Using the New Facebook Timeline Features to Market Your Music

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Facebook has done it again—they’ve flipped the switch and made another drastic change: Your Artist/Band Facebook page will soon be a Facebook Timeline.

Early adopters are split down the middle on whether this latest update is an upgrade or a setback; but no matter if you like it or not, all Facebook Pages (including band, brand, author, and company Pages) will automatically update to Facebook Timeline on March 30th.

Ok. Take a deep breath. If Timeline is mandatory, we might as well get used to it.

For Facebook newbies, the video above will walk you through all the new features.

For Facebook veterans, here is a quick list of all of the new features and how to use them.

Where do I begin?

1. Upload a cover photo – (851 x 315 pixels)

This is a large, banner-style image that will be the first thing visitors see displayed at the very top of your timeline page.

2. Update your profile pic – (180 x 180 pixels)

Now that your Facebook timeline has a “cover photo,” you might want to update your profile pic.

3. Arrange your apps – (and customize the app images– 111 x 74 pixels)

Only 4 apps/tabs can be displayed now on the Timeline homepage (though up to 12 can be displayed in an expandable app/tab area). Be sure to feature your MusicStore for Facebook!

4. Add a “founded” date –

This allows you to go back in time and add pictures and videos from before the date you created your Facebook page (so you can tell the complete story of your band).

5. Put past album releases and photos into your timeline –

Now you can dig back into the archives to tell the story and discography of your band, from your very first practice to your latest gig.

6. Add milestones –

This feature allows you to set a “milestone” for big events like label signings, big gigs, album releases, awesome reviews from Magnet, the New York Times, etc. Milestones, just as the word implies, mark your key moments across the Timeline. The dimensions for Milestone images are 843 x 403 pixels.

7. Pin a post –

Pinning a post features it at the very top of your Page for up to 7 days. Pinning works particularly well if your post has a picture in it, since it’ll be even more eye-catching. After the 7-day period is over, the post will return to its place in the Timeline according to its date.

So, what old Facebook features are disappearing?

You can no longer set your landing page to a custom page or app.  The landing page for fans visiting your Facebook page will now be the Timeline Wall. So whatever time or money you spent having a nice landing page made in order to collect email addresses, encourage likes, or giveaway MP3s,… sorry! You should’ve bought that new guitar amplifier instead.

The 5-picture photo strip goes bye-bye. Not a terrible loss, since it’s been replaced with real estate for a large banner-style image called the “Cover Photo.”

Have you made the switch? Are you using Timeline to promote your music in interesting ways? Let us know in the comments section below.

-Chris R. at CD Baby

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  • Kathryn Ballard Shut

    We are slowly getting used to this change and have been monitoring its progress on our official FB page for Tim Ballard: http://www.facebook.com/timkatent.

    As a small jazz company looking to grow, we really like the audience tracking features on the Admin part of the page. This allows us to see who new fans/likes are, thank them personally if you choose, and see what parts of the world are trending toward our sound ("viral reach") so that we can market more aggressively in places that seem to be the most receptive. We also like the wide-screen photo banner at the top and are trying one that we hope attracts attention.

    Best,
    Kathryn Ballard Shut
    President, Pianist
    TIMKAT Entertainment, Inc.
    Denver, CO, USA

    Twitter: @timkatent
    Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/timkatent

    • Kathryn, that's great! Thanks for sharing. Nice that you contact each new fan individually.

      • We sure try to do so – it's an amazing jump, going from 30 likes last month to over 400 now, but we keep up! I feel it's worth it to treat people special, because there are so many places that they could visit on the Internet, and yet, they turned up at ours.

        • Big jump. That is awesome.

          • Do you think that your engagement with those people who liked you encouraged those fans to share your page with their friends (more than they might normally, had you NOT contacted them)? Just trying to get a feel for what exactly you attribute that jump to.

          • No

            my biggest likes jump comes from posting free downloads with ‘must like’ on my twitter acc which has 14k followers 🙂

      • David

        How do you “thank them personally”? I see no way to send a personal message to fans unless they start the conversation – then we’re able to respond to them (as page owners). Thanks in advance.
        – David

    • David

      Kathryn, how do you “thank them personally”? I see no way to send a personal message to fans unless they start the conversation and we’re able to respond to them (as page owners). Thanks in advance.
      – David

  • I love it! Note there are restrictions to what you can put on the cover photo – nothing promotional or urging people to "like" your page. I believe the idea is to emphasize the "social" aspect. Advertising goes in the space for facebook ads – and I do agree with that. Plus – change is fun! http://www.facebook.com/randonmyles

  • Spiky

    You can find some .psd files to make up some good original photo banner.

