New Facebook Pages with Timeline Design

Need more info? Be sure to check out 28 Things You Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages! This post includes additional and new details about the Timeline design for Facebook Pages.

Last night, I decided to try out the New Facebook Pages with Timeline for my freelance writing page. Facebook plans to change things over on March 30th anyway, so you might as well prepare early for what’s coming, and for pages, there are lots of preparations to be made. Here are some of my initial observations about how Timeline affects our favorite Facebook fan page features.

Pros: More About Space & Direct Link to Your Website

Probably one of my favorite changes that comes along with Timeline is the easier to find About information.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - About Section Links

This means you can squeeze in more details about your page, brand, or business. Keep it around 165 characters if you don’t want anything important to get cut off, and be sure to include your links for a possible increase in click-through rates to your website from your Facebook page.

The only down side is if you set your Facebook fan page up as a local business. Instead of your About information with website links showing, your contact details will show instead. If you want your website link in this area, the tradeoff is you have to remove your phone number. This is what I had to do with my husband’s Facebook page for his new business as a Arizona wedding photographer.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Local Business Information

It’s just a matter of deciding whether your Facebook visitors are more likely to want to visit your website or contact you by phone. I countered that by using the Pagemodo Contact Us app (aff link) which makes it easy to find additional contact information.

Pros: The Timeline Cover

Forget the 540 x 180 pixel banner. Now you can have a Timeline cover photo size that is 850 x 315 pixels. I went with minimalism using this shot taken by my husband, Jason Hines.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Cover Photo

As you can see, Timeline covers for Facebook Pages is going to be huge for graphic designers, photographers, and anyone who can create a good image for their page, brand, or business. Just be sure that your Timeline cover photo does not include any of the following, as stated in the Facebook Pages guidelines.

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”

They also say…

This space is not meant for promotions, coupons, or advertisements. Your cover photo should not be primarily text-based or infringe on anyone else’s copyright.

Sadly, this means you can’t replace your lost default landing tab fan gate or promotions with a fan gate or promotional Timeline cover photo.

Pros: Highlighted Items

Just like you can on your personal Timeline profile, you can now highlight important stories on your Facebook Page’s wall by clicking on the Highlight star.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Highlighted Posts

This is a great way to make your most important updates stand out. There’s also an option to pin updates to the top of your Facebook Page’s Timeline.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Pinned Status Updates

You can pin one update to the top at a time, but unfortunately you cannot also make it a highlighted update which seems to take away from its ability to stand out.

Pros: Build Audience Options

Remember the option to share your page with your friends? It seems to be back again under your new Admin Panel > Build Audience > Invite Friends. You can choose friends based on recent interactions, locations, groups, or friends lists.

New Facebook Pages Admin Panel - Build Audience - Invite Friends - Suggest to Friends

Suggesting your page will make it show up in your friend’s notifications.

Facebook Page Suggestion Notification

Other options to build your page’s fan base include inviting email contacts, sharing the page on your personal profile, or creating an ad.

Pros: At a Glance Insights

The new Admin Panel makes things simple by showing you everything you need to know at a glance including notifications, new people who have liked your page, overall insights, and messages to your page.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Admin Panel

Speaking of Insights, you can now see page insights in relation to when you made a post on your Facebook page. Beneath that, you can also see detailed insights about your individual posts including reach, engaged users, users who have interacted (liked, commented, etc.) with your post, and virality.

New Facebook Pages Admin Insights

Each column can be sorted so you can see which posts on your Facebook page are most popular. This will give you a better idea of what posts are best for your audience.

Pros: Private Messaging to Pages

As mentioned above, people can now privately message your page using the prominently displayed Message button, and you (as your page) can respond privately to those who contact you. This might be a good thing for online reputation management as some people may use the private messaging system to discuss issues they are having rather than post them publicly on the page itself.

Cons: Lack of Recent Activity Looks Really Bad

The Timeline design makes lack of recent activity on your Facebook page stand out. A lot.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Lack of Recent Activity

This means that you must start updating your page before your page is converted to the new design. But don’t do it with only third-party apps because…

Cons: Status Updates by Third-Party Apps Don’t Stand Out

Unlike posts made directly to your Facebook page on Facebook, posts made by some third-party apps will look like this.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Third Party Updates

Above, you can see recent updates made by the NetworkedBlogs app vs. a link I posted directly on my Facebook photography page. When you are looking to increase click-through rates to your website, posting directly on Facebook will make a big impact.

