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At today's Leap Day Facebook Marketing Conference, Facebook announced its new "Timeline" for Brands. Lots of buzz around the Timeline, so let's get to the major changes and what it means to you and your brand. Coca-Cola was a part of the beta group - so let's look at their page as an example.Facebook marketing conferenceOne of the most important take-aways here was an expected one: Fan-gated landing pages and redirects to custom tabs are gone (or will be gone on March 30). The timeline page will be the first experience for everyone."Cover Photo": Your first brand experience, and users will certainly take notice. You can change this photo at any time and the cover photo cannot be promotional in any way. Some other thoughts to note:
  1. No purchase info, contact info, or call to action.
  2. No Hyperlinks to other websites,- No misleading promotional materials or promises. i.e. no lying
  3. No Facebook actions. You can not use this photo to encourage visitors to like your page
Profile Picture is now layered above the cover photo and is an ideal location for a brand's logo. No major changes here. App Buttons: They look like photos, but they are essentially links to your custom apps/tabs from your old Facebook page.  You can reorder these in whatever order you see fit, just keep in mind that the new design will only display the first three apps. Choose wisely.Posts Appear within the timeline section and just like the old wall, the timeline displays the most recent post first. Brands do have a new tool at their disposal however, and those are called Pins.  Pinning a post will cause it to stick to the very top on the timeline for a period of 7 days. This is an ideal way for a brand to showcase a particular photo or promotion. Good visibility.Starring (not shown in the Coca-Cola photo) will double the width of a post across the page.  Brands should reserve this tool for some of the best posts.Personal Interaction with Brand. Fans are now essentially able to direct a personal message to the brand/page admin instead of simply posting to the wall. This gives the brand yet another personal, more private way to engage with a fan or community member.What Should I do Now?
  1. Take some time to experiment with the Timeline layout, there is no substitute for simply learning and doing it.
  2. Choose a brand appropriate, non-salesy image for your cover photo
  3. Start prioritizing your most important apps (if you have them)- The Top 3 will be highlighted..
  4. Create your timeline. If you have a company with a long history of events, start creating and highlighting "milestones" now. It may provide you with opportunities to highlight important historical events for your fans.
NOTE: We've included a few examples below of some other newly created Timeline Pages to get you thinking...