Facebook Timeline For Fan Pages

[title color=”blue-vibrant” align=”scmgccenter” font=”arial” style=”normal” size=”scmgc-2em”]Facebook Timeline is coming to Fan Pages[/title]

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook announced a week ago that it will be converting all Business pages, commonly called Fan pages, to the Timeline format on March 31st. This is the same change that Facebook made to Personal pages in early February. However, the changes to the Fan pages is more extensive that the changes to Personal pages.

There are other major changes associated with the Timeline conversion that you need to know about also. The page tabs (the ones on the left of the page below the image) go away. The image above those page tabs goes away also. See the images below as a reference.

Landing page tabs and profile image is gone as of March 31, 2012.

As you can see, the changes are dramatic. Probably the most dramatic of all is that the page owner will no longer be able to direct which page the visitor lands on first. So, if a fan page has an opt-in page for a coupon (like in the example below) or newsletter that the visitor lands on, they won’t be able to use that anymore. All traffic will now land on the Timeline page.

Example of existing Opt-in Landing page on a Fan page

There are however, good things to look at from this change. First, the page is wider at 810px instead of 510px. This provides more real estate (screen space) for your page. Second, the whole page is cleaner. I don’t know about you but I’ve always thought that Facebook pages were too busy. You had an image on the left, links/tabs below that, on the right you had Birthday announcements and other requests, suggested friends, Facebook Ads…it is just quite busy. See below image for an example.

Existing Facebook Fan page style through March 30, 2012

With the new Timeline format, everything gets cleaned up and it makes it easier, in my opinion, to view the page because you don’t have all of the other distracting things to look at. See the images below for what a Fan page will look like beginning March 31, 2012. The first image has the Timeline Cover turned off and the second image includes the Timeline cover. The Timeline Cover is a picture or other graphic where you can place your logo and what your company does.

New Fan page Timeline format with cover turned off

New Fan page Timeline format with coverAs you can, the changes are dramatic from the existing page format to the Timeline format. One thing about the Timeline cover, should you choose to use it, you cannot place text in it that would include things that should be in your About section. Those would include things like email address, phone number, physical address, etc. Facebook has been very specific in this regard as to what they will and will not allow.

Several other positive changes with this new format include the ability to pin images to the App bar. In the Fortune Cookies example page above, the App bar is the area that has the image of the map and the Like. You can pin an application here, a coupon, or something of interest to the site visitor. Pinning simply implies that it will stay there unless you manually remove it. Another change is that you can star a post that you want to always be at the very top of your postings. This could be a greeting or other important post that you want visitors to see every time they visit your page.

I hope this brief post has provided you with some good information regarding Facebook’s upcoming conversion of Fan pages to the Timeline format. If you have any questions or need help with your Fan page conversion to Timeline, feel free to contact me or post your comments below.

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