Today Facebook unveiled Timeline for brands and business, bringing the extremely visual format to page administrators everywhere. Of course that means there are whole new set of tools to familiarize yourself with, so we suggest getting started before March 30, when pages will automatically roll over the Timeline.

Death of the landing pages

We might as well tell you up front that landing pages are dead and gone. Yes, we know, you spent a considerable amount of time perfecting your tabs and now Facebook has banished them to the old profile abyss.

Plenty of business pages have been using these for contests and prize giveaways, and now brands will have to find new ways to apply those types of promotions. This might be an attempt to cut down on baiting users into Liking a page (i.e., “If you Like us on Facebook, you’ll be entered into this contest!” and so on). This is probably a move to encourage brands and businesses to create apps as well, which will show up next to the page’s key features – like photos, events, and the like.

By the way, current page APIs will remain the same so you shouldn’t have a complete page breakdown upon switching over. Thought it best to get that out of the way. Moving on. 

Clean it up

Like all other users, brand pages will have some time to clean up their Timelines before the public descends upon them, 30 days to be exact. You’d think that business pages have far less to worry about: how many companies have photo evidence of their debauchery-laden college years? Nonetheless, admins will have a chance to hide and feature what they so choose.

Admin panel

The admin panel, formerly, was anything but user friendly. It was cluttered and hard to navigate and you never quite knew where you were supposed to be looking. Now your admin panel will be redesignated to your page, so you’ll see everything you want to when you’re actually looking at your brand’s Timeline. Notifications will be located in one collected place. Insights will be located here as well. The Activity log, which users also have, will be the same and arguably more useful: admins will have a quick, succinct way to see what they’ve been doing on Facebook to promote their brand and how followers are responding to it. Admins can also hide posts from the Timeline here.  

Users will also be able to message a brand page privately, and you’ll be able to respond from there. This has been missing for awhile – the only way to complain has been on a page’s wall, which isn’t exactly what admins want. Now there will at least be the option of a more private avenue.

User versus brand Timelines

There are a few key differences, as there should be:

  • Brand pages can pin posts to the top of the Timeline for up to a week.
  • Not available for mobile – yet. It’s in the works.
  • When users are viewing a brand’s Timeline, they’ll see their friends that are interacting with or like that business.
  • Facebook also introduced Offers and new placements for premium advertising and Sponsored Stories. Here’s the memo we got from a Facebook rep: 
    Premium ads and Sponsored Stories on Facebook can now appear in two new places: on the Facebook log-out Page and mobile News Feed. Sponsored Stories for mobile News Feed increase the visibility of stories related to a business or organization to help Pages share their fans’ activities. Offers are a free and easy way for businesses to share special discounts and promotions to their community through Facebook. Offers let a business share a discount or promotion directly from a Facebook Page.”

Early adopters 

Need some motivation? Check out these images to see how some brand’s are utilizing Timeline. 

Lexus 

The New York Times

Ben & Jerry’s 

Magnolia Bakery