Tim Priebe

Don’t make these 4 Facebook Timeline Page mistakes

no-facebook-mistakeOn February 29th, Facebook rolled out Timeline for Pages. And boy, are there a lot of changes. And you only have until March 30th to figure them all out, because that’s when they’re forcing everyone to switch over. How can everyone get it all right?

You don’t have to learn it all, you just have to learn what not to do when converting your page. Let’s take a look at four mistakes you need to avoid.

Read all the way to the bottom to see how you can win a professional, custom-designed Cover Photo and Profile Picture for your page.

1. Don’t convert without a Cover Photo

tands-cover-photo-300x186Your Cover Photo, or lack thereof, is now the first thing that visitors to your page will see. Previously, you could have set a default landing tab for visitors to go to first. Although custom tabs are still there (and wider than before), your Timeline is now the default landing tab, and there’s currently no way to change that.

Your Cover Photo should be 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload anything smaller, it will be stretched to that larger size. If you upload anything larger, Facebook will let you reposition the image, changing what portion of the image is shown.

While you can just upload any large image, try to be creative with your Facebook Cover Photo!

2. Don’t ignore your messages

By default, your page will now have Messages turned on. This means that instead of giving out an email address, people can send you a message directly from your page. The message button is below your Cover Photo on the right, and the messages themselves appear on the top right of your Admin Panel at the top of your page.

Of course, you can turn this off. To do so, click the Manage drop-down menu at the top right of your Admin Panel, then select Edit Page.

You should then have Manage Permissions highlighted in the left menu. On the right, one of the checkboxes is for Messages. To remove the option for Messages, simply uncheck the box and click Save Changes.

Note: In our tests, no admins received email notifications of the messages, and we were unable to find a setting to turn that on. Although this could change, if you don’t check your Facebook page often, I suggest turning messages off.

Also, incidentally, pages can’t currently message other pages.

3. Don’t forget to customize your application shortcuts

Previously, applications and custom pages were linked to in the left column with a simple list of pages with a small icon next to them. Now, they’re a series of thumbnails on the bottom right of your Cover Photo, right under the spot for the Message button. And you’re now limited to a maximum of 12 apps whose thumbnails you can display.

The good news is that you can rearrange them, customize their thumbnails and customize their names. And to make your page stand out, you should definitely customize everything.

The first thumbnail is your page’s photos, and you can’t move that one from the first spot. However, all the rest of them can be re-ordered and the photos can be changed. And those are both important, especially considering that you only have three customizable spots visible before visitors click the down arrow on the right!

Let’s rearrange them first.

  1. Click the drop down arrow to the right of your four thumbnails. (At that point, all your thumbnails should appear.)
  2. Hover over one of them, and a little pencil icon should appear in the top right of the thumbnail.
  3. Click on that to reveal a drop-down menu with a list of your applications at the top.
  4. Simply click on the name of another application to swap their positions.

Now let’s change the thumbnail for one of the applications. Our first three steps will be the same.

  1. Click the drop down arrow to the right of your four thumbnails. (At that point, all your thumbnails should appear.)
  2. Hover over one of them, and a little pencil icon should appear in the top right of the thumbnail.
  3. Click on that to reveal the drop-down menu.
  4. Then click on the Edit Settings link, and another window will pop up.
  5. Next to “Custom Tab Image,” click Change. Another window will pop up (again).
  6. To the right of the image, click Change.
  7. Upload your image.
  8. Close the window.
  9. Click Okay to close the other window.

Finally, we’ll change the name of an application shortcut. This time, our first four steps will be the same as changing the thumbnail.

  1. Click the drop down arrow to the right of your four thumbnails. (At that point, all your thumbnails should appear.)
  2. Hover over one of them, and a little pencil icon should appear in the top right of the thumbnail.
  3. Click on that to reveal the drop-down menu.
  4. Then click on the Edit Settings link, and another window will pop up.
  5. Next to Custom Tab Name, type in the new name you want it to have.
  6. Click Save.
  7. Click Okay.

Make sure you customize those three elements of your shortcut, and you’ll stand out from the crowd.

4. Don’t forget to change how your important posts appear in your timeline

You have some options to modify how your post appear down in your page’s actual timeline. When you over over an individual post, a star icon and pencil icon appear on the top right.

Click the star icon will make the post stretch across the entire timeline. And if you have images in your post, highlighting it makes the images much bigger.

highlighting

If you click on the pencil icon, you’ll have a few options, including Pin to Top and Change Date. Clicking Change Date lets you change the date of the post. Big surprise, right?

Clicking on Pin to Top makes the post the first one in the top right, just under the box that lets you write a new post. Only one post can be pinned to the top at a time, though. And when you pin it to the top, a little bookmark icon appears on the top right that everyone who views your page will see.

And that’s not all!

Those are the four biggest Facebook Page Timeline mistakes that page admins should be aware of. Of course, there are tons of other features and changes as well. Without going into major depth, here’s a few of them:

  • Custom tabs went from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide (and designers everywhere rejoiced).
  • If you’re set to use your Page as yourself by default, you can now switch to being your Page under the Manage drop down menu in the top right of your Admin Panel.
  • There’s now an Activity Log of all the activity on your page. It’s also on the Manage drop down menu.
  • When using your Page as your Page (but not when using it as yourself), you can add Milestones, with a featured image, to your timeline. It will ask you to first add the year your business or brand began, but then you can add any milestone.
  • On the top right of the timeline area, you’ll see your friends that like the page, a post by a friend that mentioned the page in their status, recent posts by others on the page’s timeline, and a list of the pages that page likes.
  • By default, only “highlights” show up in the timeline. Whatever that means. To change it, click the extremely light drop down just below your photos thumbnail. You can limit it to posts by the page, by everyone but the page, or by friends.

And, of course, there are lots of other even more minor changes. When you get a chance, get in there and play around with everything.

Comments

  1. Thanks for this! I’m using Timeline now, but I didn’t know a lot of the things you talked about here, like the application shortcuts and messages.

  2. Can not believe that taking “social” time in my day can be so complicated. Very happy to have a guru in my network to guide me. Great direction! Thanks!

  3. Leave it to me… Was trying to change the thumbnail for the apps., however, step #4 never happened. Another window didn’t pop up. I’ll keep messing with it.

    Thanks for the tips!!

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