2 Ways to Use the New Facebook Timeline to Move Your Fans to Action

 

Timeline for Facebook Pages is here—and more so now than ever, business owners need to create clear calls to action to ensure that their fans stay engaged (and their businesses, top of mind).

Before Pages rolled out the new Timeline format, having a default landing tab (also referred to as the “default welcome tab”) was a handy catchall solution; many of us used it as a kind of gate to introduce non-fans to our Pages and entice them to click like. In fact, my Facebook welcome tab yielded high conversion rates (which led to high-quality fans)—so I was disappointed to see it go, as I’m sure you were too!

Above and beyond optimizing the way the Timeline looks, what business owners must do is ensure that their important calls to action don’t get buried in the new format.

No matter how many fans you have, if they’re not engaged—and driven to act on something tangible (like signing up for your newsletter or blog updates, enrolling in your webinar, signing up to get your e-book, or doing business with you)—then the time and dollars you’re investing in Facebook are effectively going to waste. The challenge now is leveraging this new format to create multiple clear, easy calls to action that result in high engagement.

Below I’ve dissected a few ways I’ve personally used the new Timeline layout features. These easy to implement Facebook Page strategies will help you create compelling calls to action, moving you from a bunch of Likes to QUALITY LEADS.

#1:  Use Thumbnails and Custom Apps to Drive Engagement

Since Page admins can no longer designate a default landing tab, we need to get a little more creative and use our custom apps to direct Page visitors to take action. Instead of having apps on the left-hand side of your Page, they’re now featured directly below the cover photo. With this prime real estate, one way to make up for the loss of engagement with a default landing tab is to instead drive visitors to your custom app.

 

The blue box in the image here points to the custom app area. I just wanted to make sure you knew what I was referring to throughout the post before I dive in a little deeper!

 

To get the most out of apps, you’ll need to arrange them in a strategic sequence, rename the apps and create a customized thumbnail with a clear incentive to click. I know that seems like a tall order, but let me break it down for you . . .

  • Create a custom application with value-added content that drives visitors to act and engage. For example, I used an application that pulled in a blog post from my website (share buttons included!); I kept the cover image at the top, and included an opt-in at the bottom of the post. Click here to learn more about the app I used to create this specific custom app.

 

To add value, and share my content, I pulled in my most popular blog post into a custom app. The share buttons even work within the custom app, getting my content even more exposure!

 

  • Get strategic with 3 apps above the fold, or “showcased” apps.  You can spotlight the box that shows your number of “likes” if you have tens of thousands, but I’d rather showcase info that gives great value or compels action.  Once you collapse all your apps, if you hover over the app’s right-hand corner, you’ll see the edit pencil. Click on it, and you can choose which other app you want to swap it with. (Note: only the “Photos” app cannot be moved, so in effect, you have just three spots to play with.)

 

 

  • Use strong calls to action in both the custom app name and the app thumbnail image. (Click “edit settings” and change “Custom Tab Image” and the app name—the thumbnail image is 111 x 74 pixels.) For example, I called one app “Sign Up,” one “Watch,” one “Enroll Now” and then included more actionable text (“Social Media Updates,” “Free Video Series,” etc.) in the app thumbnail itself. Calls to action that provide a clear incentive—valuable knowledge, industry tips, and entertainment value—are most likely to get click-throughs.
  • Leverage the app’s unique URL on your blog and website so that when people click your Facebook icon elsewhere on the web, they go to the custom app instead of your Timeline wall. It’s a workaround that’s worth trying, especially if you need to grow your Facebook fan base or email list.

 

Each custom app on has a unique URL. You can use this URL to drive targeted traffic to your apps.

 

#2:  Use Pinned Images to Highlight Actions

“Pinning” is one of the cool new features Page owners can now play around with on Timeline. When you “pin” a post, it stays at the top of your page for 7 days (unless you unpin it earlier).  How does it work? Easy: Just hover over the post, click on the editing pencil, and select “Pin Post.” An orange ribbon in the upper-right corner marks the post as pinned.

