Have you noticed your newsfeed is heavy with brands updating their cover photo? You’re not alone.  Last Friday, Facebook moved brand Facebook Fan Pages over to the Timeline format that has gradually been adopted by your friends since Facebook announced it in a blog post in December 2011. We have been working with our clients to prepare for the change as Facebook’s Timeline format offers a variety of new features that, when leveraged correctly, offer some exciting ways to interact with your fans.  Here are some quick tips for how to leverage the new format to your

Cover Photo

No more landing page? No problem. The Cover Photo on each brand’s Timeline is a great place to promote campaigns, general branding or the like.  The best part? It’s simple to update to fit the needs of the brand – it’s as easy as updating your profile picture.

The key difference between the Cover Photo and the former “landing pages” are the rules associated with the Cover Photo.  Facebook explicitly prohibits using the Cover Photo for a call to action (i.e. “Like this Page”, “Tell your Friends”, “40% off”).  Instead, we’d encourage brands to use captivating, eye-catching images that promote your brand standards and values.

Milestones

When was your brand founded? Odds are it’s older than Facebook.  Timeline can help you tell your brand’s story by allowing Page administrators to document and post pictures from events and milestones that predate Facebook all the way back to 1800.

Don’t be afraid to use Milestones whenever somewhat appropriate from opening a new office, new product launches, to a company’s founding.  Milestones are a great way to provide more ways to interact with fans. In fact, Milestones rank very highly on EdgeRank — the algorithm that determines the posts that appear in a user’s News Feed. This is very important because users often interact with your page directly through their News Feed.

Pinned Posts

Pinned Posts is another Facebook feature that marketers will find very useful.  A Pinned Post will appear on the top-left of the Timeline, preceding all other content on your Page under the Cover photo, for up to seven days or until it is unpinned.  Brands should design posts specifically to be pinned, whether they are images, a well-designed call-to-action or messaging about a promotion.  All pinned posts should include a link to a company’s website.

Overall, switching from the old Fan Pages to the new Timeline may take some time to adjust to but will be a positive change for brands.  The more visually engaging a Page is, the more compelling it will be for users.  Posting content that depicts behind-the-scenes activities and exclusive updates or promotions will reap higher engagement rates.  Between the chronological order of the new Wall design and importance of pictures, it is clear that the better a company is in storytelling, the more engaging their Facebook Timeline will be.  Don’t believe us? Ask one of advertising’s greatest minds – Don Draper. 

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