It’s almost March 30- are you ready for Facebook Timeline? If you are weary on how to transition your page and engage new and existing donors, not to worry – you can manage your Timeline without publishing it just yet. The new format enables brands to date posts all the way back to 1800, long before Facebook’s inception, and cover photo and highlighting features are a great way for you to advance your cause and mission by telling a compelling and authentic story.
Here is a list of the new features, and how we have taken advantage of them to more effectively tell Crowdster’s story and engage our audience.
Stand Out with a Compelling Cover Photo
One of the stand-out features of the timeline format has to be the ability to add a cover photo. This is the first thing that anyone who visits your page will see, so it is essential to choose an inspiring image that will tell your organization’s story without words. Your Page will still feature a profile picture, which is best used for your organization’s logo. For our own Page we decided on an image that conveys the power of social fundraising and crowdfunding. Check out Live Strong and Smile Train for great examples for nonprofits.
Highlight Important News and Events
If you have already switched to the Timeline format you’ve probably noticed the new highlight feature (the star that appears in the top right-hand corner of a post when you scroll over it). Highlighting an image or post will extend the post over two columns, visually hinting to your supporters that this post is an important one. Photos and images will pop on your page since they are now larger and more eye-catching – so don’t forget to add in as many as you can, especially when you want to call attention to a special event that your organization has coming up. We have highlighted EAC’s Spring Luncheon as our CEO is the honoree for this great cause. Another way to showcase particular posts is to pin them to the top of the page using the edit tool located next to the highlight button. One of the ways to use this feature would be to remind supporters of an upcoming event; if you had posted about an event a week or two prior, pin this post to the top of your Timeline when it is a day or two away.
Keep Your Apps in Order!
Add and arrange tabs in the right hand corner of your organization’s timeline (beneath your cover photo). You can arrange them in order of importance – four tabs will be visible without clicking through to view all (you can add up to 12). You are also able to change the photo for your app, as well as rename the app. Choose an eye-catching image with a call to action to increase the chances of a click-through. We decided on creating tabs for our photos, blog, twitter profile, and upcoming events, to name a few. You might consider a tabs to direct supporters to a donations page, highlight your generous donors and most successful events/campaigns. Check out Greenpeace International for a great example of how to utilize Facebook tabs to engage your audience.
Go Back to the Beginning with Milestones
Timeline also enables you to go back in and add milestones that you may have forgotten to post about. Milestones help to tell your organization’s story, especially since posts from your supporters will be moved to a separate area. Because of this new format, fans and supporters could end up returning to your page to read through your Timeline rather than to make a comment or question, so it is important to make your Timeline as visually appealing as possible. Do you want to let your supporters know when your organization was founded, or when your org opened a local chapter? No problem! Simply click “Milestone” when adding a new post, name the event, location, and even include a story about the event or upload a photo. Employing the Milestone feature we added the date Crowdster was founded, as well as landmarked the day we processed our 5000th donation.
Timeline gives you and your organization an opportunity to rediscover what you have learned from supporters over the past years. Take a walk down memory lane and look at what worked – what was the best way to engage your audience on Facebook?