It's official - Timeline for Facebook Brand Pages are here, and will be rolled out for all Facebook Brand Pages come March 30th 2012. Personally, I'm a huge fan of this new product offering - while it certainly does take some getting used to, this allows brands to get more visually creative and tell the stories of their brand histories more effectivelyTimeline for a Facebook Brand Page can certainly get more visually stunning if the right steps are taken to humanise their brand.

Use your brand's Facebook timeline to tell the story of your brand. Marketing is all about effective storytelling. It's not all about promotional-loaded drivel, but it's about humanising your brand to connect with your fans!

Yes folks- the theme here is to humanise, humanise, and HUMANISE! So let's go!

Anyhow, page administrators- fret not, start working on your pages now, you have till March 30th before the changes are officially seen!

 

Here's 5 pointers to help humanise your brand on Facebook- and with some examples from some of the leading brands and their new Facebook Timelines. Check out these amazing Timelines for Facebook Brand Pages.

 

1. Your Brand's Cover Photo is IMPORTANT!

Cover photos are fantastic ways to engage your fans. Since there's no longer an option to fix a default landing tab for your brand page, your brand's cover photo will be the first piece of content your potential fans will see. Coca Cola has used their app, "My Stories" to allow for fan contributions to their current cover photo- in a beautiful piece of fan-sourced piece of art. Make your cover photo a talking point! For example, your brand could set a monthly theme for your Facebook Cover Photo and source for fan ideas to design it.

Great Brand Cover Photos to learn from:

Coca Cola

Facebook Timeline - Coca Cola

Fan-sourced images for their cover photo. Visually stunning and certainly captures attention!

Livestrong

Facebook Timeline - Livestrong

Livestrong has done a great job of "differentiating" their Facebook Cover- check out how they've linked their cover photo to a thumbnail of their custom application (in this case, the Livestrong Blog)

Ben & Jerry's

Facebook Timeline - Ben & Jerry's

This is a Facebook Cover Photo which pops. How can you not love the Ben & Jerry's Cows?

 

 

2. Don't forget about your Brand History

The Facebook Timeline is a fantastic way to tell your brand's history through a collection of high-resolution images and make them mainstays (click on the star icon) on your timeline. Allow your fans to learn more about your brand right here!

Who's doing it right:

Coca Cola

Coca Cola Facebook History

 

Coca Cola has a massive brand history and they're evidently hard at work at populating their Facebook Brand Timeline with content- of great images of past advertising campaigns, and of brand milestones too.

 

Lexus

Lexus Facebook History

 

All right, so I've a weakness for fantastic cars. Lexus has included updates to their car offerings and a short description of the car featured by the year- something that was certainly more difficult to do with the old profile. You can simply navigate on the right sidebar to check out the cars released by Lexus every year. You can do the same for your brand too!

 

3.  What's your 3 featured tabs? (Don't forgot the thumbnail images too!)

 

Once upon a time, fan pages had a left sidebar. They could populate with as many custom tabs filled with custom Facebook applications as they liked. Fans wouldn't know which tab to focus on if you had numerous custom tabs.

Facebook is now getting brands to focus. While you can still have your Facebook applications as part of your navigation system, you've got to pick 3 main applications to feature, right next to your Photos thumbnail. Again, the choices here are limitless- if you're a brand with multiple applications, pick your poison here wisely. Focus on the essentials applications here which would matter to your fans.

Plus, don't forget the Thumbnails for your apps. Facebook now allows you to upload custom thumbnails for your apps. Dimensions would be 111 x 74 for each thumbnail image. 

 

Who's doing it right:

American Express

Facebook Timeline - AMEX

Here's the default look

 

Facebook - AMEX

 

The three default apps which American Express has on their Facebook Brand Timeline - Promotions, Entertainment, and Careers. The expanded menu has the rest of their applications- ranging from their membership rewards, support program, and videos, etc. Plus, they have great looking thumbnails which are visually appealing.

 

4. Pin your Content and Feature it! 

 

The new Twitter Brand Pages allowed brands to feature a particular tweet on their Brand Page.

Now, you can do the same on Facebook.

You can "Pin" content on your Facebook Brand Timeline and allow it to appear first on top of everything else that's on your Timeline. Posts that are pinned will be distinguishable by the orange flag on the post, and you can only pin one post at any one time.

You can positively imagine brands salivating at this opportunity. After the Facebook Cover Photo, this is the next best way to reach out to potential fans- possibly an extension with a stronger visual element and a call to action to "Like" the brand's Facebook Page. 

 

Who's doing it right:

Starbucks

Facebook Starbucks

Coca-Cola

Facebook - Coca Cola

 

So, how are you going to start telling the story of your brand come March 30th?