As you may or may not know, Facebook pushed all Company/Brand Pages to their Timeline format on March 30. It caught some brands off-guard, which made for some chuckles from marketers. I know my company was racing the clock to update my clients’ Facebook pages.
There’s already been a lot written about how to change your page, so I won’t get into the details of what changed. Instead, I thought I’d share 3 lessons we discovered along the way.
1. Most Brands Don’t Have the Right Assets
The cover photo is a unique dimension of 851 wide x 315 tall. Most brands will have more conventional sized visual assets. The space is really best to use photos (not art — although you could certainly do that). Some companies only have product shots, screen shots, or boring pictures of executives, none of which work well to express your brand.
I think it’s best to get a professional photographer to take some great photos for you. And, invest in it like you would packaging, because chances are, this cover image will be seen more than any packaging you put into stores.
2. Brands Can Now Tell Their Story
With the new Timeline, now there’s a unique opportunity to tell your brand story in a visually interesting way. I like what Cisco, Ben & Jerry’s and other brands have done: they’ve added key milestones of their company history, using old photos and video to bring those dates to life.
Just like a Facebook user can fill in their birth date, wedding date, major move dates and the like, brands can engage their customers with interesting milestones which help tell the story of their company.
3. It’s Less About the Like, More About True Connection
It’s clear to me that Facebook is trying to wean companies off the practice of “Like-gating” your page. You know this tactic: you build a custom landing page that asks a user to Like the page before your company gives away something free… Facebook bribery.
I’ve confirmed through customer research that nobody likes this practice. People who choose to Like a brand page on their own may have a greater affinity toward your brand. Facebook has not taken away the ability to Like-gate, but users won’t get a resulting “reveal page” afterwards. The fact that you can no longer make a Like-gate the default page also makes it clear that Facebook doesn’t want companies to do this.
I love the direction that Facebook Brand Pages are headed. They are giving companies the opportunity to tell their story in a unique way, using great visuals and at the same time, forcing them to stop employing annoying “Like” page tactics.