Facebook has made some pretty drastic and exciting changes lately. As you probably know, on March 30th all brand pages will be converted into Timeline, Facebook’s new content focused and chronologically organized layout for pages. Is your hotel’s Facebook brand page ready for the change? If not, don’t panic! Here are ten changes you need to know to successfully launch a Timeline brand page for your hotel:
1. Cover Photo
The cover photo is the most prominent element on the page and the first thing users will see. It is a great opportunity for your hotel to capture attention by showing off its best photo. Make sure your image is 851 x 315 pixels, so it is not blurry.
Facebook Terms of Service state that images cannot include:
- Price or purchase information
- Contact information
- Calls to action
- References to Facebook features such as “Like” and “Share”
2. Profiles Images
The profile image on your brand page will now be sized at 180 x 180 square. For the design-savvy, you can set your profile image to be an extension of the main cover photo. See example below.
3. About section, Photos, Map and Apps (previously called Tabs)
The category of your brand determines what displays in the About section (which is located just below the cover photo on the far left side). If your property is listed as a Company, a 150 character About section box appears. If it is listed as a Local Business, your address and phone number will appear in this box.
Photos are now displayed as the first app. The most recent photo posted to your page will be the one displayed. Keep this in mind as you are posting images to your Timeline. This is great real estate for branding.
Maps will now display as an app and are only available if the page is registered as a Facebook Places page. This is a valuable feature for hotels. If you have not already done so, add your hotel on Facebook Places.
The previously called tabs pages have been moved to the top of Timeline (under the cover) and now have an image associated with each. You can have up to 12 apps (including Photos, which cannot be changed or moved, Likes and map). The default is for the top row of 4 apps to be displayed. A small arrow with a number indicates to the user how many more apps are available, and when clicked on, reveals the additional row of apps.
Additional notes: Keep in mind that the new apps pages feature a wider format. You’ll need to resize your existing layouts. Also, the apps can no longer be your Facebook account’s landing page. Lastly, it’s important that all page apps have a unique URL so you can drive traffic specifically to each within Facebook, through Facebook ads and outside of Facebook.
4. Pin a Post
Facebook now offers the option to pin a post to the top of the Timeline. This is a great opportunity to promote a special room offer, sweepstakes or anything else you wish to spotlight. The post will remain on top of your Timeline for 7 days.
5. Highlight Posts
If you want to highlight a particular post, hover over the post with you mouse and click the star admin tool. This tool will expand the post across the full width of your page. This new Timeline function draws more attention to individual posts, and is ideal for featuring positive guest feedback, eye-catching photos and press releases.
Timeline’s new Milestones feature is a great opportunity to tell your brand’s story. Begin with the founding of your property, followed by the chorological milestones. Include items such as renovations and enhancements, property feature additions, special events, awards and recognition, celebrity visits and so on. Keep in mind large, powerful images are most effective for Milestones.
7. Facebook Insight Metrics
Facebook brand pages now have Insight Metrics, including the number of “likes” by day, “people talking about this” (engagement metric for Facebook), and demographics of the most active fans. You can view Insight Metrics in the App section of Timeline.
Important to note: Your Insight Metrics, along with those of your competitors, can now be viewed by the public, whereas previously, only the page admin could view. So, it is more important than ever to focus on the content for your page. And, take advantage of your competitor’s information by looking at the average age group of their fan base, how many photos they have, when did they get the most likes (and why – which you can check by scrolling down in the their Timeline), etc.
8. Admin panel
Your Company Facebook page will look different for your admin(s) than for the public. When an admin logs into the page they will see the admin panel just above the cover photo. The easy-to-use panel will show what is happening on the page, including: notifications (likes, comments, posts mentioning the brand, etc.), Messages, New Likes, Insights graph (Your posts, Talking About This, Reach) and Page Tips.
On the admin panel, you can:
- Manage permissions under the Manage dropdown on the top of the panel
- Manage settings for allowing admins to post to the page (meaning no postings from other users will show up on your Timeline)
- Approve posting before they appear on your Timeline
- Disable the Messages feature
Facebook users now have the option to message brands on Facebook directly, whether they are fans of the company or not. This is a wonderful opportunity for hotels to differentiate their level of customer service from competitors. Users will expect a timely and accurate response, so make sure you have a plan in place for delegating and responding to messages. Keep in mind brands cannot initiate a message, only respond to one. Brands can only respond two times per message.
10. Content displayed in right panel
The Facebook page is now split into two columns (down the entire page, starting under the Highlights button). Permanently displayed on the top of the right side are:
- How many of your friends Like this brand. This will be different for every user.
- A post one of your friends made about the brand. The post will be different for every user.
- All posts by the other people who tagged your brand are located in the “Recent activity by other people” box in the Timeline. There is an option to turn these off. As tempting as this option may be, think about how this may affect the authenticity of your page, and consider leaving the option on.
- Recommendations for your brand.
Facebook’s new Timeline, though it may seem daunting at first, is a great opportunity for you to tell your hotel’s story, while engaging with fans like never before. Be sure to take advantage of all the features Timeline has to offer. Also, check out Cendyn’s new Facebook Timeline for more helpful tips and other hotel internet marketing opportunities.