If you haven’t changed your brand’s Facebook page over to Timeline yet, Facebook will do it automatically on March 30. And if you have, chance are you could be doing more to make it look better.
One of the initial complaints when Timeline for brands was announced last week was that it would make it harder for individual companies to stand out. We spoke with design experts and Facebook power users to compile a list of simple steps you should take to make your brand’s Facebook timeline look its best. Implement some or implement all of the following suggestions to make Timeline work for your firm.
This is the biggest change, and the one that has design pros most excited. The images are massive – 851 by 315 pixels – and Facebook bars firms from including price or purchase information, contact information and calls to action (i.e. “Like our page!” or “Tell your friends!”).
Many firms are using the cover images to showcase their teams, while others are getting artistic and laying the cover images out as you would on a printed page. This is the only part of your company’s timeline that Facebook requires you to keep public, and it is the image that is either going to draw people into your page or send them clicking.
Companies need a “compelling cover photograph that speaks to the audience on their own terms,” said David Howard, a social media consultant who works with tech companies. “Marketers tend to think first about showcasing their own products in glamor shots, but they should turn this on it’s head and think about what their customers see on a day-to-day basis and figure out how to feature that in a cover photo.”
Socialfresh has some other examples of great Timeline cover photos.
Brands can add up to 21 apps to their Timeline, and can showcase four of them right under the cover photo. This, in part, solves some of the complaints about the elimination of tabs from the old Facebook brand pages.
The key is to make the tabs visual and keep them consistent with the branding on the rest of your page. Spiderworking has great suggestions on how to easily make your abs visually engaging.
“I’m even considering making these featured apps fall into one of three buckets: Contact, Buy and Sign Up,” said Jon Loomer, a digital marketing consultant. “In the end, those are going to be most important for the typical brand.”
Nearly everyone we spoke with noted that the new profile photos are now smaller for brands. We didn’t find a single design expert who told us to do anything but include your company’s logo in the 120 by 120 pixel space.
“Its placement is important. It overlaps the cover photo at the bottom left, making it essential to a well-balanced design,” said Lindsay Alford of Noble Studios, a design firm that works on Facebook branding for companies. Alford has more suggestions for visually stunning Facebook brands pages on a blog post she wrote last week.
If possible, try to find ways to incorporate the logo in the avatar into the cover photo, as Amsterdam Printing was able to do on their Facebook Timeline:
Companies were initially worried that Timeline, which, by default, presents everything chronologically, would prevent them from highlighting certain content. Facebook is letting brand pages get around that by allowing them to “pin” a post to the top of their Timeline, where it will stay for seven days or until it is manually removed.
Margaret Allee, who works for Sport Clips Haircuts’ social media team, points out that brands can also highlight content within the Timeline. Highlighting lets your stretch an image across both columns in Timeline, making it more visually appealing to viewers.
“We will be using these new features during an upcoming enter-to-win sweepstakes to emphasize important/fun promotional information,” she said.
The football team Manchester United, for example, used this feature to highlight a big milestone in the team’s history:
There has been a lot of noise in tech circles about the upset Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos pulled off over the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday night. Tebow’s 80-yard pass on the first play of overtime ended up generating 9,420 tweets per second — the most ever for a sporting event and the third most of all-time.
People tend to get excited every time one of these records fall – already in 2012, the second and third most tweeted about events of all time have been recorded (the start of the New Year in Japan weighed in at 16,127 tweets per second and crashed Twitter’s servers). But as I watch stories about each record falling, I can hear the words of my very first editor at the very first newspaper I worked at.
Because that editor was the kind of guy who didn’t like to waste readers’ times with non-news stories. When someone told us something was a story, he questioned it. And the Twitter record stories, which happen every few months or even every few weeks, are worth questioning.
The oldest event on the Top 10 list was in May 2011 — Barcelona defeating Manchester United is still holding in at number nine. No Japanese Earthquake, no Arab Spring, and no death of Osama bin Laden. Even the death of Steve Jobs, now at number 10, is one big event away from falling off the top 10 list.
And here’s why: Twitter is still growing, and more people using Twitter means more people tweeting about the big (and not-so-big) events that tie us together. We all know this, yet we all seem to collectively forget that when we rush to read or cover the latest X-number of tweets per second event.
Last March, as the company marked its fifth anniversary, Twitter said it had about 100 million active users logging in each month. Twitter users were sending about a billion tweets per week; compare that to the the three years, two months and one day it took Twitter to record its first billion tweets.
At some point Twitter will hit a critical mass and its growth will level off. And the current marker of a once-in-a-lifetime event – the “I remember where I was when I first heard about…” factor may very well be replaced someday with the “I remember what I tweeted when I first heard about….”
Until then, however, these tweets-per-second records are going to continue be interesting side notes. But are they really worth the more than 5,000 news stories and blog posts that have been written about Tebow’s record-breaking performance since Sunday night?
