Facebook Timeline for Pages – New Opportunity for Authors

Facebook Timeline for Pages – New Opportunity for Authors

As some of you know Facebook released it’s Timeline for Pages design and it has people divided. Whether you like the new design or not, disliking the design esthetics or simply change itself, March 30 will see everyone automatically changed over to the new layout. You’ll have to get used to it and even learn how to make the best of it for marketing your author brand and books.

I’m currently updating the Book Cover Cafe page in preview mode and investigating what’s changed and what’s new.

Let’s take a quick look at the biggest differences.

The Cover Banner

Let’s start with the most obvious first. Gone is the sidebar profile image visible down the left hand side of your page, it’s now replaced with a full width image banner arcoss the top of your page, which Facebook calls ‘A Cover’. I really like this feature as it presents users with the ability to increase the visual branding and authority aspect of their page. Authors should be making good use of this realestate to present themselves in the most professional light. No pet photos on your page here, save that for your profile timeline.

Important to note; Facebook has strict guidelines for the use of the cover image. You can’t use it for advertisements, coupons, promotions or have any blatant ‘calls to action‘, such as telling people to click or comment on anything specific on your page.

Custom Tabs Are Now Even Bigger

For those that have custom tabs for offering content and engaging with readers, you now have up to 780 pixels wide to use. This means photos and videos can be bigger and you can entice readers to stay on your Facebook page longer, as there’s more room to present more elaborate content pieces. It’s clear Facebook wants to keep it’s own users (you and me) to do more of our platform building within Facebook.

One feature I really like is the new tab images that now show directly below the cover. It looks as though you must have the ‘Photos Tab’ visible but can change the other three. This replaces the old navigation that’s down the left hand side and from having talked to clients, many of them never used any of these. So this is a great change to draw more attention to these tabs, driving your visitors to content and offers you may have.

Pinning Status Updates and Posts

This ability allows you to ‘pin‘ your status updates to keep them at the top of your updates feed (the wall has disappeared) so it’s the first thing visitors see when they arrive on your page.

Hit the pencil button, top-right of the post to pin and unpin

I see this as a great opportunity if you’re offering book bonuses, a new piece of content or latest event news. As Facebook has stated, this ‘pinned‘ status update stays pinned for 7 days. After that you’d have to re-pin a status update if you want it to remain at the top longer.

Highlight Status Updates and Posts

A pretty cool feature that will be handy for drawing more attention to specific content is the ability to ‘highlight‘ posts and status updates. This feature allows you to select a post and have it expand over both columns in the timeline. Just hit the ‘star‘ icon to enable or disable this. A great opportunity to display event photos, content images and drawing more focus on specific information.

Hitting the ‘star’ icon highlights the post and extends it across both columns

Private Messages

This will definitely be a welcomed feature as you can send private messages to pages. By simply clicking the ‘messages‘ button below the large cover photo. Ideal for readers and fans to contact the admins of that page. This is very handy for authors and businesses to receive customer feedback.

The Downside

There’s a lot of conjecture around the net at the moment, but for me the single biggest disappointing change is the ability to set ‘default landing pages‘. This was super handy when you had a welcome page that you wanted new-non-fan visitors to see first. Now everyone lands on your main Timeline. So it’ll be interesting to find the ideal ways to move visitors through your Facebook page.

You Have Time to Make The Change

You have up until March 30, to enjoy the current/old layout. You have the ability to ‘preview‘ the new timeline layout and make any changes you want before ‘publishing‘ which is what I’m currently doing with client pages.

So for the most part I’m excited, by the new change. There’s some great opportunities here to really fuel your author and book branding and the changes to encourage more social engagement with visitors is going to weed out all those people who simply spam ‘like me’ posts that don’t result in actual platform building or sales conversions.

Do you like ‘Timeline? Leave a Facebook comment below!

Great things come from change

4 Responses to Facebook Timeline for Pages – New Opportunity for Authors

  1. I was just getting my head around the old Facebook pages, even started learning some HTML so I could create an effective landing page, then they go changing it all! Thanks for the tips — I’m going to need them!

    • Hi Wendy. Yes, it’ll take some getting used to. I’m currently in the process of revamping the BCC Facebook page myself. You can still create effective tab pages for additional content for fans. The images directly below the cover image is how you can link to them. Have clear call to actions on the button images. Any custom HTML work you do won’t go to waste. Thanks for the comment!

        • Your welcome Wendy. The Timeline layout for Book Cover Cafe is currently being updated behind the scenes at the moment. Making plans for new content using the new design.

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