Cons: No More Default Landing Tab

This one is really getting people up in arms – the loss of the default landing tab. No more putting promotions, fan gates, or other customization elements first by default. You can, however, go to your landing tab on your Facebook page, copy the URL, and then link to that URL so people do go to the specified tab.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Default Landing Tab URL

This would only work if are not using a Facebook plugin like the Like Box which cannot be linked to a specific tab on your Facebook page. The official plugins will only link to the main page itself, aka your Timeline.

Cons: Only Three Obvious Custom Tabs

With the new design, you can only have three of your custom applications / landing tabs prominently featured on your Facebook page. Additional apps / tabs will be hidden unless a visitor to your page clicks on the down arrow.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Featured Apps

The Photos cannot be moved, however the number of Likes to your page can be swapped with your other apps.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Featured Apps Swap Positions

This could be a good things for people who want to put less focus on a low amount of likes to their page and more focus on their custom apps / tabs. If you do want to display your number of likes, then you can only have two prominently featured custom apps / tabs. Choose wisely!

Ps. Speaking of custom tabs, these are now 810 pixels wide. Design accordingly.

Cons: No More Featured Likes

One of my Facebook marketing suggestions has always been to like your other Facebook pages with your Facebook pages and make them Featured Likes so visitors to one Facebook fan page will see your other fan pages as well.

Old Facebook Pages - Featured Likes

Featured Likes are now placed on your Timeline. Depending on your amount of activity, that could mean they are buried pretty far down.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Featured Likes

Cons: Recent Posts by Others Are (Sometimes) Not Featured

This is a con depending on how you look at it, but posts by others (such as when someone writes on your wall or tags your page in their status update) are sometimes not prominently featured on your Timeline.

New Facebook Pages Timeline Design - Recent Posts by Others

I’m not sure if the difference is due to the fact that Brankica’s link was to a her new Facebook page and the others were links to other websites or just comments. But for those who like having other’s posts display on their Facebook wall, they will be missing it in the new Facebook page Timeline design.

Now it’s your turn. What are your favorite and least favorite things about the New Facebook Pages with Timeline Design? Have you switched over yet? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Need more info? Be sure to check out 28 Things You Need to Know About the New Facebook Pages! This post includes additional and new details about the Timeline design for Facebook Pages.





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Comments

  1. says

    Very good overview of the new Facebook timeline Kristi.

    There are quite a few cool things you can do now such as adding a cover photo, pinning a post to the top but taking away custom landing page is not that many businesses will like.

    Lots businesses spent money and time to establish their brands and Facebook has done it once again.

    Another lesson for businesses who thought they don’t need a website, Facebook page is enought:-)
    Rana Shahbaz just posted Kristi Hines Shared Her Best Formula to Build High PR Backlinks

  2. says

    Loved the post Krisiti!

    Facebook timeline is something I have been avoiding for a long time, but just as you rightly mentioned, sooner or later we would have to go for it- I guess I would have to make the switch as well!

    I guess I’m more of the kinds to stay with the old ways and prefer the older version of Facebook, or may be we tend to get used to the old pattern and find out comfort level in that!

    Nonetheless, being a freelance writer, this is one step I would have to take eventually! I have yet to go through the details of the Timeline and once I do that, things would turn out much smoother!

    For starters, going right ahead and liking your page now :)

    Thanks for sharing :)
    Harleena Singh just posted Easy Ways to Achieve Wellness

  3. says

    Nice write up as usual.

    My opinion: great idea, but the loss of the landing page is a huge disappointment. It is the biggest gap Google Plus has in my opinion and now Facebook is doing away with it. Not to mention I just wrote a brief tutorial for photographers on creating their own custom landing page a few weeks ago.

    Hard to keep up.
    Darcy Michaelchuk just posted More Deep Mckinley Shadows

    • says

      I know what you mean Darcy. Each time I write a post about the pluses of Facebook over Google+, one of the key points is that Facebook allows so much customization. They’re taking the focus off of that now though, which almost puts them in the G+ boat.

  4. says

    Thank you Kristi for this very informative post.
    I love timeline. I have been waiting for it to land on fan pages.
    Top-pinned post feature is my favorite. And I do not cry over missing landing pages: new features mean new creative opportunities.

