Facebook rolled out its new timeline for B2B Business Pages, so these Pages now have a similar look to personal profiles where content is organized and viewable by date. It is becoming a more visual platform and they continue to promote the idea that photos and videos create stronger connections with customers, prospects, fans and likers. B2B companies who want to succeed on Facebook must now develop and share content that doesn’t just provide value, but that catches peoples’ eyes. A recent study has already shown that many large brands don’t get that much fan engagement on Facebook, so this can be even more challenging for many B2B companies.
Page administrators have the next 30 days to get their timeline plans in place before all Pages switch to this new format. Very few B2B companies have made this switch so far, but we will look at some of the new features and how to best use them by looking at a few examples of companies who have made the change.
1. Create a Stunning Cover Photo
The cover photo is huge opportunity to create an impression about your B2B company. If you don’t currently have a strong brand representation that you can use in this spot, use a cool photo that shows something about your company. This wide photo at the top of the page is 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. You can use an existing photo from your page, as long as it is 399 pixels wide, and it will get stretched to the proper size. Don’t do this. It will not make a good impression on your page visitors. This can be an opportunity to meet with a graphic designer and get some ideas of the kinds of things you can put here.
2. Link to Your New Landing Page
This is the most important part of this post. If you currently have a series of tabs and a welcome page, many people are saying these are going away. Sort of. Facebook had already changed its requirements so that tabs had to be hosted elsewhere and displayed on the Page as apps. This is a good thing. With the change to timeline, these no longer appear on the left hand side. They appear underneath the cover photo with four showing all the time, and that can expand with a click to see all 12 apps associated with a Page. The tabs themselves can now be expanded from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels. Just like always, each one of these apps has a unique URL. This means you can direct people to any particular one. If you want to use a landing page, maybe even one with a lead form, you still can. But this means that you no longer direct people just to facebook.com/companypage, but you use the URL directly to the app. This is easy to do from your website by linking a Facebook icon to this, but harder to do in print. A custom short URL could be used, though.
3. Pin a Post to the Top
B2B companies can now feature a post so it is always at the top left position whenever anyone visits the page. Click the “pencil” icon in the upper right corner of the post to pin it. The post will appear with a small bookmark to show that it is a pinned post. It will only remain there for 7 days, then it will return to its proper place in the timeline. Use this for campaigns, timely content or just things that you want to make sure everyone will see. But remember, most people still will see your content in their newsfeed, not on your Page, so pinning a post is not a substitute for continuing to publish valuable and interesting content. Pin your latest ebook to the top, but keep sharing blog posts and photos on your Page.
4. Star a Post To Highlight It
The normal timeline has a two column layout, but you can star a post to highlight it, and it will expand to the full widescreen width of the Page. Click the star in the upper right of the post to do this. While you can certainly do this with a written post, it makes more sense to create a graphic or image similar to your cover photo to highlight B2B company events or activities. Please don’t use this highlight your latest press release. None of your Facebook fans care about that kind of content. You have a huge opportunity to be creative with your Facebook content.
5. Add Company Milestones
What’s the name of the new Page? That’s right. It’s called a timeline. Not only does this mean posts are more connected to the date of posting, but you can add posts to any date you want. This creates a visual history of your B2B company on your Facebook Page. Make sure you add a founding date, and you can even add an image. Again, think about how you want to present the history of your company in a creative way. You are building connections with your fans, so keep it interesting.
For more information about the new timeline page features go to this Facebook help page. As you see more B2B Pages updating to the new timeline layout, add them in the comments below.