5 Ways Businesses Are Using Facebook Timelines

social media how toAre you wondering how businesses are creatively using Facebook’s Timeline features?

Business timelines are blooming all over Facebook.

You may have read our recent post about all of the changes.

Take a look at these examples of how businesses are creatively using Timeline.

#1: Adding Interesting Milestones

Interesting Milestones may work better if your company has some history. Coca-Cola, founded in 1886, has the benefit of a long and interesting history, so they can show their products from 1916 and how they have since evolved.

But you still may be able to get creative with product releases and things that you have accomplished.

coca cola timeline milestones

Founded in 1886, Coca-Cola encourages people to review their Timeline for brand evolution information.

The New York Times, founded in 1851, gives you a walkthrough history with their Milestone posts.

nyt timeline milestones

Interesting older articles give you a real sense of history.

Be sure to spread out the posting of your Milestones as those posts will go out to all of your fans. Don’t post ten in a row or you may irritate your community with “over-posting.”

#2: Incorporating the Profile Picture Into Your Cover Photo

The profile picture is a good place for your company logo, but since the profile picture overlaps the cover photo, you will need to leave some blank space in the lower-left corner of your cover photo. So why not blend the two pictures?

Tim Ware posted about creative personal profile cover photos, including a Photoshop template to incorporate the profile picture into the cover photo. We are now seeing how brands are getting creative with profile pictures and cover photos in these examples.

ford creative timeline cover

Ford Mustang gets creative with the profile picture and also demonstrates the speed.

captain morgan logo

Captain Morgan gets creative with the logo and the bottle.

See some other creative Timeline cover photos from Ching Ya.

#3: Telling a Story With Photos

Photos have gotten larger in Timelines and you can use the Highlight feature to show even more of the album. The Kia Soul page has highlighted their concept car album to display more pictures.

kia highlighted photo album

Kia Soul has highlighted an album in their Timeline.

Also when you add photos to an album, you will have a post on your Timeline. Then you can share the album to again showcase the story in a different way. People love seeing photos (think Pinterest) and using them extensively on your Timeline can be a good way to tell your story.

The Aquascape Foundation got good mileage out of photos of their recent trip to Uganda by having them post in different ways to their Timeline.

photos to tell stories

The Aquascape Foundation uploaded photos and shares the album.

#4: Branding With Apps

Apps are much more visible on the new Timeline. The Facebook Photos app will always be in the first row, in the first position, and will always display the most recent photo. The next three apps in the row will be most visible, so put your best apps in the first row.

If your apps are interesting, you may have people click the down arrow on the right side to see what else you have available. Notice how these pages have really branded their apps and added a call to action within both the app’s name and custom graphic.

using app color photos

SoLatina's apps help build their brand and contain a simple call to action.

using app color photos

More In Media's apps are contributing to the eyeglasses logo.

As a reminder, the app custom graphics are 111 pixels by 74 pixels and can be changed by clicking the down arrow on the right side to show all apps, then mousing over the app and clicking the pencil icon to activate the dropdown menu as shown. Click Edit Settings to change the title of the custom tab or add custom graphics.

edit settings

Click Edit Settings on the app icon dropdown menu.

Here’s some good information if you’re wondering where to get apps to add to your page.

Adding apps to your Timeline works just the same as adding apps to the older-style Facebook pages.

#5: Using the About Section to Give a Call to Action

While you can’t have a call to action (such as “Click Like” or “Buy Now”) or your website address in the cover photo of your Timeline, you can have that information in your About section. The About section is hot property, so use it well.

call to action

You can have a call to action and website information in your About section.

There are many pages that don’t have anything in their About section at all, which could be due to confusion about where to edit this information. To edit your About section, click the About link, then mouse over the upper-right corner near your About section until you see the Edit button with the pencil. Click the Edit button and you see the older-style dashboard page as shown.

about section

Fill in your About section because this is the most visible part of your Info tab on your Timeline.

You can have your website address and a call to action in your About section, but you only have approximately 160 characters to work with before it is cut off, depending on how the words flow. In fact, your previous About section may have been longer but is now cut off mid-sentence. Make sure you correct that in the new Timeline view.

If your page is also a Place or Local Business, your address and phone number will be the default About section. There is no way to change this unless you want to change the category of your page. If check-ins are part of your strategy, then keep the local business classification.

place page about section

Place or Local Business pages cannot change their About section.

