For those of us who help create and manage social media campaigns across many platforms, changes to any social media channel’s format often present a host of challenges – and opportunities. Once you’re past the angst of having to deal with an entirely new format, it’s time to think about ways you can leverage this new development to your advantage. Here are just a few creative ways you can use Facebook’s new Timeline layout to elevate your brand:
Design Creative Cover Photos
Like an overpowering billboard, the new 851 x 351 pixel “cover photo” is up to you to plan and use effectively. With a little creative elbow grease, you can transform this expansive area into something downright awesome. Not everyone is capable of graphically designing with the complexity of the space provided in mind, let alone using the free online opportunity to their real advantage.
Yes…there are rules to using this space to Facebook’s specifications. This is not a space for commercial use. Inviting your visitors to like your website, or tell your friends about your business is not allowed. Nor can you include such things as price or purchase locations – and don’t think this is a place for your business address and contact information. But do think of it as a first impression to your brand’s overall image, a visual “hello” to old and new fans.
Don’t let that discourage you from promoting your business. If you’re stumped, take a moment to review these examples of effective Facebook Timelines.
There’s no reason you can’t use your timeline area to promote the benefits of your brand – and change the image out frequently to keep your Facebook audience interested and engaged in your ongoing progress.
Pin Or Star It For Emphasis
Some information on your page may be promotional in nature. Pinning your posts to the top of your page will keep that one special post at the top of your timeline for an entire week (7 days). If you’re running a business promotion or have a conversation that’s become extremely popular, pinning your post to the top is one way to control the content on your timeline page without the previous landing page options.
Pinning is easy:
On your Facebook fan page timeline, choose the post you wish to pin to the top.
Hover your mouse over the top right hand corner of the post and the pencil will appear with the options Edit or remove.
Click to Enlarge Image
Click the pencil.
The menu will now appear with the option to Pin to Top.
Select Pin to Top.
Another Timeline option Facebook as enabled is the ability to “star” posts – enabling them to be given preference in your timeline. A starred post will expand to display across the full-page of your profile – a wide 403 pixels. Consider starring messages that have great images of your brand, or even you, to emphasize its importance to your audience. Here’s a great example that includes a video in the post – for a wider screen appeal:
Celebrate Your Brand’s History
Facebook’s Timeline features “milestones” – a great way for you to make special note of your brand’s development over time. Did you start in a garage only to grow into an office? We’re products or services added to your company mix that were new to your business sector? Milestones are a great way to tell your brand’s story in historical order. Don’t forget to make note of any awards you’ve received, sales goals achieved, or new campaign launches that may have been memorable.
Here’s another good opportunity to engage your employees – and even your fans to help you identify which milestones they feel were most important in your development. You might even be surprised by their answers and insights!
This tactic works especially well for older brands with rich histories that have been ingrained in our culture. Take for example Ford and ESPN – both of whom share old television campaigns we may likely remember (if you’re old enough!).
One consideration here is to review all of the past content your brand has used, and integrate them into your timeline as historical milestones.
Create A Contest
One of the first and most talked about Facebook/Timeline contests has been from Red Bull. The socially savvy used their own timeline as a platform to launch a well received scavenger hunt. By searching through the brand’s timeline, and learning about their key milestones, clues were provided to win the contest. A simple and effective way to both educate and engage a loyal following of growing fans.
Or, for example, take Coca-Cola – who has hidden clues and riddles in their posts on their Facebook page. Once unlocked, it takes you to a third-party website; an easy way to track the promotions click-through rates to prizes.
There’s no doubt these are just the beginning of many creative applications to come from agencies and brands around the world. As the administrator of your brand’s Facebook page, it’s time you started thinking about ways to creatively use it to your unique advantage.
How are you planning to use it for your brand’s page?