The Timeline Checklist All Facebook Pages Must Have

We've upgraded our pages checklist to help you upgrade to timeline; print this out or save it to your computer so you can check off tasks once you complete them.

Creating a successful Facebook page requires more than just a few clicks, especially with the new timeline design.

Even before timeline, there were so many things to consider that we’d found it helpful to create a checklist for pages.

So we’ve upgraded our pages checklist to help you upgrade to timeline, and also keep track of your page on an ongoing basis. Print out this timeline checklist or save it on your computer so you can check off tasks once you complete them. And by all means, give us feedback on this in the comments section beneath this post.

1. Analysis




Internal AnalysisDo I generate added value for my business and my fans with my page? Do I have the resources (time and money)? Does it fit with my business strategy?
Target Group AnalysisWho is my target group? Is the target group actually on Facebook? Are the fans on my page part of the target group?
Stakeholder AnalysisAre there active fan pages for my business or products? Is a merger or partnership possible?

Tip: Merge the pages, where applicable. An explanation how to do this appears here.

Competitive AnalysisAre my competitors active? What are they doing?

Tip: Compare your fan page with others.

2. Strategy




Define ObjectivesWhat are my objectives for the fan page? Are they reasonable and measurable? Do they contribute to the success of my business? Are they smart?
Define Key Performance IndicatorsHow do I measure success (number of fans, user engagement, increase in sales, and so on)? What do I want to achieve? Which metrics should I use?

Tip: Define clear objectives and metrics upfront for a certain time frame and continuously check the performance.

Create a FrameworkWhat resources do I have available? What departments need to be involved? Who is responsible for what?

Tip: Involve all internal and relevant stakeholders (marketing, legal, customer support) in a timely manner and create processes and outlines for responsibilities.

Define Systems And ProcessesWho is the responsible spokesperson within the company? What are the processes for approval?

Tip: Outline an approval process that serves as a binding, unmistakable guideline for community management. Plan for quick processes that enable personnel to act.

Define ContentWhat basic content will be posted?

Tip: Avoid marketing and advertising text. Facebook requires individual contributions that adapt to the platform, its environment and behavior.

Internationalization Do I need a central fan page or country-specific fan pages? Are the target groups within the markets big enough for individual pages? Are there sufficient resources for multiple pages and translations?

Tip: Individual status updates can be directed at different countries and languages.

Define DirectionIs the fan page long term or is it campaign driven? How will the users be directed to the right page?

3. Basic Set-Up




Page NameIs the page name fitting and can it be used long term? Does it conform to policy and the law? Does it communicate your objectives? Will potential customers or fans search for this name?

Tip: The guidelines for Facebook page names appears here.

Profile Picture and Cover Photo

The new profile picture (square and small) ideally can be used for the company logo. You could try to design a profile image that’s part of the design of the cover photo, but that requires a lot of work.

Does the new cover photo fit the objectives and does it represent the company?

Tip: The new cover photo ideally measures 851 pixels by 315 pixels and has a resolution of 96 dots per inch.

When deciding which picture will be the new cover photo, some Facebook guidelines have to be considered. An overview of the requirements appears here.

Tip: Test the new design in advance with a Photoshop template.

Information Tab

Is all relevant company information provided? Can a fan get in touch via email or phone? The new design directs more attention to the info tab, so design accordingly.

Tip: The information options within the info tab vary depending on the type of fan page selected (local business, company, and so on).

Create a Vanity AddressWhat address do I want, and do Facebook’s rules allow it? What are the rights for the URL? Is it communicated in marketing?

Tip: A vanity URL can be created here.

Be sure your page is selected.

The new timeline can be used to illustrate the history of the company.

Tip: Add past events in retrospect with the new timeline features to create a rich company history on Facebook.

ApplicationsWhich applications are needed on the page — or are they even needed at all? Who designs them? Who implements them? What resources are necessary?

Tip: Timeline allows almost 300 pixels more horizontal space for displaying application thumbnails. Take advantage of this.

Integration with Other ChannelsAm I active on Twitter or YouTube? Should these channels be integrated as a separate tab on the fan page?
NetiquetteDoes my page require a netiquette? What should be included? Can I bypass Facebook rules here?

4. Community Management




Editorial Plan and ResponsibilitiesWhat content will post within the next weeks? Who is responsible and serves as administrator? What type of voice will be used?

Tip: Create an editorial plan that outlines when contributions are to be posted and name clear responsibilities so that even in emergencies one person is responsible for the fan page.

Frequently Asked Questions And Approval ProcessesWhat are the most common questions? When do I need to inform the legal department? Who can give approval?

Tip: Create an FAQ in advance and outline posts that require an approval process so the community manager can react quickly and independently.

Crisis Management and PreventionWhat are potential crisis topics? What are our opinions in each of these scenarios? What will be communicated and what not? Who needs to be informed when and how should they be involved?

Tip: Develop a crisis plan and statements for well-known issues so your community manager can react quickly.

Pin to Top

What’s the post of the week? Do I have to point to current promotions or campaigns again and again?Tip: Use the function ‘”pin to top” to prominently show your current campaign, your promotion or an important post on your fan page.
Do I want to allow direct messages delivered through the Facebook page or do I want to focus on emails?

The new option is a chance to conglomerate crucial comments or service queries in a less public way beyond the timeline.

Tip: The launch and the use of the messaging function on Facebook require adequate monitoring and the development of frequently asked questions to ensure fast processes.

MonitoringWhat is happening on the fan page? What happens on weekends and outside of working hours?

Tip: Set fixed monitoring periods, also beyond normal working hours. Determine which comments require a reaction and which do not.

Reporting And EvaluationWhat is the atmosphere like? Have performance indicators been achieved? How is the activity? How is growth?

Tip: In addition to Facebook insights, use additional sources for evaluation and develop your own metrics based on objectives. Continually compare this with your determined performance indicators and standards, checking at regular intervals.

5. Additional




Media Buying
Are advertising campaigns on Facebook effective for my goals? How is the price-performance ratio? Is there a desired click-through rate? Who designs and administrates ads? How are they paid for? Is the contact with Facebook necessary?

Tip: Start with a small budget and test the effectiveness of ads if you are unsure. You can create and manage ads on your own. An up-to-date overview about the different ad types and how they can be used for business purposes appears here on Facebook.

Marketing & Presence Beyond FacebookPresence on other platforms/independent activity:

Is my fan page included on my homepage? Within my advertising? How should the fan page be integrated in marketing communication?

Tip: Integrate your fan page on your homepage with the like box, which you can find here.

Guest writer Jasper Krog is a consultant for digital communication with a focus on Facebook marketing at Edelman Digital in Germany. Image courtesy of Shutterstock.