At the end of this month, it will have been one year since Facebook made the Timeline layout available to brands. You may love the visual-heavy layout or you may still be bitter that they forced the switch, but the fact remains that Timeline let users express themselves like never before. A huge cover photo, the power to highlight certain photos and posts and the ability to fill in significant events from your past let anyone convey their personal story. And it is this storytelling tool that makes it great for business. Good marketing, after all, goes beyond promotions and sales pitches. It reveals the unique narrative of the brand—it provides something that customers can connect with. Used effectively, Timeline can help you build a brand (personal or corporate) and tell your unique story. So as the one-year anniversary rolls around, it’s a good time to reflect on whether you’ve been taking full advantage of the layout. Here are some areas to focus on if you want to get the most out of your Timeline:
Cover Photo – This photo dominates the top of your profile and is the first thing users will notice when they visit your page. Let the personality of your brand shine by using a high quality image that is interesting and relates to what your company does. For inspiration, check out these 20 creative cover photos.
Pinned Post – “Pinning” allows you to select which post will occupy the upper left position on your timeline for the next seven days. This position, normally reserved for the most recent post, is the first thing most users will read or engage with since we naturally start reading in the top left corner of a page. Details for an upcoming contest or event, an interesting picture or a particularly engaging post are all things you could pin to increase engagement or better display your brand.
Highlights –Normally, the Timeline is divided into two columns that each display pictures, comments and activity. By highlighting (aka starring) past posts, you choose what is important enough to span both columns and take up the full width of the page. Highlight important posts and pictures so anyone browsing your profile can quickly see the content that says the most about your brand.
Milestones – Timeline lets you retroactively add events to your profile. If your company has a rich history (see NY Times’ page), then this is a great way to display that. But even newer brands can benefit from providing pictures and commentary on their most pivotal moments. Remember, it’s about telling a story. Use Timeline to show how you got started and how you got to where you are today.