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By now you’ve probably read or seen the new timeline pages that Facebook is rolling out. I’ve been intrigued and a little amused by the amount of fuss and worry these changes are causing many. But I think the new Facebook pages allow a lot of opportunities for branding and innovation as well.

Here are a few things we know for sure.

  • The new Facebook pages allow users to add a cover image. This is a large, unique image that is showcased at the top of the page. The image can include text, but not website urls, phone numbers or other-this information goes in the about section of your page .
  • Important information can be ‘pinned’ to the top of the page, allowing your viewers to see the information you feel is most important. So you can essentially pin something new each week. You can also star important information.
  • Facebook landing pages are a thing of the past.
  • Facebook tabs now have prominent placement at the right, just below the cover image. Your photos, events and other apps can be place here.
  • You can also mark important milestones in your timeline.
  • There’s also a brand spankin’ new admin, that you can see at the top of your page.

So what does it all mean?
At this moment in time, no one knows definitively the impact this new page format will ultimately have, so be wary of those who say they do. But one thing’s for sure, Facebook has created way to make your brand more visual and given business owners the ability to tell a compelling brand story – so take advantage of these features.

What should you do?
If you haven’t refreshed your page in a while, now is a great time to do so. Here’s how to get started.

  • Take a look at what others are doing. Many of the big brands have gotten an early jump start, so take note and follow their lead. Hubspot has a great article that showcases some cool uses of the new pages.
  • Just do it! Facebook’s tutorial has some basic instructions for getting started. Now’s a great time to play around with the new layout, but everyone’s pages will change to the new format 3/31/12.
  • Pin your important content! Pins last for 7 days.
  • Take an inventory of your apps and make sure the important ones are featured.
  • Like Brightsmith Creative’s Facebook page. I’ll continue to keep you posted as these new pages roll out.