This is one way to give an important status update extra attention—but I have an even better way to leverage this feature for engagement. Here’s how:

  • Pin visuals, not just updates. Images are much bigger in the Timeline than they were in the old layout, so use an eye-catching one whenever you want to call attention to something. Albums look beautiful on Timeline too—sharing a special event album can really drive high engagement, especially if fans were at the event!
  • For maximum results, pin an image with a call to action. After selecting or designing a photo that shows off your brand’s style and personality, why not edit it to include a call to action? One of the best examples I have seen so far of this technique is on the Socially Sorted Facebook Page. They pin a branded, fun, custom image with a clear CTA—setting the tone for their Page and driving more “likes” in the process.

This "pinned post" image is 404 x 404 pixels. When pinned, the image attracts the attention of fans and encourages them to take action.




This is another strategy for a pinned post. I created this image to drive traffic to my custom application that was created as a lead gen opportunity.

  • Use location-based features for specific promotions or events. Here’s something cool for local business. When you post a status update, you can choose a location so only those living in that specific area can see your post. That means when you pin that post, only visitors from a certain geographic area will see it. Targeting your marketing, especially if you have physical promotions or events going on, can result in big viral wins.

So there you have it!  These are just two strategies of many, but I hope they help you see some solid results right away.

Now it’s your turn!  Has the Timeline been a boom or bust for your Facebook Page? And how can I help make it better?

 

[optin-greytall]

 

 

  • http://twitter.com/MorganBarnhart Morgan Barnhart

    Hi Amy!

    Thank you SO much for this! I’ve been looking for a good app to create custom tabs and I have heard of Lujure before, so I suppose if I’m hearing about it multiple times that I should probably just use it already! :) 

    #2 is also a super great tip. I have been meaning to ‘highlight’ and ‘pin’ things on my wall, but just have not done it yet. It really seems to work, though, as I love to see it on other people’s pages. 

    Thank you so much for this. :)

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    So glad you found the tips useful, Morgan! Lujure is a great tool for sure!

  • GuyGuy108

    Timeline has been great for us. Facebook is not high on our list of channels. Twitter, Youtube and our two Ning Communities are more important but since Timeline we are getting more engagement and interest and that inspires us to ramp up Facebook – we are a B2B company with a very high touch consulting service which may explain why Facebook is not our top priority – many of our customers are even blocked from it during their work hours ):-

  • Rick Field

    Great stuff as always Amy. Could you confirm that Facebook recently increased the profile pic size on pages? There is now significantly less white space around some of my profile images in relation to the cover photo and some information in cover photo is now partially covered when earlier this week it wasn’t. Just wondering if you or any of your readers have experienced the same.

  • John Bell

    Amy, your tip about hovering over the apps unfortunately doesn’t work. When I hover, nothing appears. And have you noticed that facebook made the profile picture larger? And of my 6 pages, only a couple have the larger picture…seems when they change things, something else doesn’t work.
    John Bell
    http://resortsrock.com

  • KimS

    Great post.  I really appreciate the valuable information that you are always providing…so helpful to my day.

  • Denise Sonnenberg

    I’ve been testing different names out for my Thumbnail images and App labels. And I’m switching them around to see if any seem to work better than others. But I think to really test them I’m going to need equally strong CTA’s (call to action) on each of the Tabs and I haven’t gotten there yet.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi!  Yes, I have seen it changed on the Profile and the Page – but I have yet to see the right specs come out officially.  Will be posting them the minute I know more! 

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, John.  Collapse all your apps first and then hover – that should work!  Let me know if not.  And as for the timeline dimensions, I notice that, but still waiting for confirmation on the correct size!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks for your loyal support, Kim!!

  • fbpagedesign

    Your tips are truly useful for facebook Page owners, Amy. I am glad that you keep your bar high ;) There are two things that I have observed. One – engaging, original and relevant images work better than videos and two – in some cases it’s still useful to use a Facebook landing page and using it in external communications.

  • Rick Field

    Thanks Amy!

