aspects of the content, I will be ‘picking your brain’ to find out what I can’t figure out how to do.

    By the way, would you like me to design a cover for your timeline page? I would have great fun and it would be a challenge too. Perhaps I should start a new service doing this for other professionals and businesses. After all, design is my background and doing visual design came naturally to me way before verbal communication.

    Let’s talk. I design cover pages and you can coach me and others on the technical issues. How’s that for an idea? Anyone else need a design and technical ProTeam for their timeline page?

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