Facebook’s new Timeline format will be mandatory for all businesses within the month.  In order to get the most out of this new format, Mashable has put together 6 tips that will make the changes most beneficial for your brand.

  1. Updated Look and Feel – The Timeline feature uses a new Cover Photo and the page is separated into two main columns.  The format is great for companies to outline their corporate history and construct a narrative for their audience.  Through Mashable’s research, they’ve found that brands who show behind-the-scenes activities, exclusive updates and or promotions, translate into higher engagement rates.
  2. Reduced Tab Visibility – The left-side panel of links is no longer with the new format, which means that applications that were highlighted before are now displayed differently – in rectangular panels underneath the cover photo.  The catch is that only 3 are visible at a time now, so make sure your three most important now take up that real estate as users will have to do a lot of clicking through to access the other ones.
  3. No Default Landing Page means that brands no longer have control over the users “first impression” when they visit the Timeline Page.  Companies will have to stay very aware of what the first few postings on their page are and will have to monitor their page more carefully.
  4. New Way To Feature Content – The ability for marketers to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline will make the content more “sticky.”  A pinned post remains at the top of the page for a specific amount of time and features an orange flag (which will make it known to users).  The catch is that brands can only pin one item at a time.  But this is a great feature and can be used to the brand’s advantage, since the default landing page was taken away.
  5. Current Tab Content and Applications Become Outdated – The new page configuration is now a 810-pixel width, which replaces the previous 520-pixel width, so brands should make changes to their creative in order to make the most out of their page.  Additionally, all applications on the brand’s page will need new icons that are 111 x 74.
  6. Private Messages Between Brands and Users – Brands will finally be able to send private messages to users, allowing deeper consumer interaction.

For more information about these changes, along with Mashable’s recommendations, go to: mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-brand-timelines-changes-marketing/

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