Are you one of those people that gripes every time Facebook changes something on you? Just when you had mastered “poking,” Zuckerberg goes and takes it away. Well, earlier this month, Facebook announced that all artist pages will take on the Timeline format by March 30th. But, hold your gripes! The Orchard’s Interactive Marketing team is here to walk you through the Timeline. EMBRACE THE CHANGE! Here, we will show you the various upgrades that come with the Timeline and how you should use them to your advantage.
1. Get Covered
The new Timeline gives artists a creative outlet to display a large cover photo (850 x 315) at the top of their new profile. To add an image to your cover, go to your Timeline, and click “Add Cover” at the top of the page. You can upload a photo or choose one from an existing album. You can then reposition the photo so that it appears exactly as you want. If you want to change the photo, simply click the image and select “Change Cover.” Here is an example of Torche‘s updated cover photo displaying their upcoming album artwork.
A few apps and services have popped up since the announcement of the migration to the Timeline. Here are some worth checking out: CoverJunction (allow fans to upload and share your cover photo while tracking shares), MyFBcovers & CoverCanvas (create a customized cover). Meshuggah saw over 100 cover photo shares and uploads of their album artwork from fans after one day of implementing the CoverJuntion app.
NOTE: Covers may not include…
- Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Buy Now on iTunes”
- Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section
- References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features
- Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell All Your Friends.”
The other noticeable change that comes with the Timeline format: it does not have the left side panel of apps. While these apps still exist, they now live in a rectangular panel underneath the cover photo. The width of the Timeline and the space allocated for native apps like “Photos” means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. To see more, users must expand the tab panel by clicking a drop-down box.
A benefit to the new panel of apps is you can custumoize the image associated with each installed app. In the image above, Torche used Webdoc for the free download of “Kicking.” However, to make the functionality of the app more obvious in the space allotted, the band customized the image to indicate a download arrow. To modify these images, you click “Manage” and select “Edit Page.” Then click “Apps” on the left hand side. Choose the app you would like to modify, and click “Edit Settings.”
NOTE: With the new Timeline format, you will no longer be able to set a default landing page. The option was one of the primary ways to control the first (branded) impression a fan encountered. The look and feel of most of these apps remain the same for now. However, they live on a different page. Here is an example of the BandRx page you are taken to on the Torche page if you click on the T-shirt image titled “Music / Tour / Store” (see app panel image above).
3. The Timeline
The Timeline enables artists to outline key moments in their career with various milestones (first live show, album release dates, key festivals, music videos, emergency room visits, etc.) to construct a narrative for their fans.
To create milestones within your Timeline, click “Milestone” on the top right of the status bar. You must first establish the year the band was founded, and then you can move forward with other monumental occasions.
When updating your status, there are two new functions that are available with the new Timeline:
- Highlight your post. To do this, hover over the top right corner of your status, and click the star button. When you star a post, the story expands to widescreen and takes up both columns of your page. Starred posts are also always visible on your Timeline.
- Pin your status/story to the top of your page. Pinned posts are posts that admins have chosen to display prominently at the top of their page. A pinned post always appears in the top left of a page’s Timeline and has a flag in its top-right corner. A post a page admin pins to the top of their Page will remain there for 7 days. After that, it’ll return to the date it was posted on the page’s Timeline. Posts from people who like a Page are not eligible to be pinned posts. Page admins can only pin posts created by the page.
4. Be Insightful
Use Page Insights to find out when people engage most with your content and post during those hours. On average, we have found that people visit and engage with pages most often between 9pm and 10pm, with the 18-24 age group being the most active. With the new Timeline, your admin panel is now hosted at the top of your page. This is only visible to admins of the page. In the bottom right corner of this panel, you can can access your Insights. Use them!
Timeline for artists is coming to the mobile platform. When you consider that Artist Pages on Facebook Mobile have had almost no functionality — custom apps haven’t worked without a complicated hack-job, tabs haven’t translated, etc. — it seems possible that Timeline for artists was launched specifically to enable artists’ mobile Facebook capabilities. This is a good thing!
In conclusion, the basics of Facebook have not changed…
Be succinct. Posts between 100 and 250 characters (less than 3 lines of text) see about 60% more likes, comments and shares than posts greater than 250 characters.
Post regularly. Post at least five times a week to stay top of mind for fans. Consistency is also key. For example, post new product announcements on the same day every week so fans know what to expect and can look forward to hearing from you.
- Make your Page posts visually engaging. While a diverse set of post types is important, posts including a photo album or picture generate 2x more engagement than other post types.
See? Change isn’t so bad! If you are still confused, and/or have any questions on the new Timeline, please leave them in the comments field below. The Interactive Marketing team is here to help! Thanks!