    The exemple here by using some album artworks : http://www.facebook.com/www.spiky.fr

    The .psd can be found with a simple google research, but not sure if I can put the link here.

    Spiky. http://www.spiky.fr

  • Hello,
    just testing the timeline, do you have a new image for CD Baby music store app?

    Best,
    Villem Valme
    runner of the label Õunaviks http://www.facebook.com/ounaviks

    • Yes. We're working on it right now. Should be updated soon. It'll have the correct dimensions for app images and "Music Store" will be written as large as possible, so it'll be obvious to your fans what it is.

  • Wow I'm surprised you can't use the huge facebook banner for whatever you want — advertising, arrows telling you to like your page and whatnot. Will fb seriously go to every page and look at it? Seems impractical. But yes too bad for all those that invested in landing pages! Yikes! I guess it goes to show that if you don't own your webpage or content like with facebook you probably shouldn't invest $ in it or at least be upset with the changes. The timeline is weird to look at for sure but then every change they make is at first. I wonder what they'll do next… 😛

    • Agreed. We'll probably get used to the look eventually.

  • I must say I think it's a complete mess. An unnecessary mess at that!

    • Musicartstrat

      I agree Mike – yep, all of those hours on those very cool RootMusic Band Pages, might as well be trashed, since you can’t use them as landing pages anymore – really FB threw them and all the other under the bus!

  • neville elder

    Pagemodo must be pissed..

  • Pingback: How to Set Up Facebook Timeline for Bands | DIY Musician()

  • disqus_JIVmMtcxWg

    So you can’t embed url links in your cover photo then?! That would be cool, if a little overly commercial. Someone will try it I’m sure.

  • disqus_JIVmMtcxWg

    So you can’t embed url links in your cover photo then?! That would be cool, if a little overly commercial. Someone will try it I’m sure.

  • Valleeman

    maybe we should simply suspend our FB accounts in protest and see what happens then. If enough people follow protest, then maybe they will make the timeline optional.

  • I AM HAVING SUCH A HARD TIME TO ADD MY CD BABY TO MY FACEBOOK PAGE.. UFF!!!

  • Panoramic rock band The Follow is using the timeline. https://www.facebook.com/TheFollow

  • I’m really quite fed up with the user experience I’ve been having in adding a custom image to the apps – I’ve had to load up to 50 times for the image to take. I’m way under the file size limit as well so that isn’t the problem. I’ve spent over 5 1/2 hours getting all the images loaded – what happens is other images show up seemingly at random until yours finally takes (where these come from I don’t know but they are in Facebook already as options or defaults).

    This seems odd as a process and perhaps is a bug? Anyone else had this?

    I added 10 apps and each time I’d go to change the default image, this having to repeat over and over again happened!!!

    I also wish you could add an image to the default “likes” and “photos” – I’m just looking for consistency through this apps area on my page.

    Second note, you can chose to have the picture you want on the photos app area by always making it the last one loaded. Even if you loaded it once before, just load it again (e.g. your profile photo) and it will show up on the photos app icon. You can then just delete the duplicate (the one you loaded months or days before) so it only shows up once in photos area.

    I did this so the photo section matched the rest of the iconic images for us. Seems like a silly work around though and wouldn’t be necessary if they let us control that whole area with custom images. On our page, you see the inconsistency at the likes, notes and (if I don’t do the photo workaround) photos. I assume”events” may be the same – we just haven’t had any for the moment to put that up.

    I’ve added a link to our facebook page on my submit so you can see what I’ve done in the apps spot.

    Cheers!

  • Susan W

    I can’t figure out how to make the Music Store app show up in my four tabs that are always visible. Anybody know how?

  • Pakman

    I think its Awsome, Testing my TImeline. PLease check it out
    http://www.Facebook.com/Pakman4u

  • I see that there is some benefits by cutting down on spammy marketing, however the lack of customizing power is tough. I look forward to something new and better which must inevitably come.

