If you've got a Facebook account (either personal or business), I'm sure you've heard the news: Facebook Timeline (the new profile page layout system) is coming. It's coming whether you like it or not.Some of your "friends", followers or the organizations you follow may have already switched over, but if you're like me, you've probably found yourself perturbed and confused by the new look of their pages and quickly clicked back to the relative comfort of the layout you're already familiar with. But it's time to stop blowing against the wind. Despite some controversy and complaints, the Powers That Be at Facebook are standing behind Timeline and, by the end of the month, all business pages will be forced to take on the new layout.
Here at Nyman Ink, we've already taken the plunge. Our Facebook page is up and running in Timeline and we've started getting used to the new features and possibilities. So today, I thought I'd share a few key things we've learned during the transition.
3 Things to Know When Switching to Facebook Timeline
1. You MUST size your new "cover image" correctly, or it will look blown-out, pixilated and wonky
Timeline's "cover image" replaces your simple profile picture — in a way. You will still have a profile picture, but it will be much smaller, tucked into the lower left corner of your huge cover image banner. Make your cover image bold and size it correctly in Photoshop or a similar program before uploading. The image should be exactly 851 x 315 pixels to look right. You can change this image at any time, just like your profile picture, but considering how much real estate it occupies on your new page, it makes sense to think it out, choose something you really like and make it looks as close to perfect as possible.
Here's Coca Cola's new Cover:
2. You have control of your "highlights" feed (even though it seems like you don't)
With Timeline, when a friend or visitor arrives at your page, they will see a mix of stories in your "highlights" feed, which is located where your wall used to be. (Note that the highlights feed now contains your wall.) The mix of stories on your highlight feed will include items published by your Page and popular stories from other users. In other words, random posts that are not in keeping with your image may now appear on your page in the highlights feed. But don't worry. You can disable random or unwanted posts from appearing. If you see a post you don't like, you can hover over it and select the "hide" option to make it disappear, or you can choose to delete said post entirely.
3. Get to know "pinning"
With Timeline, you can now "pin" an important post to the top of your page, so that it appears just below your cover image, on the left. When you pin something to this spot (new, old, you can pin anything), it will remain in place at the top of the feed for seven days at a time, even if you post newer updates. Pinning allows you to control what your visitors see first, so it's a helpful tool if you want to call attention to a promotion, a fundraising initiative or a short-term deal. Some tech experts are advising all users to keep a link to your website pinned at all times, so that's also something to keep in mind.
In the end, I think most of you will find the transition to Facebook Timeline to be a difficult one. I know I'm struggling with it to some extent and have yet to truly enjoy the switch. But change is inevitable. I'm sure we'll all acclimatize to Timeline shortly and then we can begin to take advantage of all its possibilities.