Don’t just focus on your About section that appears on your main Timeline page—make sure you are looking at what your About section looks like when you click the About link. Use that space creatively to link to special places on your website and tell people more about what you do and whom you serve.

Hopefully these 5 tips will give you some good ideas on how to use your Timeline more creatively.

What do you think? Have you seen any pages using Timelines in new and creative ways? Tell us in the comments box below!

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About the Author, Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl is co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and also uses her improv comedy skills to blog as Grandma Mary, Social Media Edutainer. Connect with her at www.andreavahl.com. Other posts by »




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  • http://www.stuffedweb.com/ Sam Scholfield

    Great post Andrea. It’s very useful to see how different companies are making use of their timelines! I’m glad that a call to action can be added to the about text, I know it’s small, but it’s better than nothing.

  • http://linwrightdesign.com/ Linwright

    I LOVE #5 – Using the about section like that… ingenious and yet so simple. 

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  • http://www.nimaheydarian.com/ Nima Heydarian

    Great post. Thanks. I’ve used the cover photo and the timeline but need to start using the apps and the about area more effectively 

  • http://www.nimaheydarian.com/ Nima Heydarian

    Also the link to “Here is more information..” for Facebook apps doesnt work.

  • Cissysoap

    I am having trouble finding comments that people have left on my timeline – can you help me?

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Thanks for pointing that out Nima!  We’ll get that fixed.  It’s supposed to go here:  
    http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-find-and-add-facebook-apps-to-your-facebook-page/

  • http://twitter.com/CindyKimPR Cindy Kim

    This is a great post. While this post is very informative on how businesses are using Facebook Timeline – it would be useful to see how B2B companies are using it and what sort of call to action buttons we should be focused on. When it comes to social media, we’re always so heavily focused on B2C and for the folks who are in B2B it’s hard to get real world examples to apply to our business. Any thoughts or recommendations?

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Yes, there are three ways you can access the comments.  One is to go down below your Apps area and you’ll see a small drop-down menu that defaults to Highlights.  Click there and you can select Posts by Others.  Now you will see anyone who has posted directly on your Timeline or Tagged you in a post.  

    Another way is to watch your Notifications area in the Admin section at the top of your page (if you have hidden it, click the Admin button in the upper right corner of your page)  When you see anyone who has replied to a post, liked a post, etc, you can click on that notification and be taken to the relevant post.  

    Then the third method is to go to the box on the right side of your Timeline under your Apps area (you will only see this box if you have the Highlights selected in the Timeline – under the apps)  This box is labeled Recent Posts by Others and you click See All in the upper right corner of the box.  It will pop-up with all the posts on your Timeline by other people.  Hope that helps!!

  • http://cindyking.biz/ Cindy King

    Nima, thanks for pointing this out!  It’s fixed now.

  • http://www.brendalindfors.com/ Brendalindfors

    These are great suggestions. Both useful and practical. Thanks for posting!

    I have a general question…as a professional photographer one of the major risks to my business is that of having people download and/or copy my images…copyright infringement and theft/piracy. There’s a lot of debate in the photographic community about the fact that, as professionals and business people we need exposure online, but that posting our work online often results in theft of images.  Some photographers shy away from social media completely because of this…Others put cumbersome watermarks over their images…  Do you have suggestions re: avoiding copyright infringement/piracy and still posting images/image galleries online?  How do we balance the opportunities and threats? I am worried about placing my images on social sites and networking sites….places where it is common for information to be shared, passed on and passed around.  As a professional photographer I’m interested in exposing my work to people, but not giving it away. Does this make sense?

    Thanks for any information you can provide. Best, Brenda

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Shauna-Lynn-Johnson/748073586 Shauna Lynn Johnson

    Randi at @HTMYHB has created thumbnails for all the apps so they co-ordinate with her pg, looks great! Thanks again for all the great tips, going to put some in to action NOW ! ~Shauna at @EcoNets 

  • Lawrence Berezin

    Andrea,
    Thanks for one terrific, chock full of actionable information, article.
    I am always profoundly impressed by the creativity of people.

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Hi Cissy – Meant to reply directly to your post, but it ended up below this comment – take a look at my answer below….

