Your Guide to Facebook Timeline for Pages

Mar 2012

gfzgsdeLast week Facebook made a big announcement that we’ve all been waiting for (though not necessarily looking forward to): the launch of the new Timeline layout for Pages.

Fortunately, Timeline (the layout with the big Cover Photo at the top of the page and the two columns below it) launched for personal profiles back in January, so we’e at least had some time to get used to it. And the layout for Pages doesn’t go live across the board until March 30, so you have a few weeks to play around with it. (Although you can publish manually at any time between now and then.)

To help familiarize you with the Timeline layout,we’ve added some callouts to a screencap of Mashable’s very well-done Page. (Click the thumbnail at right to open the full-size image.)

As you can see, the new Timeline is a pretty complex creature, so we’ve whittled down the options to what you absolutely need to do to be ready for the March 30 auto-launch:

Upload a Cover Photo

This is the most important task you’ll have to get ready for the Timeline rollout. Your Cover Photo is a banner-size image (851 by 315 pixels) that adds a striking visual element to the top of your Page.

You can select any pic for this slot, but use discretion. I’ve heard that Facebook won’t allow anything too sales-y (like your marketing copy pasted into an image) so you’ll want to err on the side of subtlety. And of course, make sure to use an image that fits the format; blown-up smaller images wil look pixillated.

Format Your Thumbnail

topIn the past, we could fudge the profile pic (the thumbnail that appears alongside your posts) to fit a non-square image, but no longer. If your profile pic is not a square, it will be automatically cropped at 180 by 180 pixels, so you might need to place a call to your graphic designer so that adjustments can be made. (I did!)

Organize Your Tabs

In the old layout, your tabs (“pages within Pages”) appeared as a list in the left column. In Timeline, only four tabs will appear below the Cover Photo—and Photos and Likes take up the first two—while the rest are hidden under a dropdown link.Decide which two tabs are most critical for visitors to see, move them to the top slots, and arrange the rest of your tabs in the order that you want them to appear in the dropdown.

Get the Full Scoop

That completes my list of do-or-die items for the March 30 rollout, but there’s lots more to learn about what Timeline can do. So take a few minutes to peruse some of the more comprehensive guides that our friends around the Web have published:

So, have you started setting up Timeline for your Facebook Page? How do you like it … and how’s it going? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments—we’d love to hear from you!

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