    • says

      I’ve been waiting for it too, although I think there are a few pieces of functionality in the personal Timeline that should be added to the pages Timeline.

  5. says

    Very nice write up! One of the most thorough I’ve seen. Thanks!

    I’m bummed about the disappearance of the landing tabs. I just got done creating two new ones. I guess now they will be chalked up to “good design practice”. Oh well.

    My main thought was what is this going to do to businesses like Lujure? Facebook just wiped out a major source of income for them.

    Well here I go to figure out what to put up in my cover photo. Fun, fun, fun!
    Rachel Poling just posted My Secret Potion for Massive Amounts of Blog Traffic – Triberr

    • says

      Thanks Rachel! I’m bummed about that too. Fortunately they didn’t decide to do away with all of the custom tabs though – they just put them on the backburner and made it up to the brand to find a way to get the focus back on it again.

  6. says

    I am struggling to enjoy the update. We had a major launch plan for an ebook designed around using Facebook tabs and the previous brand page layout. Every thought we had to readjust to Timeline is sort of falling flat. There are still options, but I feel like the Timeline does not benefit businesses that are more information based and have little photographic content that reprensents them.

    I know you also have a photography site (and as you mentioned here your husbands a photographer as well), any suggestions for how to use pictures when your business isn’t necessarily photo-friendly?
    Christelle Hobby just posted 10 Ways Facebook’s Timeline for Pages Stiffs Marketers

    • says

      Although I do have a photography site, my main page is for my freelance writing. So far, all I could think of was the closeup of a keyboard to represent “writing” as best I could. There are good examples emerging though. HSG Accounting has a cover photo of closeup coins to represent their brand. Some brands are simply coming up with an extension of their logo like Livestrong. This law office of Doug Bend works with entrepreneurial clients, and their cover photo is just a nice shot of the word entrepreneur from a dictionary. I think some companies will just need to find a creative way to express what they do or who they do it for with their timeline cover.

  7. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Thank you for this very thorough explanation of all the changes. There were some that I was not aware of. Though there are a lot of cons, as with any new change (especially Facebook’s major changes) there are always pros and cons. People adjust and get used to it – until they throw in something new that will change everything.

    Stacy
    Stacy just posted Interview with Kristi Hines from Kikolani

  8. says

    Good to see a solid write up on the new layout, rather than the usual ire-spitting on new facebook layout changes. Each new iteration has it’s pluses and minuses, and you have clearly shown both in this current design. As you said, the change becomes mandatory on March 30th, so it’s necessary to study up and have the knowledge to fully utilize the new set up… at least until the new layout comes out.

    • says

      The way I see it, no matter how much complaining you do, it isn’t going to change what rolls out on March 30th. Better to make the best of it! :)

    • says

      I think everyone changes their mind. Not too long ago, everyone was freaking out about changes to the personal profiles, but most of my close friends (marketers and average people alike) have taken to it and now enjoy their timeline. The same will eventually happen with pages.

    • says

      Exactly Erno. I always feel bad for people that just published books on Facebook – now most of their screenshots and tips will be obsolete.

  9. says

    I absolutely love that brands get cover photos now, but I’m not thrilled with how comments from others are hidden and/or compiled. Our social media team rejoices when we get outside comments, so to have them all downplayed is really unfortunate. Our preview just looks like a self-promotion party.

    Alas, we will adapt and continue on.
    Mandy Kilinskis just posted The Legendary Guide to Personal Branding with Barney Stinson of ‘How I Met Your Mother’

  10. says

    It looks like the new Timeline for Facebook Pages doesn’t have a spot for Recommendations. In the old format, there was a spot that said “Recommend This Place” where people could post recommendations about your business. This was, in my mind, a suitable replacement of the old “Reviews” tab. Does anyone know where Recommendations are in the new Timeline?

  11. Clint says

    I see the Admin is where you can invite friends, but where is the Invite Friends for regular people who have already liked your page? I’ve ended up having to make about 10 of my friends admins just so they can send the invites out to their friends. Is this an oversight? Why would they only want the person who has made the page be able to invite people by selection? I can’t find it anywhere.

    C/

    • says

      The suggest to friends is only for admins. Not a bad idea to let people you trust become admins so they can invite people to your page.