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    This is in reply to Cissysoap’s post above – thought I had clicked Reply :)

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Great question, Cindy.  Really if you think about it B2B isn’t that different and I find people doing the same things.  Social Media Examiner is technically B2B.  Alcoa is also a good example – they are B2B and using Pinning and a contest to gain interaction on their page:  
    http://www.facebook.com/alcoa  Hope that helps!

  • Maggie Pajak

    Hi Cindy,

    I promote two b2b magazines and events. In addition to a cover image that introduces our staff (using some humor – I’m the one in the straight jacket), we have matching tabs and have added a lead gen form using an app. Check it out here: http://www.facebook.com/publishingbusiness. 

  • http://www.mikegingerich.com/ Mike Gingerich

    Thanks Andrea!  Great tips and examples for how businesses can use Timeline to it’s fullest.  

    The 111 x 74 Custom Tab App large image area is great to draw people in to custom tabs on the Pages.  Posting a image to a Facebook Page album gives it a lot more visual presence in the Timeline as you show with the Kia Soul.  I love how they highlighted the album and albums show a large and also thumbnails in the Timeline!  Gives me some ideas!!

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  • James cattermole

    Great post, will incorporate these ideas into my next band project :) Keep up the fantastic work! 

    James Cattermole
    Musicbud.co.uk 

  • http://www.soulcomfortsheepskin.com/ Anyes deLaat

    This article has given me quite a few new ideas.  Thanks

  • http://twitter.com/janearmstrong7 Jane Armstrong

    I can’t keep up with all the changes but thanks for the post, it’s interesting to see how it works for others. 

  • http://moreinmedia.com/ Dorien Morin-van Dam

    Andrea,  I am so psyched to see More In Media Featured in your article!  
    More in Media is a small company with big ideas…:)  
    Making the app images was fun and coming up with new ways to use the apps and the photo image app is a daily event.  
    One helpful tip:  You can upload a new image with (for example) a call-to-action, and then immediately hide the post from your Timeline.  The image will still show in the photo app underneath your cover image.  I use it to talk to my new fans or to show I am there!  (‘Happy Wednesday’, ‘Quick Question’, ‘Happy Spring’)
    Thank you so much!
    ~Dorien

  • http://moreinmedia.com/ Dorien Morin-van Dam

    Cindy, this is Dorien from More In Media.  We do a lot of B2B connecting for our clients on Facebook.  I use my ‘Featured Likes’ feature weekly and engage both as Dorien and as More In Media.  I reset my ‘Featured Likes’ each week on Thursday and up my engagement with those businesses who are featured.  I re-post at least one of their posts directly from their wall, with a tag, and I also ask each of the five featured businesses to like each other and engage.  It’s gotten a lot of B2B engagement.  Another tip: I also ask my clients what networking groups/chambers they belong to and I then engage on those Facebook Pages as the business and like the pages they have liked.  (One time I ‘liked’ 950 local pages from my clients’ Facebook Page; I found all of the businesses through the chamber Facebook Page.)  Hope these ideas help and they work with the new Timeline as well as the old.

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  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    That is really challenging Brenda!  Especially on social media because there is no way to do some of the fancy things you can do if it’s on your own website.  I don’t have any magic answers – it seems like it’s either watermark or not posting them!  

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    You are welcome Mike! 

  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    You are welcome Dorien!  Great branding :)  Yes, that’s a great idea on the photo app – if you upload lots of pictures you will have to keep replacing it and hiding it which is a big pain but still an idea!  
    Thanks for saying hello!

  • http://www.singfreenow.com Mark Bosnian

    #2 and #4 are crucially important to take advantage of. Thanks Andrea for the great examples!

  • http://www.audiomind.us/blog AUDIOMIND

    #5 Using the About Section to Give a Call to Action isn’t something I had given thought too. Nice one!

  • http://luisgalarza.blogspot.com/ Luis Galarza

    Hi Brenda,

    You have a great question, and in the photography market the content strategy of giving away some of your hard work can be a little risky. I have a few clients in the photography industry, and what it seems to work very well is a mix of content sharing…. But, before you start posting your work on social media properties you ask yourself what do you want to get from your efforts? Do you want to build a following and authority? Do you want to show off your work and get sales? Etc.. Whatever your is it needs to be clear, so you can decide what type of marketing strategy will work better for you.

    Another thing you should know is that photos with a water mark will not get shared which will limit its virality (its viral effect). Many photographers are having better results with authors signatures and website info at the bottom of their photos, this type of branding works better because it doesn’t limit the picture viral effect. 

