Facebook’s New Timeline For Brands Brings Key Changes To Page Management

Facebook announced today that brand Pages are getting a mandatory design overhaul, which will go into permanent effect on March 30th. But fear not, community managers! You’ll have a full month, starting today, to test the design in Facebook’s preview mode.

The new Pages should look familiar to users who have already jumped on the profile timeline bandwagon, as the redesign will capture key features of the timeline ethos. As Facebook designer Sam Lessin told VentureBeat, “We’ve seen that most businesses have a core group of loyalists, but those loyalists also have friends,” he said. “We’ve made it easier for people to connect with a business through the lens of their friends… It’s a much more personalized experience.”

So what changes will the redesign bring? We’ve listed the most important ones, after the jump.

1. Overall Design Overhaul: Pages are getting that statement-making glossy cover photo that characterizes the profile timeline, so brands need to begin thinking about what image to use, and how that image will reflect upon their overall fan experience.

2. Post Pinning: Brands will now have the ability to pin key posts to the top of their pages for up to 7 days, making it much easier to highlight important posts for a longer period of time.

3. Admin Controls: A new admin panel will appear at that the top of all brand pages you administer, giving you a snapshot into recent activity on the page. Brands will also be able to private message fans, meaning Facebook can be used more powerfully as a customer service tool. You won’t be able to initiate messages, but users can now message a brand page and page administrators can message them back. This is great news for community managers who are always looking for new ways to communicate with fans, particularly when fans’ issues involve private information like credit card orders, etc.

4. Timeline Capabilities Allow for Brands to Add Milestones to Their Page: The New York Times has already revamped their page for the redesign, adding a photo of the staff in the newsroom as their cover photo. But perhaps most interesting is the way they’ve chosen to use timeline as a way to showcase the paper’s history. “We’re pleased to introduce our timeline, which highlights select moments from our 160+ year history…We plan to update our http://www.facebook.com/nytimes timeline frequently with key milestones from 1851 through the present,” reads a recent status update. We’re sure many media organizations will follow in the Times‘ footsteps on that one.

What do you think of the brand Page redesign?