Like it or not, Facebook’s Timeline format is rolling out this weekend and by April Fool’s Day all brand pages will be automatically be converted to the Timeline format. No brand is safe from this mandatory change from Facebook, Facebook’s turf so it’s Facebook’s rules. It’s not that bad after all, Facebook is not launching the Timeline format just for the sake of changing the page structure. It’s actually a fresh approach for brands and fans to collaborate on these pages.

For community managers, it’s a great approach to entice fans to provide user-generated content (UGC) in order to increase user engagement. For businesses, it’s an opportunity to humanize their brands and imply a personal approach by talking directly to customers. And as a marketer, you have to understand how Facebook’s Timeline structure works. Like I’ve mentioned earlier, Facebook isn’t rolling out this format for nothing, the Timeline is more than a structure change and is a marketing tool on its own.

Here’s are 5 key aspects to check before you prepare to upgrade your pages to Facebook’s Timeline format.

1.) The Landing Page

Brands should put a premium on their landing page. The facade of the Timeline should contain an clear image which user will identify easily with the brand. Use a cover photo that showcases what your business offers be it a product or a service. Keep in mind that the cover photo is your banner image while the profile pic is situated on the lower left portion. Take time to write a good copy to introduce your brand to new fans. The more visual your page is, the more you could increase unique page views.


Image via Dunkin’ Donuts

 

2.) The “New and Improved” Wall

The Timeline format opts for a more visual approach so brands can think like publishers. With this in mind, every content that a brand shares on their page should entice fans to share their own content. Visual engagement plays a crucial role in mobile marketing. It’s the reason why Pinterest and Instagram grew fast. Facebook is aware of this which is why the revamped Wall and Feed encourages customers to share their photos and vids. Thanks to the Share button, any content that carries a user sentiment about a brand can go viral. User-generated content will increase engagement levels in order to generate more brand awareness. The Timeline format acts like a Wikipedia of sorts as well. Significant events and milestones about the brand can now be highlighted. This feature enables customers to know the rich history of their favorite brand by sharing events like product feats, store openings, and sponsored events.


Image via Dunkin’ Donuts

3.) Know Your Tools

Along with the Timeline format is a new set of analytics tools that can improve sentiment analysis and monitoring for brands and page admins. One of the most notable additions is that anyone can send a message to a brand directly, so instead of complaining on a page’s wall the customer can send a message to the page administrator of a company. The approach is personal and shrugs the idea of dismissing people as mere customers. With Facebook's new admin panel, every community manager has his own social monitoring command center!