Article by Jerry Low
Geek dad, SEO data junkie, investor, and founder of Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Jerry has been building Internet assets and making money online since 2004. He loves mindless doodling and trying new food.
Love it or hate it, the Facebook Timeline is here to stay. The majority of brand pages and personal profiles have now converted, and despite widespread initial criticism, many people are starting to embrace the concept. In an earlier article, we gave you the official walkthrough on how to set up the individual components of your page.
Proponents of the Timeline appreciate that it allows them to create chronological representations of their company and a much richer visual experience for their users, but some are still in mourning over the death of the custom landing page. Regardless of your opinion on Timeline, there are a number of useful tools available to help you maximize the format and minimize the effort that you have to put in.
Here’s the best way to think of it: A compelling and high converting Facebook Timeline page is a must-have for any brand or individual public figure active on Facebook. A number of apps are available to help solve common problems or make it much easier to achieve specific goals.
The importance of your cover photo is undeniable. It’s the single biggest visual element of your Timeline. As the first thing people see and the most significant contrasting element, it’s also important to recognize that this space must be used to convey as much about your brand as possible. Yet sometimes you don’t have a photo at the ready that you want to use, or you’re waiting until a certain piece of creative is finished before you update it. When you’re looking for very high quality photos that are perfectly sized to Facebook’s pre-existing limits, we recommend going straight to the experts.
If you are looking for a perfect cover photo, or simply need some inspiration, you can check out Cover Photo Finder (http://coverphotofinder.com/). They offer thousands of free pre-sized cover photos for your Timeline, from beautiful vistas to memorable movie scenes. Using the app is simple; just download the photograph you want to your desktop and then upload it straight to Facebook. No finagling or further steps are needed.
Can’t find what you’re looking for there? Two other options include facebooktimelinebanner.com and fcoverphotos.com.
If you’ve already got a cover photo of your own in mind, but if you need to resize it or edit the photo attributes, you may want to check out the Aviary Photo Editor app for Timeline (https://apps.facebook.com/aviaryeditor).
The Aviary app lets you change many different attributes of your photos, including warmth, brightness, saturation, etc. You can also sharpen and resize your pictures to create an optimal cover photo. The app is quite simple to use. Once you download it, you simply upload the photograph you want to alter. A simple navigation system appears when you select the photo, and you choose the image you want to edit. The app uses sliders to change things like brightness, etc. When the edits are finished, simply export the file and upload to Facebook. The interface is only slightly more complex than Paint, but with many more options.
Solution: Timeline Image Tool
You’ve got your cover photo all ready to go, but what about your icons? With Timeline Image Tool (http://timelineimagetool.com/), you can easily create or upload your own icon photos and post them on your page. You have the option of using the tool to create customized icons with different colors and text, uploading your own photos to use as icons, or choosing from a selection of pre-made icon photos.
This great product by Roeder Studios is true to the Laura Roeder brand: a totally classy product, and simple to use. To get started, go to your Facebook page and select the item that you want edit. In this instance, choose your icon photos. It allows you to select a background color, as well as type text, modify the text, and upload your own images. You can also move around text within the box to make it fit with whatever you have it mind.
You may not be able to direct users to a custom landing page anymore, but you can create calls to action using custom apps. There are a number of tools you can use to create custom apps for your Facebook Timeline, but first we want to show you an example of how you can create effective custom apps with calls to action. Facebook expert Amy Porterfield (https://www.facebook.com/AmyPorterfield) has developed customized apps for her Timeline that direct you to sign up to receive social media updates, watch her video series, etc.
If you click through on the Social Media Updates app, you are directed to the following page which allows you to enter your email to receive updates from Amy.
A great tool for creating custom apps is Lujure (https://lujure.com/). Here you can create custom apps without the hassle of writing the code. You can either use their templates or upload your own design. They offer three tiers of plans for users: the free plan, which allows you to create one custom app; $30 will buy you a ‘Build your Brand’ package, which gets you unlimited custom apps and access to all of their premade templates; and $300 gets you a ‘Build a Business’ package, which allows you full access to all of their features.
To use Lujure, start by visiting the website and setting up an account. Then you can use the custom app creator and in Facebook editor to create custom applications. Because a Lujure tutorial is its own article, we recommend you check out this excellent introduction to Lujure video here.
Solution: Facebook Insights
Now that you’ve created your page, how do you know whether it’s effective? Facebook Insights allows you to track a variety of data, from page likes to user engagement on your updates and photos.
These insights are extremely valuable – you can decode details ranging from what types of content are effective to what time of day your audience is most active.
There are a number of ways to use this data in order to improve your page. For example, you can track user engagement on posts to determine which posts are driving the most traffic to your page and reaching a broad audience. Facebook Insights provides a valuable way for you to constantly refine and integrate real time feedback from your audience into your content creation strategy.
This page provided by Facebook features a range of apps that you can install and feature on your Timeline. These apps are a little different that the custom ones you’re creating with Lujure, which are geared much more toward your specific customers and visitors. These instead are specific apps that are created by other companies. Do you want to highlight useful travel items like AirBnB or Tripadvisor? Or maybe you want to feature music via Pandora or Spotify? Search for your favorite today and add a splash of flavor to personalize your timeline.
Whether you’ve embraced the Timeline or are still feeling lukewarm about the concept, there are a number of great tools out there to help you create a visually appealing, professional page for your brand. Facebook Timeline for pages appears to be here to stay, and with a little exploration and customization, you may just grow to love it.