5 Creative Ways Businesses are Using the New Facebook Timelines

Are you wondering how businesses are creatively using Facebook’s Timeline features?

You may have read my recent post on Social Media Examiner about all the changes here:  7 New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses   But as businesses adapt to the changes, what Timeline Features are being used well?  Take a look at these examples of how businesses are creatively using the Timeline.

#1 Adding Interesting Milestones

Interesting Milestones may work better if your company has some history such as Coca-Cola, founded in 1886.  But you still may be able to get creative with product releases and things that you have accomplished.  Coca-cola has the benefit of a long and interesting history where they can show their products from 1916 and how they have evolved.

Coke - Timeline milestones

Posted in 1916, Coca-cola encourages people to peruse their Timeline for brand evolution information.

The New York Times, founded in 1851, gives you a walk through history with their Milestone posts.

NYT - Timeline milestones

Interesting older articles give you a real sense of history.

Be sure to spread out the posting of your Milestones as those posts will go out to all of your Fans.  Don’t post 10 in a row or you may irritate your community with “over-posting”.

 

#2  Incorporating the Profile Picture into Your Cover Photo

The profile picture is a good place for your company logo but since the profile picture overlaps the cover photo, you will need to leave some blank space in the lower left corner of your cover photo.  But why not blend the two pictures?

Tim Ware posted about creative personal profile cover photos in this post:  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/16-creative-ways-to-create-your-facebook-timeline-cover-photo/   And it includes a Photoshop template to incorporate the profile picture into the cover photo.  But we are now seeing how Brands are getting creative with their profile picture and cover photo in these examples.

Ford - creative timeline cover

Ford Mustang gets creative with the profile picture but also demonstrates the speed.

 

Captain Morgan - Timeline cover

Captain Morgan gets creative with the logo and the bottle.

See some other creative Timeline cover photos in this post from Ching Ya:  http://www.wchingya.com/2012/03/timeline-cover-facebook-pages.html

 

#3  Telling a story with photos

Photos have gotten larger in Timelines and you can use the Highlight feature to even show more of the album.  The Kia Soul page has highlighted their concept car album to display more pictures.

Kia - Highlighted Facebook photo album

Kia Soul has highlighted an album in their Timeline.

Also when you add photos to an album, you will have a post on your Timeline.  But then you can share the album to again showcase the story in a different way.  People love seeing photos (think Pinterest) and using them extensively on your Timeline can be a good way to tell your story.

The Aquascape Foundation  got good mileage out of their photos of their recent trip to Uganda by having them post in different ways to their Timeline.

Facebook Photos to tell stories

The Aquascape Foundation uploaded photos and share the album.

 

#4  Branding with Apps

Apps are much more visible on the new Timeline.  The Facebook Photos app will always be the first App in the first row, in the first position, and will always display the most recent photo.  The next three Apps in the row will be most visible so put your best Apps in the first row.

But if your Apps are interesting, you may have people click the down arrow on the right side to see what else you have available.  Notice how these Pages have really branded their Apps and added a “Call to Action” within both the App name and the custom graphic of the App.

Using App Cover photos - SoLatina

SoLatina’s Apps help build their brand and contain a simple call to action.

 

Using App Cover photos

More In Media’s Apps are helping to contribute to the eyeglasses logo.

As a reminder, the App custom graphics are 111 pixels by 74 pixels and can be changed by clicking the down arrow on the right side to show all the apps, then mousing over the App and clicking the pencil icon to show the dropdown menu as shown.  Click Edit Settings to change the title of the Custom tab or add custom graphics.

Facebook Edit App Icon

Click Edit Settings on the App Icon dropdown menu.

If you are wondering where to get Apps to add to your Page, take a look at this post:  http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-find-and-add-facebook-apps-to-your-facebook-page/

Adding Apps to your Timeline works just the same as adding Apps to the older style Facebook Pages.

#5 Using the About section to Give a “Call to Action”

While you can’t have a call to action (such as Click Like, or Buy Now) or your website address in the cover photo of your Timeline, you can have that information in your About section. The About section is hot property so use it well.

Facebook About section call to action

You can have a call to action and website information in your About section.

 

There have been many pages that don’t have anything in their About section at all and this could be due to confusion on where to edit this information. To edit your About section, click the About link, then mouse over the upper right corner near your About section until you see the Edit button with the pencil.  Click the Edit button and you see the older-style Dashboard page as shown.

Fill out About Section

Fill out your About section since this is the most visible part of your Info Tab on your Timeline.

 

You can have your website address and a call to action in your About section but you only have approximately 160 characters to work with before it is cut off depending on how the words flow.  In fact, your previous About section may have been longer but is now cut off mid-sentence.  Make sure you correct that in the new Timeline view.

If your Page is also a Place or Local Business, your address and phone number will be the default About section.  There is no way to change this unless you want to change the category of your Page.  If checkins are part of your strategy, then keep the local business classification.

Place Page About section

Place or Local Pages cannot change their About section.

Don’t only focus on just your About section that appears on your main Timeline page but make sure you are looking at what your About section looks like when you click the About link.  Use that space creatively to link to special places on your website and tell people more about what you do and who you serve.

 

Hopefully these 5 tips give you some good ideas on how to use your Timeline more creatively.  How about you, have you seen any Pages using the Timeline in new and creative ways?  Tell me in the comments!

Note:  This article originally appeared on Social Media Examiner and is reprinted with permission.