  • So when did facebook turn into myspace? hahaha

  • What bothers ME is that it seems Facebook has set the image compression ratio quite high for the header banner image. I have created several very nice header graphics at the correct dimensions… yet once uploaded, they always lose that nice, sharp quality. Looks muddy, every time.

  • johnny5
  • I can’t quite figure out how to arrange the apps ??

  • Kaz

    The timeline is an eyesore. I can’t stand it and hope that Facebook makes some worthwhile changes to it soon.

  • I needed this, thanks!

  • Larry Price

    Thanks for the info!

  • Can CD Baby please help us set up our Music Store on Facebook? We are so clueless.

  • Rick Droit

    I HATE IT. .oh let me use softer language I really F&^%$# HATE IT. . Facebook is like Wal-Mart, their usefulness diminishes dialy. . they are EXTREMELY HOSTILE to Musicians and have discontinued MANY of the features that made them a success. . much like Ebay who is showing record losses

  • Leilehua

    Timeline is horrible. On March 30, my personal FB page will go away and I will only have our band page up, and that is just for professional reasons. I would really like to ditch FB entirely, come 30 March, but it seems to be the “industry standard.” 🙁

  • Anne

    I hate Facebook bc it’s a control freak! I am and did use it a lot when it was fresh and exciting and even learned a few things about my preferences in terms of promotion. When the Timeline hits the fan I’m probably through, feels like myspace all over again and that was lame. Google is next! Jeez. Are ALL online executives totally out of the loop or just desperate like we’re all supposed to be? For Fame, Money, Glory or whatever. I’m doing word of mouth, telepathy and 1 website for my next promotion. Helpful tips are always appreciated, here’s mine to the Band People: Don’t live your life online when it’s Right there for you to take right Now! And Decision makers: We WANT OPTIONS, not Dictatorship – Get with it or loose everything with your clever intentions. Thank You

    • Karma Shield

      Awesome comment and a great meme to post all over Facebook: “We WANT OPTIONS, not Dictatorship.”

    • Ray CeSoul

      I wonder how did Google get their people on the Facebook advisory team? This is going to be a huge advantage for Google+ pages ! BTW, when is CD Baby giving us a G+ music store app?

    • Telepathy is a good choice. It seems to work, although not always you have the expected results 😀

  • I mainly used my page as a way for fans to quickly speak and interact with me in a simple, uncluttered and accessible way. That's all been swept away now for these sliding drop down menus and customised feeds featuring archived content from years past. The way posts are spread alternately between two columns is a complete mess aswell. This is only going to make it more difficult for me to keep in touch with fans and see when they're trying to contact me.

    • Simone White

      I agree with this completely. The drop down menu of comments is a terrible mess and if you have more than a few that you want to ‘like’ or reply to you have to spend a lot of time clicking on each and every one to open them so you can like or reply.

  • Tuneat440

    In the "About" section, under the picture banner, I found it useful to tell people to click on the music store tab to go to my song player. Otherwise people were not getting to the song player because you can't see it on your main fan page.

  • Lorrainebowen

    I liked the change at first but now find it confusing and very beige. Someone let me know this great secret – http://www.socialfixer.com/ which is great because it keeps everything in one line rather than having to see two lines at a time (my brain doesn’t like that at all). Hopes it helps anyone else that would prefer to go back in time’line’!

  • JAHRAHILL

    GREAT NESS MORE VIEWS AND BETTER LOOKING, AND HANDY YUH FIND THE ITEM FASTER BACK, THEM WHO NT LIKE THE NEW TIMELINE IS BETTER TO DELETE AND RECOVER THEM SELF, ARTIST , MANAGERS HAVE THERE A BIG PROVFIT FROM IT, AND THE POST YUH REALLY WANT TO LET CATCH EYE YUH CAN LARGE IT UP

  • Gronk

    Isn’t it time we all just deleted Facebook anyway?

  • Otakustudios

    OK so the loss of my MusicStore as a landing page is a sad regretable loss indeed, but overall it looks much more professional – I like it.

  • Give us a call or an email so we can help
    cdbaby@cdbaby.com

  • No. That would be cool.

