The announcement that many of us have been waiting for is finally here -- Facebook is rolling out its new Timeline feature to Brand Pages. Beginning today, Brand Page admins can opt in to the new page functionality. The change will become default for all pages on March 30.
To get ready for the new Facebook Brand Pages, you'll want to get a few things in place.
1. A New Cover Photo
Just as when you changed your personal profile to the new Timeline in Facebook, you'll now be able to set a new "Cover" photo for your page -- a large, banner-type image that stretches across the top of your Brand Page. Note that Facebook guidelines require that Cover photos do not include calls to action of any kind -- no discounts, sales, contact information, suggestions to "like" a page or "share" it with friends. You'll still be able to do all these things on Facebook, you'll just put them in a different location.
2. A New Profile Picture
With your profile picture tucked neatly into a corner of your Cover photo, you might want to change up what you use as your profile picture for your brand page. A different version of your logo, for instance, or some other means of setting it apart from the image you're using in the more prominent, much larger Cover photo.
3. Prioritize Your Photos, Apps, and Likes
The new layout will place thumbnails of your Brand Page's photos, apps, and likes directly beneath your Cover photo. You'll want to decide which ones you want to feature at the top of your page, because the new admin features will allow you to arrange these as you wish.
4. Review Your Timeline And Edit As Necessary
Before you switch to the new Timeline view, you'll want to take a moment in preview mode and decide if all is as it should be. You have to option to edit, delete, or hide status updates that appear in your Timeline, as well as the ability to Pin items to the top of your page, or Star them to make them appear more prominently as you scroll down. Note that with the new Timeline, you'll want to use pinned items to house your CTAs and special announcements, rather than your Cover photo.
5. Update Your "About" Section
The About section will be more prominent in the new Facebook Timeline Fan Pages view, so it's worth taking another look at what you've got here before making the switch. Be sure to keep it brief (so that it doesn't get cut off) and include a URL to your company's website.
For a complete tour of the new Brand Pages functionality and detailed instructions on how to enable the all of the new features in your company's Brand Page, check out The Complete Guide To Setting Up the Facebook Page Design from the HubSpot Inbound Marketing Blog.
For more information on how Facebook's new features for Brand Pages will affect your company's marketing, don't miss HubSpot's upcoming webinar series on How To Get More Value Out Of Your Facebook Marketing, beginning March 20.