Facebook’s new timeline for pages have some restrictions, but you can still do promotions if you follow the suggestions in this article.
First, let’s elaborate on the new limitations, and then we’ll get to the new strategies you can use.
No Landing Tabs
When somebody comes to your page for the first time he or she has to see your timeline, and not your welcome page, promotion, sweepstakes or welcome video.
From now on, your cover image has to tell your story, but can’t include a call to action. You may think for a moment that you can place something on this image like “Click below to see the sweepstakes,” or “See our 30 percent off deal”, but unfortunately it’s a mistake.
The Cover Image Can’t Be An Ad
The cover image can identify your brand, but needs to stop short of being a full-blown advertisement.
It can can’t contain calls to action — no asking people to like your page or share your content.
And it can’t include any contact information, including web address, email or other information that may be more appropriate in your page’s about section immediately below the cover.
So what do we suggest? Graphics should tell your story.
It is the best to experiment, choose something unique, descriptive and see the reactions. We strongly advise not to use any written indications of your business, unless it is your company name.
Why Has Facebook Set This Policy? Well, Facebook’s revenue comes mostly from selling ads, which admittedly are improving in quality and performance.
We believe that’s why Facebook doesn’t want you to advertise yourself on the cover image. But there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
Pin And Highlight
If you want to advertise your promotion, or tell a very important message, pin the post, so you can fix it on the top of your timeline. The post will remain there for seven days — after that, it’ll return to the date it was posted on the page’s timeline.
Anything you pin up will be seen first when someone visits. Pinned posts are chosen to display prominently at the top of the page.
It’s best to pin something that includes pictures, since they are larger, and they can refer to your story.
To highlight something, click the star in the upper-right hand corner over on a post to make it expand across both columns.
Consider highlighting posts about promotions, and include a picture that can be as wide as your cover image.
Use Big Images
Images that aren’t in the cover spot can convey messages, and you can make them as big as the cover using the highlighting mentioned above.
Plus you can caption the pictures with a call to action and contact information — see the screenshot at the very top of this article for an example (Editor’s note: The column width on this blog is narrower than Facebook’s so all images shown here are smaller than what you can do on the social network.).
Create an eye-catching image, and then caption it with your website address and promotional text — this is where you can talk about your sales, sweepstakes and so on.
Change The Order Of Views and Apps
The boxes beneath the cover image can help advertise your promotion, so be sure to make the most important ones visible.
You can change their order except the photos view, which will always appear first.
Hover your mouse over the right hand corner of one of the boxes, click “edit settings,” then choose the view or app you’d like to swap into that spot from the menu.
Readers, are you happy for the changes? How would you use the new Timeline pages in a creative way?
About the author: Zsuzsa Szabo is co-founder of Antavo.