17 Apr 2012

15 Facebook Timeline Tips to Bring You Up To Speed

15 Facebook timeline tips to bring you up to speed

Facebook Timeline has been made official for all brand pages for over two weeks now.  If you didn’t attend my recent webinar introducing the new timeline for Facebook, you may still be struggling with how to navigate and use the new layout.  At first glance, it can appear quite disorganized, especially to those of you who have grown accustomed to the traditional wall layout.  This post provides tips on everything from cover photos to the new and improved dashboard, and will quickly bring you back up to speed.

  1. Create a cover photo with the dimensions 851 x 315 for a perfectly fitting photo.
  2. Make sure the cover photo is under 100KB to avoid it being rejected due to file size limitations.
  3. Contact information is not allowed in the cover photo. This even includes website URLs.
  4. Your cover photo must not include any calls-to-action. This includes asking fans to like your page.
  5. Get creative! The cover photo is the first thing fans will see when they visit your page.
  6. Allow fans to submit their own artwork for cover photos. By doing this you’ll create brand ambassadors, engage more users, and generate new content.
  7. Pin posts to keep a piece of content at the top of your timeline. You may pin one post at a time for up to 7 days.
  8. Highlight posts to give specific content pieces more real estate on your timeline.
  9. Customize and arrange apps under your cover photo. Calls-to-action are allowed here, so get creative and use the space wisely.
  10. Choose and share photos that fans post on your page to increase their exposure. With the new timeline, this is one of the only ways to make sure fans content doesn’t go unnoticed.
  11. Create interest lists in your niche, and include your brand in them to increase exposure.
  12. Fill in Milestones to update fans on your accomplishments. Milestones are key moments you’ve decided to highlight on your page, and can be as large as a grand opening or as small as .
  13. Don’t neglect insights. Use insights to analyze data for optimal times to post, and which type types of content received the highest engagement.
  14. Take advantage of the improved dashboard to keep yourself organized, especially the detailed activity log which shows details of all notifications.
  15. Be sure to check your inbox, as you can now receive message from fans. This will allow fans to contact brands privately, which is great in cases where contact information needs to be exchanged.

Still have questions about the new layout on topics that I didn’t cover above?  Now is your chance to ask, just leave us a comment below!


  • astiazaran Apr 17, 2012

    I manage several fan pages for radio stations… and before the change the DJ’s (from their personal account) posted on the fan page and interacted with the followers…. but now there posts are grouped together with everyone elses and they are rarely seen… is there anything I can do???

  • Sarah Schager Apr 17, 2012

    Great question! I would suggest having the DJ’s interact again (and regularly, for that matter) on the Timelines and continue to stay engaged with the fans. The only way to re-share an old post is if it was a picture or video.

  • Hilary St Jonn Apr 17, 2012

    So I was speaking to a client today and he said he hired a guy for social media and was going to do this fabulous thing on facebook where he would make them like the page before revealing a tab, and that they have to like a page to get access to a video, etc.

    This surprised me because it sounded like the old FB layout and not the new one. I thought maybe his Social Media guy was a bit outdated… or I am completely out of it.

    I know the timeline you can have some cool apps for contests and stuff still, but I think the welcome tab and making people like something to get access to it is no longer possible. Or is it?

  • Mike Falconer Apr 17, 2012

    I manage a couple of pages and although I really like the Timeline, but I have hit a snag. I share a lot of pictures, mostly uploaded from the iPhone app and they just do not get shared with my fans walls. I can force the issue by uploading using the iPhone app or PC and then using a PC and then sharing the post with my own page (I can then hide the original post on my page’s timeline) but it is a lot of phafing about to just share a picture!

    Facebook support were useless.

    Any ideas?

  • Nickson Apr 18, 2012

    Thanks for the very useful tips on optimizing the Facebook banner. I’ve got hard time managing mine but now, knowing the do’s and dont’s I can come up with the best banner for with the right size and design. Thanks to you!

  • Sarah Schager Apr 18, 2012

    @Hilary St John: You are correct, he’s outdated. Landing pages are now a thing of the past, and we are now forced to use cover photos to introduce our fans to our brand. However, as stated above and in my webinar, those have restrictions and do not allow for calls-to-action. There is a third option though, which I mention in #9, that allows brand managers to customize the apps under the cover photo. Those apps can be used as links to pages, which can have more information and calls-to-action included in them. Hopefully that answers your question! :)

  • Sarah Schager Apr 18, 2012

    @Mike Falconer: I am not quite sure I understand your question, so correct me if I’m wrong. Are you saying that you are unable to directly share a photo from your iphone to your brand page? Try this: Login to the Facebook App, click the button in the upper left hand corner, and scroll down to your brand page. That should bring you to your brand page, and you should be able to see a button that says “Share Photo”. If you are doing all of this, and it’s still not working then I’m not sure how to help you without seeing it for myself.

  • Sarah Schager Apr 18, 2012

    @Nickson You are welcome, glad I could help!

  • Mike Falconer Apr 18, 2012

    @Sarah Schager yeah doing all that – the photo shares to the page but does not appear in any of my follower’s newsfeeds unless I reshare the photo from the page with the page itself.


  • Sarah Schager Apr 18, 2012

    @Mike Falconer Is it going into your “Wall Photos” album or another album? It should automatically be sharing. Also, you are saying it isn’t sharing to your follower’s news feeds, but is it sharing on your timeline when you visit your brand page?

  • Mogawk Apr 19, 2012

    I think the new timeline design has thrown some businesses off but in the end I think it will help them.

  • Monika Rose May 03, 2012

    @Sarah Schager Great Tips! I’m having an issue with all the photos I shared prior to switching to timeline. They are oddly cropped on my timeline and it looks horrible (until of course you click on the photo). I looked through FB help to see if they had size of wall photos but I only came up with info on the cover and profile images.

    Any idea what the min./max sizes are for timeline wall photos?

  • Maria May 16, 2012

    I just set up my fan page which is linked to my personal page.
    I am so lost at this point and have questions that need desperate ironing out:
    1. How to I share on my fan’s wall or do i message those who have liked it.
    It seems like every time I send a message out, it goes from my personal ID.

    2. How do i invite non friends to my page?

    3. How can I post on other fan pages

    hope to hear from you.


  • Sarah Schager May 16, 2012

    Hi Maria, thank you for your questions. I have posted the answers below and hope that they help you!

    1. At this time there is no option on Facebook to write on a fans wall or message them. The only way to communicate with them is through your posts or messaging them through your personal ID. However, they have the option to message your page, and if they do then you can respond.

    2. You cannot invite non-friends to your page directly. Promoting your page off of Facebook, utilizing Facebook ads, or growing your page so it gains fans organically are the three best ways to acquire new fans.

    3. You can easily post on other fan pages by visiting their page, liking it, and then creating a post on their wall.