Less than a month ago that Timeline became the standard format for brand pages on Facebook. When the new style was announced, we pointed out the key Timeline features.

Last month we looked at a early adopters who had already converted to Timeline. We also looked at the UK’s largest ski company, Crystal Holidays, when they launched on Timeline.

It’s still very early days for Timeline. And some companies are already pushing the boundaries by breaking Facebook’s guidelines for what the Timeline Cover photo can and cannot include:

Cover images may not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
Neilson Holidays

This Cover Photo from Neilson Holidays went live today (27 April 2012) and contravenes the price information guideline.

Neilson’s 10% offer

Mark Warner Holidays

This offer went live a week ago.  It probably breaks guidelines on three counts, by including a percent discount, a price figure and you could also argue that the Cover Photo is primarily text-based (another style prohibited by Facebook).

It’s 50% off with Mark Warner


Okay, this isn’t technically a ski company, but surfing is a close cousin.  The Relentless Boardmasters Facebook page have been using the Cover Photo effectively, changing it on a regular basis. However, calls to action are a no-no.

No calls to action please

Does it matter?

This is the million dollar question.   Facebook Timeline Cover Photos could be a fantastic opportunity to further your branding and push special offers to fans. (How about a competition where you ask your fans to change their Cover photo to one supplied by you?)

There are very few brands out there that haven’t contravened Facebook’s guidelines at some point (remembering that competitions where fans enter by liking or commenting are also against Facebook guidelines).  Forgive us Facebook, we may even have occasionally sinned ourselves!

So if no one objects and no action is taken, should you join in too?   Back to that million dollar question again.  We’ll be watching closely and will keep you updated.

Facebook Timeline for Brands

If you would like a health check on your own Facebook Timeline and/or other social media channels, please contact us.

By Iain Martin