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Getting Your Timing Right

Anyone who is on Facebook would have noticed by now the changes that have been happening to profile pages to incorporate a new timeline look. Unfortunately, whether we like or not, this format will eventually roll out across all personal profiles and pages; this means the look of your charity’s page will soon be changing (if it hasn’t already).

While this might be seem by some as a nuisance, my advice would be to learn what you can about the new design and use the opportunity to freshen up your organisation’s Facebook presence.

As timeline design will give pages a new look and feel, it is important to remember what is key to Facebook. Content is key. Posting content that shares behind-the-scenes activities and special updates will always encourage user interaction and results in higher engagement with your fans.

In addition, however, there are some important things you should be aware of with the new timeline feature.

  • Cover Photo: You will now have a cover photo that you can use to showcase your most important images or messages. You can also cleverly use it to promote various events and things from time-to-time. For the design savvy non-profits you can also design event specific cover photos that you can share with your event participants or supporters to use as THEIR Facebook cover photos – like this organisation here.

  • Pins and Highlights: You can now ‘pin’ a single post to the top of your page for one week to highlight the most important news to your supporters. So this means, no matter how many other people write on your wall, you get to decide what piece of info is at the very top.
    You can also ‘highlight’ certain stories or posts by clicking on the little star on the top right hand corner of the post. This will turn increase the size of that post so it covers the width of both columns of your page.
  • Private Messages: Your supporters can now send you private messages again, like when pages first came out. This enables you to talk ‘offline’ with someone if they instigate it. Organisations cannot private message fans though, they must make contact first.
  • No Default Welcome Page: In the past, organisations have spent a great deal of time developing specific ‘landing pages’ for their prospective supporters to first go to when they arrive at their Facebook page. With the new timeline format, all visitors to your page will land on your timeline with cover photo. The welcome tab (and other tabs and apps your page had) have now all been moved from the left of your page to just underneath your cover picture. So you can have a play with what you want here and how you want it displayed.
  • Milestones: Just as you were able to add status updates or posts to your own wall, you are also now easily able to add specific events to your timeline. You can do this by clicking on the ‘milestones’ button just underneath your cover photo area in the top part of your timeline (see image above).
  • Easier Admin: The administration panel now just sits at the top of your page when you are logged in as admin. It has a very clear layout and some obvious ways to help you track your page interaction and activity success. Sprout Insights explain it really well here.

So, have you made the switch to timeline yet? Have you found it useful? Or have you seen any other non-profits using timeline in a fabulous way. Let us know here.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

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