  • Joelle

    Thanks for your useful tips Amy

  • http://thevirtualonlineassistant.com/ Nica Mandigma

    Hi Amy! Great tips, particularly that one about pinning images with calls to action! Thank you!

    Quick question though. In one of your cover photos, it said “Sign Up.” I was just wondering whether this is violating FB rules for cover photos?

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Cover photos? Where do you see that?

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Hi Nica and Amy – Nica I think you may be referring to the image Amy has featured in the article which says “Get Free Social Media Updates” – it is not actually a cover photo but it is a similar size which maybe why you thought it was a cover photo?  It is actually the header that sits at the top of the app that Amy created so that she could drive traffic there (and as you know, you can have calls to actions in the apps as Facebook want us to do that as they want us to buy ads to drive people there). Does that make sense?  

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Thanks for the shout out Amy. Great article. I didn’t know that there was a location feature on posting so I will check that out for sure!  Have a great day!  

  • http://www.socialidentities.com Hugh Briss

    Great post, Amy.

  • http://thevirtualonlineassistant.com/ Nica Mandigma

    Hi Donna, you’re right. I was referring to the second image. I thought that was a cover photo because of the same size. My apologies, Amy. 

    Thanks to you both.

  • http://bejeweledjhazz.tumblr.com/ Jhazz

    Very good post Amy, many thanks! I’ve also watched the webinar – very very helpful. Just in time that I needed to create an app for a client’s Timeline. Thanks for sharing Lulujur, it is a fantastic app and easier to use. As always, I am look forward to your extremely helpful and useful tips and ideas.

  • Analucia Novak

    I love these ideas Afro creating call to action tabs. Now my brain and creativity are spinning it’s wheels!

  • http://www.publicationcoach.com/ Daphne Gray-Grant

    Great post Amy. I wish you’d given a bit more info about Lujure, though. I’m trying it (on a free basis) and having a hard time figuring out how to do what you did. It’s really not terribly intuitive.  

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Daphne – are you trying to pull in your latest blog post with Lujure?

  • http://pajamaproductivity.com Annie Sisk

    Great post. I am enjoying playing with Lujure, to be sure. I used iPiccy.com to create custom images for the tabs, to continue the “stage presence” visual theme. I went with the RSS feed template for my blog tab but now I’m wondering, maybe I should take a page from your book instead … I like the way your post looks a lot better than the RSS links, even though I did customize the colors to fit my color scheme. Decisions, decisions!

  • http://www.publicationcoach.com/ Daphne Gray-Grant

    I was trying to do a little box to promote my book.

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Thanks, Hugh.  Coming from you that means a lot!  Hope your weekend was fantastic….

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    I LOVE this idea, Donna.  Thanks for the inspiration!

  • http://coffeestylish.com/ Danijela

    Wow, thank you so much Amy. I will certainly try to follow some of these tips. I have a lot work to do know, but I am sure it will give results. Amazing post.

  • http://www.socialbizniz.com/ Bev

    Thank you Amy. I really enjoyed this – huge tips in here!

  • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au Donna Moritz

    Absolutely welcome! Thanks for sharing the love!  

  • http://plaidcupcake.com/ Patty B.

     These are such great ideas! However i”m kind of lost on how to create a custom app below the banner – when I try to add a new one the only choices are “photos, video, notes” – I don’t see anything about custom options. ACK!

  • http://www.AmyPorterfield.com Amy Porterfield

    Hi, Patty.  You will want to use a 3rd party tool (like http://www.Lujure.com) and that tool will automatically create your app when you link the tool to your Page – so it will appear once you use the tool. 

  • Jkaka56

     wanna know how. I really want it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1283867687 Deborah Teramis Christian

     You might like to check out woobox.com. Also free to use, creates FB apps. I find it pretty intuitive and am about to use it for book promo as well.

  • mibelk

    I just watched your blog review for Social Triggers, very good job and I think your blog looks great.  David shared some good ideas.  thanks

  • tore

    Thanks for the great tips. I have stayed far away from Google+…now’s a good time to rethink.
    درب اتوماتیککرکره برقیدوربین مدار بسته