Recently, Facebook deployed its brand-new profile format — Timeline — requiring its users to alter (yet again) how they organize and interact with content on the social networking site. Now, Facebook has rolled out this new format to brand pages as well, which means all you bands who just figured out how to add music to your profile are going to have to reinvent yourselves yet again — and we don’t mean slapping on some eyeliner and calling yourself post-post-glam.
The good news for you procrastinators out there is that you have until March 30 to tweak your page before it goes primetime. However, instead of waiting a month and then scrambling, still spinning from the aftermath of SXSW, we suggest kicking off your makeover now.
Hit up the preview manager page to start the process. Here you can preview your page in Timeline mode and start tweaking it to your liking. We suggest making the following changes before going live (which you can do today, if you like).
1). Add your cover photo — the large, dynamic image that stretches across the top of your page or profile. This is a great opportunity to pump your most current album — simply upload some album art and, voila, instant awesomeness. Unless your album art sucks, which really isn’t Facebook’s issue.
2). Tweak your “about” section: Now, this little blurb is front and center right below your image, instead of off to the side. Take this opportunity to finally decide what your sound is (“Yeah, we’re screamo, but we’re more ‘scream’ than ‘o.’) and slap it in there.
3). Decide what content rises to the top: Highlight specific content by “pinning” it to the top of the page. Simply click the little pencil icon on the top right of a post to “pin,” thereby shunting news that you have a show in two weeks above the video of a dog sleeping that your bassist posted last night. You can also click the star icon next to the pencil in order to highlight content, which makes it a larger presence in your feed.
4). Add milestones: At the top of the page where you usually add photos or post stories to your Wall, you’ll see the option to add Milestones. Make sure to add the date you started your band, the date your band broke up, the date your band got back together and the date you broke up again — and then got back together two weeks later. You can add text and photos to better illustrate those occasions, and, when fans visit your page, they can check out these visual Milestones to better understand your band’s tortured history.
5). Manage your feedback: Since Timeline is much more visually dynamic, we suggest going back and deleting any unwanted fan feedback or posts you made while possibly intoxicated. You can also control who posts to your page and how by clicking on Admin Panel/Manage/Edit Page/Manage Permissions.
Also, users can now directly message your page via the handy “Message” button to the right, so gird your loins for the influx of (we hope) praise. (You can also turn off messages if you’re skittish about said hoped-for praise.)
6). Prepare to be bummed: Apps are extremely hard to find via Timeline. You can no longer set your Band Page or anything of that nature to be the first thing folks see when they visit your page — now, users will have to hunt through a parade of boxes located under your cover image for music, stores, contests etc (you can change the order of those boxes, but, still).
This is a major oversight on Facebook’s part when it comes to bands, who often set up “Like Gates” as the landing page for non-fans. This tactic requires non-fans to “Like” the page in order to snag a free song. We hope Facebook will remedy this issue so that brand pages can better work with apps in the future. In the meantime, major bummer, Facebook.