Ever since Timeline rolled out for personal Facebook pages, businesses have been prepping for Page Timeline. As of today, Timeline for Pages has rolled out and will be required as of March 30.
Changes to Pages
The Facebook Timeline for Pages makes a few distinct changes that will affect all pages. First, the Timeline Topper will be enabled. At 850 x 315 pixels, the timeline topper presents an opportunity to highlight the visual story of your business. Choose a graphic that fits well into the space to make the most of this visual opportunity.
The new Timeline also changes the available space for Facebook tabs. The new space available is a full 850 pixels wide. The additional 320 pixels of width provides a lot of extra space for visual sharing. Keep in mind that these extra pages will still be the same height, meaning that anything more than 600 pixels will end up below the fold of the page, where it is much less likely to be clicked.
One of the biggest changes for Facebook pages is that a new “messages” feature. Messages can be turned on or off by clicking “Manage –> Edit Page –> Manage Permissions.” In the third section of the page, there is a “Messages” option. Turning on messages will enable a feature that allows visitors to the webpage to message your business directly. The system works similarly to Facebook’s personal messaging system, and the new messages show up on the page administration screen.
Making better sense of Insights
Insights are the built-in analytics for Facebook pages. Facebook has been working to make Insights more real-time. The basics of Insights are displayed on the administration panel, and clicking through to the insights will display the “virality” of each post, in addition to the reach, engaged users, and number of users talking about the post. Keep an eye on these numbers to study what is working the best and what needs improvement. Keep in mind it could be wording, type of post, time, or even how the post is made that has the biggest impact on response. A/B testing is not available in Facebook, but a combination of experience, best practices, and testing can give you the solution that works the best for your Facebook fans and followers.
A final note
One of the biggest frustrations for many users of Facebook has been the fact that the new Timeline layout makes it much easier for particular posts to be buried in the timeline much more quickly. This could be because English reads from left-to-right, and the new Timeline asks users to read left-to-right-to-left and back again. This means users will scan much more and read much less. This makes sharing pictures, videos and easy-to-read pieces of text more important than ever before.