    Now you should have a watermark on the rest of your portfolio at your site… But, like I say before, it all depends on your goals. 

  • Joel Carter

    Great examples

  • Rmindar

    Andrea, as a very small business owner and very low tech, I am appreciative that your articles are written in a fashion that even I can understand. I have only been using FB pages for a very short time and admittedly I find  developing my page to be rather daunting and time consuming. I know though that if I want an audience I need to put in the time and effort. Your article inspire me and give me the courage to forge ahead in the social media world where I am an alien. Huge Thanks!

  • OBVAVirtualAssistant

    Hi Andrea,
    Great post and loved reading it. The examples mentioned are really good. I loved the time line used by Coke company. Really wonderful and informative post. Thanks for the share.

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  • http://www.AndreaVahl.com/ Andrea Vahl

    Glad to help!  It’s hard to keep up with everything!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Newsie-Bee/100003657969739 Newsie Bee

    I really found these tips worth their weight in gold: call to action in About section, using the highlight feature, adding historical milestones like the NYT has done. 

    I’ve got a query: is there a social marketing plan that can be based on the following parameters:

    FB followers engagement levels 
    Virality of posts

    If yes, how would you flesh it out? Same with Twitter. If you could write a post around it citing examples, that would be great.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ellen.partal Ellen Partal

    I have been watching my ‘New Likes’ and welcoming them to the page and then asking them a question..”Welcome Andrea, have you been to our salon before?”or “Do you have a favorite buffet item”..(different pgs. the salon does not have a buffet). It seems to have increased future interaction if they participate from the begining.

  • http://www.cyberlinkmedia.com/ DanceF

    Great suggestions. Both useful and practical.

  • Sudip Paul

    Really good post having great information dear.

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  • http://www.i95dev.com/ Victor Achilles

    I have liked “Telling a Story with Photos”. With photos being the most popular element on Social media these days, it would be very interesting to see creative ways of telling stories.

  • http://www.socialcubix.com/ Allenbrayan

    According to Survey 70% people doesn’t like Facebook Timeline feature. Some of them are very frustrated from timeline feature so, how we would generate better exposure with the help of Timeline.

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  • http://twitter.com/nottjulie Julie Monk Nott

    Thanks for all this GREAT information for businesses to utilize Facebook to it’s full potential. And…thanks for featuring the Aquascape Foundation. They are doing some real good out there. Great non-profit to read more about.

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  • http://meetingking.com/ Avi Kaye

    Another thing – With the custom page apps, you now have an unprecedented way of getting your fans to visit your website’s homepage. Using MyWebees, you can give them a ‘Home’ button on the shiny new navigation bar that Facebook has provided them, and they can browse your entire website while still in Facebook.

    You can get MyWebees here: http://bit.ly/GRK50g 

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  • http://www.islandinteractive.co.uk/ Web Design Jersey

    Now a survey of 4,000 Facebook users has revealed that just eight per cent said they liked the change. I think putting a ticking clock in front of users is never going to attract a positive response.

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  • Ray

    There are some nice Facebook Timeline cover photos out there. People and businesses seem to be coming up with great ideas. I just wish that the login and join button thing didn’t occupy such a large space on the top right of the photo when your not logged in.

  • http://anitaloomba.com/ Anita Loomba

    Great post and some great ideas here!

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  • http://twitter.com/Artishop Artishop.dk

    I have been trying in vain to change the tab image and name of some of my apps. I come to the right settings window, but under profile, I just get “Tab: added (remove)”, i.e. I do not get the custom options. Any idea of where the probem lies? This is driving me crazy – hope you can help. Eliane

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  • Joanna Rice

    A very helpful article – thank you! I have difficulties with showing the pictures in the Stories section on Timeline. I have them uploaded in Photo albums, but I dont know how to show them in the Timeline. Could anybody help me, please?

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  • Alex Stevens

    I love this information already. I was tasked with helping a church ministry get online presence via facebook. This info has come in handy.

  • Deepak Shukla

    Very good post, certainly I will try to promote my company with these valuable tricks.

  • http://hangkhonggiare.com.vn/ ve may bay khuyen mai

     I have been trying in vain to change the tab image and name of some of
    my apps. I come to the right settings window, but under profile,

  • http://www.lotusvilla.de/ Ayurveda kur Sri Lanka

    really nice post. Great sharing

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