New Facebook Page Timeline for Charities - what is it you need to know?
By now we have all seen our personal Facebook pages change over to the new timeline with cover photos and this month that is being rolled out across all pages, including your charity or non profit Facebook page.
You can already preview and opt into this new look when you visit your page as an admin, but the important thing is that the old style pages will be switched over at the end of this month so best to be prepared.
We look at what’s new and how this new look could work in favour of your charity or non profit organisation.
This is the most obvious change - you have the option of splashing a big image across the top of your page to promote your charity or cause. You may wish to use this to emphasise your brand like Livestrong have done, or use an emotive image alongside a call to action (such as ‘donate’) as demonstrated by the NSPCC * below. Alternatively, you can use the space to simply put up a pretty picture that will engage your viewers, like the Tate.
A really important thing is to set the dimensions right: 850 x 315 pixels is the optimum size and what you should design to if you are creating a custom image. Any image you chose will be re-sized width ways and you can position it vertically with a drag and drop tool but make sure the image is 850 px (or more) wide to start with or it will appear blurry and. Also remember that your profile or page avatar will be overlayed on top of this image in the bottom left area so best not use an image with important stuff in that area.
*This approach may actually contravene the Facebook terms as they have stated that cover photos should not contain: Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends" - so probably a good idea to check before you follow their lead.
You now have the ability to promote your best or most important posts. Each post in the timeline has icons in the top right which are only accessible by the page administrators.
Click the start to highlight a post - this will make it double width across the timeline.
You also now have the opportunity to ‘Pin to top’ this will stick the post to the top of the timeline for seven days which is a great way to shout about your recent achievements or important news.
About info and App boxes
The ‘about info’ is much more prominent now - situated just under your page avatar. You might consider rewriting it - does it explain who you are and what you do well enough?
Another important change is that landing pages are gone - if you had an html iframe or an app as your landing page it has disappeared. Although it is still featured prominently, and accessible in your application boxes perhaps now is a good time to have a think about what the best apps are for your charity. Photos and videos are great, but there are a bunch of others that could drive traffic, build awareness and increase donations.
See the resources section below for more info.
Use milestones to tell the history of your charity, cause or non profit show people when you were founded and when important breakthroughs, triumphs or tragedies occurred. Add milestones in the same place as a status update and make them prominant with a full width photo.
Page Administrators will now see that page activity administration panel at the top of the page for quicker access to insights and information.
Take the tour
Hopefully this post will have given you some ideas about how to use the new Facebook timeline better as a charity. For a more interactive look around the new features take the tour which you can find under the help menu at the top of your own facebook page.
New Pages Video from Facebook
Facebook for non profits - page on Facbook
- Enhance Your Facebook Page with Free Apps from The Wheel, a resource centre for community, voluntary and charity sector in Ireland.
- The Top 10 Facebook Charity Applications by 'PrometheusIV' squidoo.com
- Facebook pages for brands by Sam Laird on Mashable.com
HOW TO: Custom Design Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Timeline from Nonprofit Tech 2.0: a social media guide for nonprofits
Over to you - any other resources to share?
Please share your links to other Facebook resources for charities, non profits and causes in the comments below and I will add them to this list.