23rd March 2012
Facebook Timeline for Brands - Tips for Enhancing Your Brand on Facebook
Earlier this month, Facebook announced the launch of the Facebook Timeline for brands. On the 30th March 2012, all brand pages will be converted to the Timeline format, whether you are ready to embrace the change or not.
Following this news, it may be a good time to cover some Facebook Timeline tips and recap a few of the general points you should remember when enhancing your brand on Facebook.
Facebook Timeline Tips:
Don’t forget the cover photo rules – Cover photos cannot include promotions, prices or contact details (name, URL, telephone number or address) as Facebook don’t want this space to become a large banner ad. Instead, you should use this space to express your brand with a large image. The cover photo dimensions are 851x315 pixels but don’t worry if you don’t have an image this size as Facebook will adjust your image to fit. You are given a 180x180 pixel thumbnail image for your brand logo, which appears in the left hand corner of your cover photo and alongside your posts.
The brand Timeline does not accommodate welcome tabs, so really try to make the most of this space by using images which promote your brand at its best to encourage people to “like” you. Magnolia Bakery’s cover photo is an image of their cakes which definitely shows their products at their best!
Optimising your apps – Tabs which previously lined the left hand side of your page are now called apps and appear along the top of your Timeline. The image size for apps is 111x74 pixels and you can alternate your app images as often as you like. Fans can only see twelve apps at once so if you have more than twelve you might want to put your most important apps at the top of the list (Facebook lets you create up to twenty apps). The “likes” count and “photos” app cannot be removed so in fact you only have ten apps to play with. Remember to maintain and update your apps, otherwise they could really let your Timeline down. For example, if you have apps for polls, competitions or videos then regularly add new polls, competitions and videos.
Make your important posts stand out – You can pin your important posts so they stay at the top of your Timeline for seven days. You can also highlight posts, by clicking the star icon in the right hand corner to make them extra large – a great feature for highlighting competitions, new product launches and achievements. Burberry recently used this feature on their Timeline to promote their new Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
Respond to negative comments – You may think negative comments on your Facebook Timeline are damaging, but don’t rush to delete them as responding to negative comments will actually make your brand more credible.
Get your post frequency right – If your fans have liked you then they want to hear from you so make sure you post regularly, a few times a week if possible. But don’t get too carried away because your fans might start viewing your posts as spam if you constantly flood their news stream. Remember it’s as easy to “unlike” you as it is to “like” you so try to get your post frequency right first time.
Post at the right time – If you want your posts to be seen then you should aim to post when most of your fans are likely to be on Facebook. Facebook activity levels peak at 11am, 3pm and in the evening when people get home from work and school, so you should aim to post mid morning or late afternoon to maximise your chances of being seen in your fans’ news streams.
Get people talking on your Timeline - You should aim to start conversations on your Timeline to build a social community so fans can advocate your brand and help other customers. Engage with fans by asking questions, posting photos and tips and encouraging fans to do the same. Thomas Cook attracts lots of “likes” and comments by posting photos on their Timeline and asking fans to guess the location.
Don’t let your content go stale – Keep your fans engaged by trying out new things. Try posting competitions, polls, news articles and how-to-guides to keep your content different. This will also give you an idea what your fans like and dislike so you can continue to post content they want to see.
Stay on topic – It is not a bad thing to show your human side by wishing your fans a “Merry Christmas” or “Happy New Year”. But stay on topic because if your fans have liked your brand then they want to hear about your brand so be sure to focus your posts around your brand, products and industry. Conversation and engagement is important, but make sure it is relevant as your fans won’t care what you had for breakfast, lunch or dinner and probably won’t care what you did at the weekend either.
Don’t automate your posts – Facebook’s algorithm to show only the most relevant posts means that your automated posts often won’t make it into your fans news stream, so you should avoid automating your post uploads when possible. You should also remember that many Facebook users don’t use Twitter and won’t appreciate seeing hash tags in Facebook posts, so be sure to write separate posts for each of your social media spaces instead of automating the feed to all.
If you need a hand managing your Facebook Timeline or converting your page to Timeline then we will be happy to help!