      • Clint says

        Does that not seem counter intuitive when you have a product or service your trying to get people to promote, *not * be able to suggest it it to multiple friends at a time (Like previously and you could check box all the people you wanted to direct it too?)… I mean what a crazy pain, now people who aren’t Admins have to ‘Share’ the page, potentially hundreds of times on friends walls individually… A standard share in your own feed will get missed by 75% of people… the ‘Suggestion of the page’ use to go straight to your friends Notifications… now with onty Admins being able to actually share it to multiple friends at one time…??? This is just SO wrong. Oh well… yet another day in the land of Facehooked… Thx, great blog!

        • says

          No, I agree. I always thought allowing fans to be able to share pages was the best option. It almost seems like Facebook wants more self-promotion as far as only allowing admins to suggest to friends and the way they’re clumping posts from others on your wall.

  12. says

    All I can say is…WOW! Thanks, Kristi, for such an in-depth write-up. Personally, I think the announcement from Facebook has been lackluster in describing the pros and cons of the new timeline for brand pages. Luckily, I found your writeup.

    Thanks for taking the time to not only explore the nooks and crannies, but document and share them!

    Cheers!

    –Sean
    Sean R. Nicholson just posted The Secret Formula To Social Media Success (shhh…don’t tell)

  13. says

    Any ideas about the “Recommend this Place” function of the old Facebook layout? It seems like its gone in the new Timeline for Facebook Pages. It used to be a good visible place for people to comment about your business. Any idea if this feature will be integrated into the new timeline?

  14. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Thank you so much for the long post, considering it took a lot of your time to write it.

    I haven’t enabled timeline yet, because I don’t really like it (I saw some timelines and it seems complicated).

    I wished to see the “backend” of a timeline account, and now you posted it, how helpful :)

    I find it’s not a user friendly, but I might be wrong, I guess once we are used to it, it will be fine.

    Best regards

    Kimi.
    Kimi just posted LePan 2 vs iPad 2: The difference

  15. says

    I personally love the new Facebook timeline and I was wondering if they were going to change to that layout for the business pages. I’m sure there are going to be a lot of very cool designs coming out soon.

  16. says

    Thanks for sharing this. When I switched mine a few days ago, I wasn’t looking forward to setting it up at all. It looked like a confusing mess so I wasn’t interested in it, therefore I avoided it. This is a great runthrough to set it up. Thank you!

  17. says

    Thanks for this post. I am trying to read everything I can about the changes in the Facebook Fan page before I tackle my page and my clients pages. I am glad Facebook has given us a month to get up to speed on this.

  18. says

    I’m guessing this new format is really going to push orgs to rethink their Facebook strategy. As someone who started with Twitter and moved to Facebook later this somehow feels much more natural for me.

    Our company is very social (for a bunch of web geeks anyway) and we’re having a lot of fun going back through our history and populating the milestones. It’s still a bit of a playground for us and we’re still tinkering with our design (http://facebook.com/rtraction) and did up a very meta blog post with our experiences so far (http://rtraction.com/#blog).

    The biggest annoyance for us so far is Facebook’s image compression – if they’re going to give space for a big juicy image like that they should be a bit more generous with the compression.

  19. says

    Hi Kristi, very nice overview of the Timeline pros and cons. I decided to ditch what I call the “Fake” like button, because it doesn’t let people like the page. It takes them to a second page with stats that I doubt if people are interested in. I wish there was a way to remove that box completely. LOL!

    I think the timeline for pages is the best change Facebook has made in a long time and it’s bound to increase engagement over the recent low levels.

    Thanks for the walk-through Kristi, nice job.
    Ileane just posted Ditch the Fake Like Button on Your Facebook Timeline

  20. says

    I like the new timeline for my blog, but I’m not sure it works quite so well for me on my personal page. Thanks for the tips though – I’ve been working on the preview of my new timeline page and it’s looking better thanks to some of the things you suggest.
    Erica Price just posted Family Meal Planning and My Cookbook

  21. says

    It seems Facebook updates are always initially unwelcome, but eventually users come to appreciate them and understand why the updates were made. The Facebook team is quite brilliant; I feel like they’re always a couple of steps ahead, doing things that we hadn’t foreseen.
    Nikki just posted Remove the Generator tag in WordPress



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