Posted On: April 4, 2012 by Susan L. Sipe

What Are the Major Changes to Facebook Timeline Fan Pages?

For many users, the transition to Facebook Timeline hasn’t been without its share of headaches. Whether it’s picking and choosing posts that you wish to be a public part of your Timeline, or authorizing applications to automatically post to your Wall, some individual Facebook users had a lot of work to do prior to their Timelines being ready for public viewing. For businesses and brands, however, the editing of posts hasn’t been as much of a problem as not having any posts to edit in the first place.

Previously, fan pages differed from each other in one major way: activity. That is, pages that had more activity were oftentimes considered more valuable than pages that didn’t have as many posts or comments. Even if a company or brand had only recently created a page, frequent/regular activity promoted discussion, would inevitably lead to more “likes” and page visits, and would ultimately bode well for the social media campaign at hand. However, Timeline changed things…if only just a bit.

Fan pages boasting the new Timeline feature not only can benefit from the visually appealing new features such as cover photos and increased screen width within iframe applications, but run the risk of hurting their credibility as well. Facebook fan page administrators now have two tasks at hand: keeping up the discussion in order to further promote new activity, and filling in the gaps where their Facebook activity was previously lagging (typically occurring around the time the fan page was initially created). To further complicate matters, companies also have the option (and really no choice, if you think about it) to post information about the early years of business, specifically from founding date onward. For media rich brands like Coca-Cola or the New York Times, filling in an entire company history (though daunting), shouldn’t be terribly difficult. However, for the smaller business that is new to the world of social media, but that has been in business for years, the pressure to thoroughly fill in all the gaps can seem downright overwhelming.

So what’s an administrator to do when faced with such a dilemma? Easy…work backwards. Begin populating your profile from your founding date onward. If you have old pictures of your first office, or products you used to carry, post them. If you don’t have a lot of material to work with and add to your fan page, be creative and try to post something anyway. Even if the backdated status updates you post aren’t terribly riveting, be assured that your fans will appreciate your effort, even if only for entertainment purposes.

Generally speaking, people want to learn more about the companies and brands that they like and do business with. If you’re worried that your company’s/brand’s history just won’t cut it, don’t worry. Your fans are there for a reason, and will continue to like your page anyway, regardless of how well you build out your Timeline. Just remember to always play off of your fans’ feedback and try to give them fresh content that they’d be interested to read. Good luck!