How Does The New Facebook Timeline for Pages Work with SmallBiz Theme? (Video)

by on March 10, 2012 · 7 comments

coca-cola-facebook-cover

Unless you’ve been living under a rock or vacationing in Tahiti, you’ve heard about Facebook’s impending IPO and the new Timeline features they are rolling out for Facebook Pages.

Well, if you have a Facebook Page for your business they are changing some things up on you.

Facebook Timeline – Changes You Should Know

Here’s the short list of changes:

  1. No more “custom” landing page – You can no longer have a new visitor automatically go to your page and get a custom welcome page when they visit.
  2. New Cover Photo – You now have the opportunity to present a special “Cover Photo” image at the top of your page, to set the tone or reinforce your brand. There are some strict rules of what you can include on that image though.
  3. Custom Tabs moved from left to horizontal – The custom page tabs have been moved from the left to the top as a horizontal bar (just under the Cover Photo). Now you can set special images to feature these tabs though, and include a CTA (call to action) in the graphic if you want.
  4. Custom page width increased – Adding custom page tab content to Facebook page tabs used to be limited to a width of 520 pixels wide, they have widened this out to 780 pixels now.
  5. Star & Pin – You can now use “Star” and “Pin” to feature specific content in your Timeline (which takes over for the “Wall”)
  6. Milestones – You can now set “Milestones” on your page with images and text. These are a nice way to feature events in your business, like when you were founded, when you moved, when you had a contest, etc.

You can preview and activate the new timeline format on your page now, and Facebook is stating that they will move ALL Facebook Pages over to the new Timeline format on March 30.

How does this affect the SmallBiz Facebook App?

The SmallBiz Theme comes with a custom Facebook App and Page Templates that allows you to manage your Facebook Page content right from within WordPress.

If you are using the SmallBiz Facebook App to manage your Facebook Page tab content, don’t worry, everything will still work fine. The App is unchanged, Like Gating still works, etc.

Aside from the App, there are a some new opportunities with the new Facebook Page Timeline you’ll want to take advantage of. Namely, you’ll want to create new graphics for the Cover Photo, Profile Image, and App Tabs. I’ve created a little illustration below that shows the image sizes for each of these.

Facebook Timeline Image Size

In my view, here are the things you should do:

  1. Enable the Timeline on your Facebook Page
  2. Set up a Cover Photo and new Profile Image
  3. Set App Tabs with a feature image
  4. Update your About Box

You should also experiment with featuring some of your best content in your timeline with Starring and Pinning, and Milestones. These are tools to foster engagement with your audience. Once you get used to it, I think you’ll like the timeline better than the wall – there are some exciting new opportunities here.

What do you think about these changes Facebook has made?

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Don is an entrepreneur based in Silicon Valley. He founded Expand2Web and is the publisher of the Expand2Web Blog, and the GetFiveStars Customer Feedback and Reviews service.

Don has written 313 articles on Expand2Web

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Alexander Denner March 30, 2012 at 2:59 am

Hi,
I´m Alex and use your Theme for one year now.
This statement is not true: “No more “custom” landing page”

It is possible to add a custom landing page.

Thanks for reading

Alex Denner

Reply

Don Campbell March 30, 2012 at 9:09 am

Hi Alex,
Agreed – what I meant was that you cannot set a “default” landing page that new visitors automatically go to any more.

You can still have custom pages in Facebook, and still do “Reveal on Like”, but you can’t set a default page that every new visitor goes to like you could do on pre-Timeline pages.

This just means you have to get more creative with your Cover Photo and App Tab images.

Reply

aL Remoroza April 12, 2012 at 11:15 am

I like the new Facebook cover because it highlights your page and there are some changes that makes it useful.

Reply

Alisa May 29, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Hi Don, great post — I work for an Australian company, Think Big Online, and our big effort is to get our small businesses to embrace what social media can do for them. http://www.thinkbigonline.com.au/why-twitter-facebook-and-google-are-must-haves-in-your-seo-arsenal/We thought we’d cracked one difficult client when Facebook decided to introduce the Timeline! The Timeline practically sent him running from the meeting room. I like your post because it breaks the timeline down into something very useable. Nice! Alisa

Reply

Don Campbell May 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm

Thank you Alisa!

Reply

Bud Szymula August 10, 2012 at 11:12 am

When is facebook timeline mandatory date?

Reply

alan June 30, 2013 at 8:45 am

Hi, I have followed every step but when I go to my Facebook page- it says – “this page is not set up yet”

I am using another facebook account to test it.

Can you suggest what might be happening?

Reply

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