Monday, 2 April 2012

The Facebook Timeline for Artists

So, as all page owners will have noticed, Facebook has now introduced the new Timeline layout to pages. The layout was rolled out to Facebook profiles a couple of months ago and I was one of the few that liked the change... but I have to admit when it comes to pages, I am a little bit more hesitant.

I like this change for big brands, such as Coca Cola and Burberry, as the focus is now on a narrative - which gives a large scope for brands with an interesting and long withstanding history. For artists and smaller businesses, I think this is less effective.

However, the change is here and it's time to embrace it! I've come up with a list of tips and tricks to get the most out of the Timeline for your artist page.

Two Columned Layout
As far as I can see (and my opinion of this may change) the best thing about the Timeline is the two columned layout, which allows for more visible content as you scroll down. This means a larger scope to showcase your lovely work - so posting image heavy updates is a good idea for creatives.

Your Page Cover
A feature I loved for my Facebook profile, this is also a great addition for an artist's page. Showcase your skills here - perhaps by uploading your best piece of work, or even by creating something new. The measurements for the cover are:

850 px wide by 315 px tall (minimum)

It's worth bearing in mind Facebook have some rules on what is acceptable for your header. The following are NOT acceptable:
  • Price or purchase info (eg. 40% off)
  • Contact info - all of this should go in your Page's 'About' section
  • References to Facebook features and actions such as "Like" or "Share" or a sneaky arrow from the cover to the 'Like' button.
  • Any call to action (eg. "Buy now" or "Tell your Friends")

My page cover.

Highlighting Posts
In the top right-hand corner you can see a star icon - this is to highlight a post. Starring or highlighting a post expands it to widescreen, which is particularly effective for images and video. My one tip would be to use larger files here, as I tend to upload screenshots, which get pixelated when expanded!

Pinning Posts
In the top right corner of every post you make, is the option to 'Pin to Top'. Pinned posts last for one week and are a great idea if you have an event (such as an exhibition) you want to remind visitors of. They're also good for any discount codes for your online shop, for new products, new work or any short term promotions.

Pinned posts stick to the very top of your timeline, and so are the first thing your visitors will see.

Milestones appear like highlighted posts (expanded across the two columns). I think this feature is be great for any professional achievements such as winning an award or appearing in a certain magazine. Think of this feature as your resume, a chance to showcase the highlights in your creative career.

To add past milestones to your page you must first create a 'start' date. Mine was when I enrolled at Middlesex University. To do this go to the line that runs down the middle of your page from which your posts hang, where your cursor should become a + symbol. Click here and Facebook will ask you for a start date.

Once you've determined a start, you can go back and add other milestones (such as graduation, your first commission etc) by adding a milestone at the top of the page where you would normally post.

Change Default Layout Decisions
Facebook defaults a the "Recent Posts by Others" box at the top of your timeline. If you have lots of happy customers commenting on your page this is a good thing, but I personally found it made my timeline a little messy. Go to 'Manage' and 'Edit Page' to edit permissions and defaults.

Final Word
As with all social media ventures, the trick is to be constant - update regularly, add important milestones as they happen, and keep your followers in the loop. I'm still a newbie to the Timeline, and will be exploring apps as my next mission - so keep your eyes peeled for my next blog post.

Thanks for reading - if you have any tips it would be lovely if you could leave them in the comments!


  1. Thank you for this informative post, helped me a lot. :)

  2. brilliant post holly! i haven't got an artist facebook page yet, but now i feel like i understand it better i may create one :) i love your page header image x

  3. Really great post, I was quite upset when my page changed but now I have some ideas to work with, very helpful, thanks!

  4. useful post. i'm still recovering for the timeline changes. i think they look messy & confusing & generally horrible but with the help of your article perhaps i can adjust & learn to love them!
    thanx :)

  5. Great post, thanks Holly :) Was feeling a bit baffled by the new layout... hopefully I'll be able to utilise it more now.

  6. Great advice! I've been a bit unsure about the new layout but since it's here now this really helps to encourage me to embrace it. Thank you. xx

  7. Ooh, I was quite anti but you may have swayed me here! I'll have a play around...