Facebook pages are gradually being converted over to the site’s new timeline format. If your page hasn’t already been switched over, it will be soon. On the 30th March 2012, brand pages will automatically be converted to the timeline format.

What does the new format mean for your page? Well, change can be scary at first, and some of your users may be confused, but the new page offers a lot of good branding opportunities for you, or your chosen social media agency, to take advantage of.

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Building Recognition

Building Recognition
If you haven’t seen the new timeline format yet, log in to your Facebook account and visit your brand’s page to see the timeline preview to get an idea of what your page could like. Facebook probably hasn’t done a good job of converting your page, but with a few tweaks, you should be able to make your timeline look good.

The timeline format uses a huge photo at the top of the page. If Facebook hasn’t picked the right image, take a few seconds to select one that represents your brand well. This is a great branding opportunity.

Timeline is Even More Social

Timeline is Even More Social
Under the timeline format, the top half of the page is taken up by a large photograph, and some information about the page – including the description and the number of people that like the page. The next thing that visitors see is the box that allows them to post on the page, and a list of people in their network that like the page.

If you have a fairly small network, it’s going to be obvious to your audience that your page isn’t very popular. It’s a good idea to start building your fan base up now, so that your page looks more interesting. This is something that a social media company could help you with.

Ideally, you should get people to talk about your company too. Visitors can see what their friends have been saying about your company. If they haven’t mentioned you for several months, then that’s probably a sign that you aren’t engaging with your customers as well as you should.

Applications are Moving

Applications are Moving
The change to applications is perhaps the most confusing (and to some people annoying) thing about the new timeline, and one that many social media companies are talking about. The default landing tab has been removed, and the way applications are reached has been changed. You can now have up to twelve applications in your showcase, but only four of them are featured prominently – and one of those will always be the photos application. This means you’ll need to choose your applications carefully.

Fortunately, you can change the image and description for each application. If you choose the right images, and put a call to action in the description, you should be able to entice users to go to the tabs or apps you want them to see.

Fan Posts Are Harder to See

Fan Posts Are Harder to See
Fan postings are hidden away on the page, and aren’t likely to be seen by casual surfers. This is a good thing if the posts are complaints, but isn’t so great if the posts are testimonials. It seems that recommendations are prioritised over fan postings, so you may want to encourage your customers to post recommendations if you want to have positive postings bubble up to the top.

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