Facebook’s biggest change so far – The Timeline – was announced last month, but it still hasn’t reached the masses. Nevertheless, as many speculate as to when the public launch will happen, some eager users couldn’t wait and have already enabled the new profile for their accounts. ( Want to do the same? Learn how to do it here.)  And while everyone is talking about how these changes will affect users, many companies wonder: How will all of this affect our brand(s)?

Since Facebook has yet to announce how branded Fan Pages will look in the new format, we don’t have all the answers.  (Yet!)  Still, we can definitely help you understand how you can get your brand ready for these changes with 5 simple tips:


1. We don’t like “Like” anymore

Ok, you may want to sit down for this part.  (And if you’re already sitting, then take a deep, cleansing breath):  Yes, it’s true.  The magic word everyone pursued since the “Like” button was created in April, 2010 is about to go out of fashion.  See, when you have “Timelines” with people’s stories, what they “Facebook-Liked” along the way becomes a minor detail and loses its relevancy. At first you will also notice a drop in your numbers, like less visitors and less interactions.

The only advice we can give right now is to wait. (Or hyperventilate into a paper bag if absolutely necessary.)  Seriously though,  Facebook is not stupid – we hope – and we are sure that they have a trick up their sleeve to fix this issue for Facebook Ads payers.


2. Don’t be a brand, be part of people’s lives

With the reign of “Like” down, brands will have to think about ways of belonging in people’s lives. In other words, in order to be seen in  the Facebook timeline, the user will have to want your brand there. So the old concept of wooing your target audience instead of shoving your message down their throats is becoming more relevant than ever.

Companies will have to provide value, to engage users, and to have them as brand ambassadors if they want to enjoy their place in the (virtual) sun. Our advice? Stop for a second and think about what your brand really does to engage people. Is it enough? Or should you try harder?  Here’s another idea:  Ask your Facebook users what they think!


3. Get creative

From the new profile format we can speculate as to how the new fan pages will look. We think these changes are going to be awesome.Take a look at the profile pages — what do you see? The option for much more customization, starting with the big image in the header.   If we are right and the fan pages have the same possibilities, you should be totally cheering right now. Want clear examples? Check out some mock ups of how the new branded pages could look.

We think you’ll be inspired.


4. Tell Stories

The Timeline creates a record of our life on Facebook.  In other words, the strongest concept behind the Timeline is the way it shares our life stories.  As we said before, brands will have to think about ways of getting inside these personal stories, becoming at the end of the day,  storytellers. Literally. Look, if you want to be relevant to your audience, your company will need a strong story to tell,   and the key question to ask yourself is this: How can your brand make consumer’s lives more interesting?


5. Relax!  Everything will be fine

We get it: Change can be scary. Our minds get used to things working in a specific way, and when they change we must re-learn how to deal with them. But that’s the great thing about being human: We adapt.  Remember when Facebook changed the homepage and everyone freaked out?  And now, most of us can barely remember what the old profile page even looked like! With Facebook’s Timeline it’s the same. It might seem like too much of a change, to hard to understand, to unclear as to how the new functions will work.

Eventually, things will get easier.  And you may even prefer the changes!  And here’s our final tip: Relax, drink your coffee or tea or whatever, and save your white hairs for more serious issues. Because at the end of the day, if you really get stuck, we are here to help your brand stand out in the Digital world.