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20 March 2012
Understanding Facebook's New Format for Brands

At the end of this month, Facebook will automatically transition all “brand” pages, i.e. corporate Facebook pages, to a new format. Called ‘Timeline,’ the new format looks different and also has some changes in functionality.

As of mid-March, only one in four brands have updated their pages. Facebook will automatically migrate all pages to the new format on March 30.

Seven key changes to Facebook that will affect businesses, include:

No longer will businesses be able to have a default ‘welcome page’ as their Facebook landing page. Now the ‘welcome’ option is one of 12 applications that the business can highlight but only four will show up.

Each page will have a cover photo that stretches across the top of the page.  Social media expert Julia Campbell offers this advice on How to Create A Kick-Ass Facebook Cover Photo

Timeline is what it sounds like: essentially all your Facebook activity is arranged in chronological order by date.

The ‘Milestones’ feature has received a lot of buzz. Two brands that exploit this feature well are Tiffany & Co. and President Obama’s page.


No longer will each post (i.e. “status update”) have to be treated equally. Now more important updates, or stories, can be featured more prominently. Clicking the star button will give an item more prominence, while tools in the pencil icon include the ability to hide items, delete items and mark items as spam.

Facebook offers these examples of brands that have successfully transitioned to the new format:

·       Ben & Jerry's used the social network’s reach generator  promotion to quadruple its normal reach to 98 percent of users who liked its page, as well as to double its engagement rate, during a 28-day period.

·         Dr. Pepper hasn’t yet converted to timeline, but used reach generator for its sponsored stories and “Man’ments” campaign to reach 83 percent of the brand’s fans over a 28-day period, seeing people talking about the brand skyrocket 140 percent and engagement soar 80 percent.

·         Ford said its Ford Mustang page has seen “significant increases” in people talking about this and engagement since adopting timeline February 29, and plans to use logout ads in the near future.


Additional resources:

·         Online course from Facebook:  

·         PDF overview:  

·         Direct from Facebook:

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