FB Timeline For Pages… Businesses & Brands Impacted!

Facebook has launched the “Timeline” display format for Facebook Brand Pages…

Here’s 8 things your business needs to know about the new Timeline format for Brand Pages:

1. Preview Mode

You can put your page into preview mode by either clicking the preview button near the top of the page – or – by visiting here and setting your page to preview status. (The server is being finicky and I have had some trouble using preview while “using FB as page”.)

2. March 30 Cut-Over

You have until March 30 to play with, and set up, the page in preview mode before this mandatory change-over date. You can chose to stay in preview the full time or – when you are read – change over early.

3. Cover Images For Brands

The large format cover images, with a dimension of 851 x 399 pixels are now available to brands. Here are however some very strict rules regarding the (limited) marketing one can do in these images.

4. No More Default Landing Tabs – Custom Tabs Still Available

Although the location of tabs has moved, custom app tabs and iframe tabs remain fully available to you as a business owner. They are all available both from the drop down menu as well as by URL. They now sport a changeable custom image which is new. What is gone however is the ability to set any of these as a default landing tab where non-fans would land by default. Now all fans land on the wall every time.

In brighter news, because of how applications are now displayed, the “useable width” of custom applications has been increased from 520pixels to 810 pixels (some are saying 760 pixels). This actually provides a lot of flexibility that we had lost prior to have really nice graphics on those custom tabs.

5. Pinned & Highlighted Posts

Two new ways to showcase a post now exist. These can only be used on posts created by the page. “Star” (aka highlighting) expands the post to full-width and makes it harder to miss. It will however travel downstream just like any other post. “Pinning” pins (or sticks) a post into the upper left spot on the page for up to seven days and adds a little tiny orange banner/flag to it to indicate that it is pinned.

6. Hiding Posts By Others Has Changed

How we hide posts by others and how we prevent the “posts by others” box to appear (if you really would do such a thing) now has new dashboard admin options. I don’t recommend this of course but certain larger brands need this type of control.

7. New Fan-To-Brand Messaging Ability

Brands now have a “Message” box, placed in the same location it appears for profiles, that will allow fans to initiate a 2 way private discussion between themselves and the brand page. Pages can not initiate this discussion. Pages can however chose to enable or disable this feature in the

8. “Offers” (Kinda Like Deals)

Kinda similar to the former “Deals” product, offers function similar to an application and allow brands to post “sales” or “specials” on their pages. This is more impactful than a status update though because the one-click claiming allows it to spread virally through friends of your fans. Learn more about offers here.

9. “Premium For Facebook” Shifts Brand Exposure

Paving the way for Facebook’s shift to further a Freemium (Free + Paid) model of revenue generation, the new “Premium for Facebook” allows brands to use a modified version of the former “sponsored stories” to improve post visibility from a typical 16% up to an estimated max of 50-75% (they threw around both numbers, I don’t know which is correct.) Not all of this is yet available. The most significant of this change will be letting sponsored stories right into the newsfeed and a so-called “logout experience” that we don’t have any information on yet.

What other tips have you discovered about the new Facebook Timeline format for brands and businesses?

Are you having a “love it” or “hate it” experience with the new change?

PS: Some great examples of brands using the new timeline format include: Coca-Cola, Starbucks & Macy’s.