  • Ignitemindz

    I wish I could a put a video instead of a cover photo. Trying to promote this video where I use all my limbs to play drums piano and bass guitar while rapping fast. Check it http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=U53lkQ9Y4WQ

  • Facebook wants to collect data about us, but the are very good at keeping us from being able to use facebook for our purposes. Hence the “no advertising” stipulation. You can’t advertise with your cover photo. But they will be more than happy to take your money for a paid ad, or sell your life story anyway they can. Make no mistake. They work very hard at keeping us from being able to use facebook for promotional purposes.

  • intelligentsia

    Love the new timeline – for single users. Modern, clean, progressive. But then I'm one of those left handed 10%. Works well for my brain 😉 however the double time line doesn't work that well for bands, where the menu column and single data stream is preferable.

  • Terry Clark

    You go girl. That's wisdom – personal & real [not virtual] relationships! t

  • Overhorde

    same thing happened to me when trying to upload pics for apps, I gave up, but it is good to know they will eventually take. Thanks.

  • Fredspek

    Seems a complicated mess… more time away from your instrument. I'd suggest that you set up a FB band page and do everything you can to point people to your own band website, the one where you can control everything. A band/musician should be searchable on FB but thats it.

    FB is a profit making company, and would be nothing with out a whole globe-full of people giving them data. I'd much prefer a social website that I paid a reasonable fee to be part of. Then perhaps us members could have a say in how its all run.

  • Bill_robinson

    I am curious why you do not have a way for people to navigate our pages from a single source. For instance if I have my personal page John doe and I have a band page The zebra Stripes, there is no way for people who are visiting my John Doe page to know anything about my Band page. They have no clickable button or link to take them there. There are buttons for Photos, Friends, Maps, Likes, etc. Why not a button for my Band Page or If I have more than one page. Maybe a blog, etc. Or is it there and I just don't see it? Thanks

  • Jack

    I will be deleting my account on March 30, if I am forced to use Timeline. I hate it and do not need the frustration.

  • David

    Does anyone have an answer to this? Thanks!

    • Simone White

      I guess you could go to their page and ‘message’ them personally (not posted on their timeline). Problem is, since you’re not their ‘friend’ FB might stash your message away in the hidden “Other” section under “Messages” where all the spammy stuff is. Actually a bunch of stuff from people I know has ended up in that box as well, unbeknownst to me, but I think FB definitely uses that box for messages from strangers.

  • Jhasminplayermusic

    I dont LOVE it either, but facebook in GENERAL is helpful to ME as an artist. Thanks CD baby for the help!!!

  • Micowave1

    I absolutely, love it

  • Robyn

    so agree, it does NOT benefit the bands, it's a night mare but all it does is create more clicks for facebook, so THEY can make more money and THEY get more clicks for their site. SUXX

  • Earl Sundance

    I like it! @ first i didn't but now i feel it's actually better! as far as facebook being myspace, no way!!

  • Didn't think it possible to make Facebook any more messier or appealing to those with ADD, but they've done it! Now the wall's in two columns – I can't even find my own posts sometimes, let alone if I need to look something up form others. Thanks, Facebook… once again you've providen you don't care about the end user or their experience.

  • Andy

    Someone somewhere decided that human minds like being bombarded with moving images from both sides at once, far from being an interesting collage, it is a cheap hypnotic trick to use these techniques, loved by advertisers and conmen, and just confuses and overwhelms people who are trying to look for something specific. This is Timeline.

  • I hear ya loud and clear.

  • when you are on your page, you need to hit the drop down button to reveal all apps. From there you can click a hidden pencil in the top right corner of each app that allows you to swap their places around.

  • I think this is where “I get off the bus” with Facebook (and other social media sites like MySpace). I feel manipulated and controlled. I hate the way Timeline looks, it’s completely chaotic and hard to read. I can’t get any info when I go to a Timeline page! For an effort that is supposed to organize information, it completely disrupts it. I’m outta here

  • Yep. Facebook works very, very hard to keep us from being able to use them to promote ourselves. This is the second big UI change they've pulled in the last couple of years. Odds are that as soon as we get comfortable with this and figure out how to use it to our benefit, they'll change it again.

    And yes, I can already see user interaction falling off with Timeline. It's just not as easy to use.