Photo by Jeffrey Beall.
Based in Manchester, England, RockYou says Playdemic will operate independently as a subsidiary studio and develop Facebook games for a mainstream audience. Paul Gouge, Playdemic CEO and founder, will lead the studio as VP and General Manager. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
Playdemicâ€™s management team is said to have held senior positions at publishers like Ubisoft, THQ and Eidos. Ian Livingstone, co-founder of Games Workshop and life president of Eidos, was a chief investor in Playdemic. The startup’s been around for roughly a year.
RockYou says it will try and grow the user base for Gourmet Ranch, Playdemicâ€™s first title that is currently playable on Facebook with half a million monthly active users. In the game, players can grow organic crops, raise animals and prepare and serve meals to their friends.
Yesterday morning, Foursquare pushed out a big update to their iPhone app that included the ability to add pictures to check-ins for the first time. This functionality matches the one that rival Gowalla has had for some time now â€” 9 months, actually. And today, Gowalla hit a milestone with pictures: 1 million. But signs point to Foursquare closing in on that number quickly. Very quickly.
Foursquare co-founder Dennis Crowley told Business Insider yesterday that they were already approaching one photo per second. I checked back with Crowley today and he says they’re still not there quite yet but to ask him again “in a few days”. And when they hit that rate, that means it will take them about 11 and a half days to hit a million photos. In other words, in two weeks, Foursquare should have a million photos as well.
Now, it’s not exactly a fair fight. Foursquare launched their photo functionality with three big partners: Instagram, PicPlz, and Foodspotting. Based on just what I see in my Foursquare timeline, those guys are contributing quite a bit to the Foursquare picture mania â€” especially Instagram. Gowalla has no such partnerships for pictures. That being said, those partner pictures still do reside on Foursquare’s servers when they’re transferred from each of those services â€” for example, here’s a lovely picture of some beer I took with Instagram to check-in to Foursquare â€” so they do count as Foursquare pictures.
Also remember that Foursquare just launched this feature yesterday and not all users have updated their apps yet. And the Android version with pictures won’t hit until next week (with BlackBerry and webOS coming early next year). In fact, Crowley just tweeted about testers being needed for the Android version. Once the feature is fully out there, they could just rocket past the picture-per-second rate.
For some perspective, Flickr recently hit 5 billion photos. And they’re seeing 3,000 images uploaded every minute.
Above, find the 1 millionth Gowalla photo taken by user “Anna B.” atÂ Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, UK. (Humorously, Crowley “liked” the Gowalla post on Tumblr.)
Twitter has just released their list of top trends on Twitter for 2010. Surprisingly, Justin Bieber did not dominate the list. Instead, the Gulf oil spill did. The service says that 25 billion tweets were sent in total in 2010.
Below, find the lists of the top overall trends following by the top trends for different categories:
1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. FIFA World Cup
4. Haiti Earthquake
6. Apple iPad
7. Google Android
8. Justin Bieber
9. Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows
10. Pulpo Paul
1. Gulf Oil Spill
2. Haiti Earthquake
3. Pakistan Floods
4. Koreas Conflict
5. Chilean Miners Rescue
1. Justin Bieber
2. Dilma Rouseff
3. Lady Gaga
4. Julian Assange
5. Mel Gibson
2. Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
3. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World
4. Despicable Me
5. Karate Kid
1. MTV Music Video Awards
2. Pretty Little Liars
3. True Blood
4. Walking Dead
5. Grammy Awards
1. Apple iPad
2. Google Android
3. Apple iOS
4. Apple iPhone
5. Call of Duty Black Ops
1. FIFA World Cup
3. Pulpo Paul
5. Diego Maradona
1. Lebron James
3. Manchester United
4. Brock Lesnar
noob22 writes “According to BBC Online, ‘An “internet troll” who posted obscene messages on Facebook sites set up in memory of dead people has been jailed. Colm Coss, of Ardwick, Manchester, posted on a memorial page for Big Brother star Jade Goody and a tribute site to John Paul Massey, a Liverpool boy mauled to death by a dog. The 36-year-old “preyed on bereaved families” for his “own pleasure,” Manchester Magistrates Court heard.’” My favorite line: “Unemployed Coss was only caught when he sent residents on his street photos of himself saying he was an internet ‘troll.’”
ptresadern writes “Researchers at the University of Manchester this week revealed a detailed face tracker that runs in real-time on the Nokia N900 mobile phone. Unlike existing mobile face trackers (video) that give an approximate position and scale of the face, Manchester’s embedded Active Appearance Model accurately tracks a number of landmarks on and around the face such as the eyes, nose, mouth and jawline. The extra level of detail that this provides potentially indicates who the user is, where they are looking and how they are feeling. The face tracker was developed as part of a face- and voice-verification system for controlling access to mobile internet applications such as e-mail, social networking and on-line banking.”