What Facebook Isn’t Telling Businesses About It’s New Timeline Design

By Maria Peagler

Jun 05

fb new timeline 2014 fi
On June 6, Facebook business pages will have gotten a makeover.

Again.

Why are they changing things just when you got used to them? That’s what you’ll learn in this week’s post:  the good, the bad, and the ugly that Facebook won’t tell you.

Why is Facebook Changing the Timeline for Business Pages?

There are two major reasons why Facebook has chosen to make these particular changes:

  1. We are a multi-device society, going from mobile phone to tablet to laptop to desktop.  After extensive user testing, Facebook realized its users would login on one device, but continue their session on another.  They want to provide a consistent user experience across devices.
  2. Engagement on mobile devices is significantly higher than any other device, so Facebook decided to make the user experience across all devices as similar to mobile as possible:  a one-column NewsFeed and Timeline.

Both reasons are great for business: a consistent user experience across devices, as well as from your personal profile to your business page, and more engagement.

All good news, right?

Almost.

Facebook announced only the changes they wanted you to know about.  Here at Socialmediaonlineclasses.com we’ve transitioned to the new layout, and we’ll tell you everything:

facebook changes 2014

New business page Timeline layout for Facebook 2014

1. Page Name & Category in White Text on Timeline Cover

Good: Nice free marketing for your business & what it does.

Bad: The text is white, so if you have a white Timeline cover, you’ll need to either change it to a dark background or put a dark strip along the bottom so the text shows up.

2.  Custom Tabs Renamed Apps; Moved to More Menu & Sidebar

Good: Gives pages a streamlined look, consistent with personal profiles & mobile.  You do get one custom tab in your Timeline menu.

Bad: Custom tabs were at the heart of many a brand’s marketing strategy.  Facebook renamed them apps and moved them to a far less visible location.

Visitors won’t know you have custom tabs unless they click on More. From my experience in click-tracking and heat mapping, few people visiting your Timeline will click on More.

Solution? Make that single custom tab (now called an App) count.  Offer a freebie in exchange for visitor’s email addresses.  Also make an offer directly on your Timeline cover that does the same.  You can see in our Timeline cover we offer a free class (and also on that first custom tab).  We make it almost impossible to miss.

3.  One Column Timeline Feed

Good: It’s all good! The double column timeline feed for posts was confusing and clunky. This is similar to Facebook’s mobile news feed, which has the HIGHEST engagement of any device. That’s good news for brands.

Bad: No more highlighting a post so it takes up a double column. Not a big deal in my opinion. Few brands took advantage of this due to complex image sizes.

4.  Fan Count is Front & Center

Good: Your fan count is now one of the first thing visitors see to your Timeline. IT MATTERS. The more fans you have, the more credible you appear to visitors. Work on getting a targeted fan base using FB101 Lesson 13.

Bad: This replaces the About section, which Facebook moved to the bottom left of your Timeline. This was an easy, above-the-fold place to put a hyperlink to your website. It’s now gone.

Solution? Every two weeks, do a post that is a description of your brand and a hyperlink to your website. Post it to the top of your Timeline.

5.  About Section Moved to Sidebar

Good: All brand info will be on the left column of your Timeline, making it easy for visitors to learn about your business at a glance.

Bad: The new location is one of the least visible places on a webpage. Do something to make it stand out, like using special characters (available under your browser’s Edit>>Special Characters menu.

6.  Say Goodbye to the Admin Panel

Good: Makes the business page layout consistent with personal profiles and mobile devices.  Admin panels don’t exist on those.

Bad: The Admin panel was a great one-glance dashboard of how your page was doing.  You can still get to that information, but it’s now spread apart under the Admin menu:

fb new timeline admin 2014

Admin panel replaced by new Admin menu

It’s actually a great menu – easier to use than the Admin panel – but will take some time to get used to.

  • Page takes you directly to your business page Timeline.  Previously there was no simple way to do this.
  • Activity displays the latest fan engagement on your page.
  • Insights provide essential analytics for your page.
  • Settings allows you to manage the Admin roles, what’s displayed on your page, permissions, and anything else you can think of.  If you can’t do it anywhere else, look here.

Socialmediaonlineclasses.com Facebook Changes Checklist

We’re keeping you informed about ALL of Facebook’s changes to business pages, and how to execute the best solutions.  We offer how-to lessons on how to make these changes to your Facebook business page Timeline.

Members also get a one-page checklist to make it easy to keep track of the changes and solutions you need to implement.

fb changes 2014 checklist thumbnail

What do you think of the new business page layout? Do you think it will increase engagement for your brand?

Leave a comment and let us know what you think!

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About the Author

Founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(9) comments

jackie June 5, 2014

There are a lot of photographers on Facebook and as a Photographer this update stripped away a lot from my page. The ability to highlight and showcase photos was really nice. I haven’t posted a grouping of photos yet so not sure how that will appear but having the two columns also allowed to see more photos at once on desktop. Mobile isn’t effected. I wish there was an option to choose which layout you wanted. 1 vs 2 column.

Reply
Maria Peagler June 5, 2014

Jackie – I can certainly understand your disappointment with the new layout. It might actually be better in terms of page engagement for you. Since it’s a more streamlined design, your photos will get more visibility.

I would definitely check your Insights over the next month to see how they compare with previous months. Let us know what you find Jackie!

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jackie June 5, 2014

I’ll keep an eye on insights! I feel like the left is almost a wasted space for photographers. For my personal use… it’s bugging me because we read left to right. My eye naturally keeps drifting over to the left column with a lot of info that’s not really useful for me… I want to read the timeline information.

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Maria Peagler June 5, 2014

Jackie – there is a bit of good news for you. Your photos appear as a collection on that left sidebar, so people can see easily your beautiful work all in one place.

Also, putting everything on the left sidebar makes all your business info easily accessible in one place.

The right sidebar is saved for ads. The good new is – we get the most visible sidebar!

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gurias77 June 6, 2014

Maria, how did you put a customized button on your timeline image? When people click on that button, does it take them to your website?

Reply
    Maria Peagler June 6, 2014

    Pretty cool, huh Gerardo? It’s actually an illusion. The Timeline cover is one whole image with a button included on it. When you click on “the button”, you’re actually clicking on the entire image.

    Then when people click on the image, the description gives them the link to click on to get the free class on my website.

    I’ll do a brief video on how to create this and include it in the Forum.

    Have a great weekend!

    Reply
gurias77 June 6, 2014

Great, thanks! That is very cool indeed!

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Maria Peagler June 6, 2014

Gerardo – Here’s the link to the video and detailed explanation in the Forum: http://goo.gl/298g7m

Reply
Jeffrey James June 12, 2014

Have to say that that’s one of the reasons I’m pretty tired of Facebook. It’s not that I deleted my page but I opened accounts in few other social networks that I can count on (including twitter, google+ and meetey

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