The new design of Facebook pages takes effect on 30 March 2012. That means your organisation’s Facebook page will look quite different from that date. If you don’t make any changes to before then, it might look both a little dull and it might not be working as hard as it should for your organisation. You might be missing out on some new opportunities to make the most of your investment of time in your organisation’s presence on Facebook.
Fortunately there is plenty of advice on what to do, and you still have over two weeks to take some of the more important actions. Most of them take very little time to implement, but it is worth spending time planning what you will do, how, and when.
1. Facebook’s advice
You might as well start off with what Facebook’s guidance suggests. As well as its advice and examples on Introducing new Facebook pages, it also summarises the new opportunities in video:
2. Charity sector advice
There is also some valuable advice specifically for the charity sector and from sector experts.
For example, Beth Kanter explains How To Create A Terrific Facebook Cover Image If You Don’t Have Resources To Hire A Designer.
She was also one of the first to offer advice on the new look Facebook pages in Tips and Cheat Sheets To Help Your Nonprofit Plan and Implement FB Brand Page Changes.
She was followed quickly by Heather Mansfield at Nonprofit Tech 2.0 with HOW TO: Custom Design Your Nonprofit’s Facebook Timeline.
Mansfield also offers 11 Inspiring Nonprofit Facebook Timelines.
John Haydon, “the Nonprofit Facebook Guy“, who incidentally has just co-edited Facebook Marketing for Dummies, offers advice on How to Convert Your Facebook Page Over to the New Timeline Layout:
He has even created a free Facebook page timeline custom header image Photoshop template to make it a little easier.
If you need some examples of what other charities have done with their Facebook pages, have a look at the collection of images I am gathering on Pinterest:
Here is Merlin’s:
and here is The Horse Ranger’s Association (Hampton Court)’s page:
Some organisations have spotted that the Timeline can be extended into the past, far beyond when Facebook itself was created. For example Leeds Alumni‘s Timeline starts on 24 April 1904 when the University of Leeds received its Royal Charter.
The Bible Society goes back a century before that to 19 March 1804, the day it was founded. They’ve included an image of a newspaper story reporting on this event.
Which should suggest to charities with extensive archives full of remarkable images and documents that they might use the Facebook Timeline on their page to show some of it off, and to give it another lease of life.
3. Don’t forget your supporters’ personal Facebook pages
Individuals have had the option to create this kind of Timeline-based look for their personal pages on Facebook for a few months, and many charities have spotted that it offers supporters a good opportunity to publicise their support via a striking page cover image.
Beth Kanter is collecting some examples of these charity Facebook page images. What could your charity offer?
What else to consider?
If you want to take your new Facebook Timeline page even further you can start thinking about how Facebook apps work in the new setup.
Once again, Beth Kanter sums up some of these new opportunities and developments in What Do Facebook’s New Timeline Apps Mean for Nonprofits?.
Do you have any suggestions or discoveries about how you can use the new Facebook page Timeline layout and functionality to support your fundraising? Share them below.