    However, in spite of all this, I still make a significant portion of my bookings and sales – especially out of my own local area – using Facebook. Which I consider to be the best revenge. 🙂

  • versat

    You can pin a podt to the top, where you write, that people should click on the music store. 🙂

    • Excellent idea! Then you just have to keep pinning a new announcement about the Music Store every week.

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  • Snailsdad

    What a mess up. Why oh why does new mean better. I'll give you an example. I once had a pioneer CD recorder. It would read ID marks from the DAT machine exactly, and it could also record silence if that's what you chose. In other words, it was a CD mirror of whatever the DAT recorder tape was. This was great for giving to students and have ID points at where division in the music appeared, eg Joplin rags, without altering the flow of music, so a student could hit the track number on the CD player and get to the new part immediately. With my Tascam CD – RW900SL recorder, there are five second gaps, the minimum. That negated music styles which flowed such as George Winston's December album.
    What do these developers think of. If it bloodywell works, don't touch it.
    Stupid new world, not adventurous new world.

  • Rather than have videos directly uploaded to my FB page I'd prefer to have a You Tube in my favorites, taking fans directly to my You Tube channel.
    Is that what YouTube app does?
    How do I install that app?

  • Thanks for the quick tutorial! Super helpful. Two quick questions, if you don't mind…
    Which YouTube app are you using in your video? I haven't quite figured out how to add our YouTube channel to FB. And, how did you get a custom image on your Events tab? Thanks again!

    • Pretty sure Kevin was using the "YouTube App for Pages." As for the second question:

      Adjust the way your custom apps appear on your Page by going to “Manage” from the admin panel and choose “Edit Page” in the drop-down menu. Under the “Apps” section, click “Edit Settings” for the specific app image (111 x 74 pixels) you’d like to adjust.

      Take advantage of larger app width: Page app width can now be adjusted to be “Narrow” (520px) or “Wide” (810px) in the Developer App under “Edit App”. The Developer app can be found here: https://developers. facebook.com/apps

  • Exactly. It's called the "YouTube App for Pages." I believe it's the same installation process. You can find the app by doing a Facebook search.

  • Here's an older article on the topic. Not sure if a the process is still identical, but you could start here. One word of warning: People who do this are generally not very happy with the results.
    http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/2011/04/how-to-swit

  • Ha. As for the G+ app, we'll definitely look into it.

  • Did you double-check all your privacy settings? Also, I know Facebook has had a bunch of glitchiness with tagging functionality over the past couple months. I'll test it on my page now and see if it is working.

  • Anthony jefferson

    I LOVE FACEBOOK, IF USED CORRECTLY IT CAN BE VERY REWARDING. I also LOVE MY TIMELINE AND LARGER PICS. IT'S GREAT. WHOMEVER IS IN CHARGE OF MAKING CHANGES IN ORDER TO BENEFIT THE CONSUMER, NEEDS A RAISE!!! Once again I THINK IT IS great!! Anthony Jefferson, lead vocalist, THE JEFFERSON FACULTY

  • Jeff W

    Chris, I’ve been trying to figure out why this isn’t working and I can’t find an answer ANYWHERE! I’ve seen a lot of people having this problem as well…when people tag my band page in pictures and posts it’s not adding them to our band page. Any ideas how to make that happen? I even tried to post from my page that is an admin on the band page and make it completely public and it still didn’t show up. There’s gotta be a way to do that, because I see it all the time, I just can’t figure out what’s going on. Any thoughts?

  • Joyceusa1

    The answer to this or any other internet site is SIMPLICITY! There will be another site pop up that many will turn to rather than go through all the changes. This change will eliminate a lot of people who barely survive on it now. Maybe that is the plan?????? We’ll C.

  • MyFriendFlicka

    I’m off Facebook for Lent, but as soon as Easter rolls around, I’ll log in long enough to get rid of it. The Timeline virus was the final straw.

  • Neil

    I hate timeline. The lack of landing pages,, the dual column layout with a jumble of information, no convenient way of sorting posts… It’s terrible.

  • Ernie

    I have a question. I want to close my personal FB page but direct my existing “fans” to my new Musician/Band page. What is the best way to do that?

