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Facebook will soon introduce Facebook Timeline for brand pages, with an official announcement expected at their Feb. 29 marketing conference in New York.

Since September, Facebook users have had the option of switching to Timeline, which radically alters users’ pages from the traditional look to a more picture-heavy format, including a large cover photo at the top of the page. Status updates and photo posts are arranged like a scrapbook in reverse chronological order, creating a narrative of the most important events of the users’ history on Facebook. Soon, all user pages will be converted to the Timeline format.

But what can we expect from Timeline brand pages?

They won’t be identical to user pages, but will be “consistent” with the Timeline format, according to Facebook VP-Global Marketing Solutions David Fischer. The new brand pages will likely include the large, banner-like cover photo at the top of the page. Also like user pages, photos posted to Timeline brand pages will be larger and more prominent than on the old Facebook wall, so they’ll stand out more and attract attention.

mercedesHow will Timeline affect marketing for brand pages?

For brands, the cover photo offers a free, large advertising space. Brands can use the cover photo to completely customize the top of their pages by posting images of featured products, advertising sales and special offerings, or simply displaying a large brand logo. Brands pages can take advantage of the increased prominence of photos by posting pictures along with status updates, making each update more effective in reaching audiences.

Many businesses like Pinterest have created Apps that track when users’ interact with those sites. When users add the App, their interactions with the site are recorded to users’ pages, giving more visibility to the brand. Because Facebook has expanded its action verbs from the single “like” to many others like “listen”, “want”, and “love”, brands can better engage with their fans and increase their visibility by developing their own apps and allowing for fans to use the available action verbs associated with the brand.

Also of much focus and attention is Facebook’s “Open Graph action spec targeting” which allows advertisers to target users by what they listen to, where they travel, what they buy, and other in-app activity.

As regular Facebookers are tweaking and customizing their histories on Timeline, brands can use the new pages to really tell a story of their company. Brands should share when the company was founded, turning points and expansions in the company, and post pictures along with those Timeline highlights. This allows fans to get a better idea of where your brand has been and is going, and what it’s all about.

How is your brand preparing for the switch to Timeline? How will you take advantage of the new features to better market your product?