All Business Pages and Profile Pages will switch to the new Facebook Timeline format, which is already in use by some.
If you have already used our Facebook Shop feature to set up your Create shop on Facebook, there’s no need to worry – all your shop information will stay on your Facebook Business Page. But if you’ve been thinking of setting up a Facebook Shop with Create, there’s never been a better time to do so!
See our guide to setting up your own Create Facebook Shop – it only takes a few clicks!
To help you get the most out of the new Facebook Timeline format, we’ll be posting hints and tips right here on our blog, including information on the new Admin Panel, the benefits of the new page design and how to use the new ‘pinning’ feature to showcase important news and offers.
The only real change to your Create Facebook Shop app is that the options that once appeared on the left hand side now appear under the drop-down menu ‘Shop’ at the top of the page. Apart from this, you’ll be able to use the Create Facebook Shop app in the same way as before.
Grabbing Attention With Pinned Stories
One of the most useful features offered by the new Facebook Timeline format is that managers of Business Pages can ‘pin’ the most important story to the top of their page for up to seven days (a pinned story is recognisable by a ‘bookmark’ logo in the top right hand corner).
This is great news for those of you with Create Facebook Shops as you’ll be able to focus attention on a new product, temporary discount or special offer in such a way that customers will not be able to miss it when they visit your page.
To pin a story to the top of the page, hover your cursor over your chosen story, click the pencil logo in the top right hand corner and select ‘Pin to top’. Follow the same process to ‘unpin’ the story from the top.
In the previous Facebook format, any special announcement would be moved down the page once any new posts were made. With pinning, you can feel free to post new stories and interact with your customers without the fear of pushing important news down the timeline.
Using a combination of a great cover photo and interesting pinned and highlighted stories, you can really make your Facebook Timeline page stand out from the crowd.
How To Make A Facebook Cover Photo
Every so often the folks at Facebook like to shake things up a bit for their users by reinventing the look of Facebook profiles. These never change how Facebook works, they just change how it looks, and most people find that the way they use Facebook doesn’t change at all.
As with most of the changes that Facebook makes, users will have to ‘like’ it or lump it, as the new format is not optional – on March 30th everyone will have to start using the Timeline format.
But there’s a lot to like! New aesthetic features of the Timeline format include the ability to add a large ‘cover photo’ at the top of the profile, and the rearranging of posts, events and milestones into chronological order, which makes full use of the available space on the page.
Those of you who have extended your Create shop to Facebook will notice extra changes and added elements to Business Pages, including the ability to ‘pin’ highlighted stories like offers and important news to the top of your profile and a brand new Admin Panel (which you can hide by clicking ‘Hide’ in the top right hand corner).
You’ll probably notice that visitors are now always directed your Timeline first, even if you had previously it set to redirect them to your Create Facebook Shop page. This can’t be adjusted so it’s best to keep your Timeline as attractive and informative as possible. Pinning a story to the top of your Timeline, highlighting posts and responding to comments are good ways to ensure this.
Your Create Facebook Shop page will always be accessible from the row of apps beneath the cover photo, but you can still make sure that links from outside Facebook (eg. in emails and on your website) direct to the Create Facebook Shop Page first. Once you’ve started using Timeline, just adjust these links so they direct to the new Create Facebook Shop URL.
To set your cover photo hover your cursor over the large, long image and click on ‘Change Cover’. It’s best to pick a high-resolution image that fits the long space you have. Check out Mashable’s slideshow of how big brands use cover photos and HyperArts Blog’s gallery of cover photo creativity for inspiration (but please note that tutorial info in that last article relates to personal profiles only).
The new Timeline also enables you to post large photos and stories that span the width of the page – great if you’re posting a gallery of shiny new products! Just hover over the story and click the star button to ‘highlight’ it and make it stretch across the page. To undo this at any time, just click the star button again and the story will revert to its original size.
Behind the Admin Panel
The brand new Admin Panel featured in the latest update to Facebook is a great way to get behind-the-scenes information about your audience and their recent interactions with your page.
When you log in to Facebook and go to your page, Facebook will automatically open the Admin Panel at the top of the page. Don’t worry - customers will never see it and you can hide it temporarily by clicking the ‘Hide’ button in the top right hand corner of the page. You can bring it back by clicking ‘Admin Panel’ in the top right once it’s closed.
Here are some of the features including in the new Admin Panel:
- Visitors can now send you private messages, which are listed in the Admin Panel
- New notifications collected into one place in Admin Panel
- New Insights graph gathers together usage statistics – hover over graph or click ‘See all’ to see detailed information
- Click ‘Manage’ to edit your page and get a snapshot of activity
- Click ‘Build audience’ for tools which help to increase the reach of your page
- Click ‘Help’ to access resources which help you make the most of your new Admin Panel
There’s a lot of information being made newly available to you to help you promote your business through Facebook, and the Help section (accessed by clicking ‘Help’ in the top right hand corner of the Admin Panel) has some great resources on making the most of your Admin Panel.
For more information on Facebook Timeline, direct from the horse’s mouth, check out Facebook’s own guide to new Facebook Pages, which features a checklist for your move to Timeline, and also a small list of things that Facebook would rather you didn’t include in your Facebook Page cover photo.
For a detailed, non-partisan look at the new features of Facebook Timeline for Pages, check out Kissmetric’s list of 28 Things you need To Know About The New Facebook Pages.
Thanks for reading these Facebook Timeline articles - we hope they’ve helped you get used to the new format. If you've missed any, you can catch up by clicking the links below this article.
If you have any questions about your move to Facebook Timeline, or if you want to show off your stunning new Facebook page, you can get in touch by leaving a comment below. We want your transition to be as smooth as possible so that you can continue to make the most of Create’s Facebook Shop feature.
And if you haven’t yet taken the opportunity to extend your Create shop to Facebook, take a look at our easy guide to using the Facebook Shop feature.