  • I agree with Anne, its time for musicians to start pulling away from FB. Sure, use it for what its worth, but point people to your band's OWN website, the one you can totally control. Facebook would exist without all our data. They are Data Mining, pure and simple.
    What are your spending habits, they wanna know!

  • Simone White

    I don’t understand why they’ve taken away the ‘events’ section, something which is probably the most important thing for a band. I know I can use BandPage for that, but what if people don’t know and don’t click it? Also, Bandpage is completely disabled if you’re using Firefox adblock, and I doubt most people will figure that out and disable so they can see BandPage, the wheel just keeps spinning like it’s loading. There should be an events/shows section on the very top of the TimeLine, easily accessible, showing the latest gig without any clicking necessary.

  • Facebook only cares about Facebook. From a legal perspective, FB will never care about how musicians interact with their fans.

  • I'm with Anne – this is a nightmare. Where's the music? Aren't we all scrambling more now than 20 years ago before all these "opportunities" came along? (Yeah, I'm a Luddite at heart)

  • dr dusai

    doe's it really work?

  • Fluffypitbull

    This is why, I think , you should put most of your effort into developing your personal independent website and use social media to direct people to that site. Encourage your social media fans to join the email list on your site and let them know that that's where they should go for the full info on whatever else they want to know.
    By all means give people what they need to access and purchase your music but keep social media pages as simple and to the point as possible. If you put a whole pile of effort into your social media pages a lot of your hard work goes down the drain when the jerks who run the thing change it. At least you have a bit more control over your own site.

  • TMcMac

    I think FB is asking for a new company to come in an offer something for those of us who like sensible organization rather than random stuff out of context & non-chronologically ordered posts! Thank you for your very useful instructions through this chaotic mess!

  • Well done.

  • Maria

    Hey there, great info vidoe re. Timeline. BUT, if anyone can help: There are no options on my page at the moment when I click on Edit options on the apps just below the banner. Anyone have suggestions how to sort that out?

    Facebook has become more of a pain in the arse than a tool for promotion, ugh. Is Google+ next?

    • Are you trying to edit the photos for the apps? If so, click "Manage." Then click "Edit Page." Then go over to the left hand sidebar and click "Apps." You can switch stuff around in there.

  • I think this new layout is terribly cluttered but the fewer posts you have, the easier it is to make things visible. Sadly, that is not how most of us want to use social sites. Oh yes, the short about section is visible again and you can put a link there to some other site. Just a thought.

  • Good to know. Thanks!

  • Dougwoodmusic

    Annoying – but it is what it is.
    It just takes some getting used to.

  • Has anyone found a way to display BOTH posts by the page AND posts by others (ie, fans) at the same time in reverse chronological order, as we were able to do with the old page format? That's really useful (a necessity, really) for having a real-time dialog with your fans.

  • Carolyncruso

    Thanks. Very helpful.

  • Congrats on the new album! Will you take advice from a CD Baby employee? If so:

    1) CD Baby has been around for over a dozen years, paying artists every single Monday.

    2) We'll warehouse your CDs and handle order fulfillment/shipping for your fans around the world.

    3) We'll send your music to all of our many digital retail partners (iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc.).

    4) We'll set you up with an artist and product page (to sell CDs/vinyl and MP3s) on our own retail store cdbaby.com which gets many many thousands of music shoppers visiting per day.

    5) We provide you with a Facebook MusicStore app, an HTML music store widget, and custom linkmakers.

    6) We collect ad revenue for the usage of your music on YouTube.

    7) Plus, your CD will be available in the catalogs of over 2000 brick-and-mortar record stores.

    8) And we do all that for a one-time fee of $49, (No annual renewal or cancellation fees) with a 9% cut on digital sales or $4 on physical CDs. So– we only make money when you do, and you don't have to worry about paying us $50 every single year for the rest of your life just to keep your music for sale on the popular MP3 and streaming sites.

    9) You can call us and actually have a human conversation. And we're all musicians ourselves.

    For what it's worth (since I work here, after all), I was a CD Baby artist for 3 or 4 years before becoming an employee. Please let me know if you have any other questions or concerns about your distribution options.

    Word.

  • Aled65

    I am on the point of releasing my first DIY album. I’m afraid I am no spring chicken and had a record deal in the 1980’s. However, I am torn between using CDBaby and Zimbalam. Has anyone out there got any advice please?