Given all the fuss over the last 24 hours on Facebook’s launch of Timeline for Pages, we thought we'd give you a rundown of our experience in launching one and share the learnings so far.

As you may have already read, yesterday, Bulmers was one of the first round of brands to go live with the new Facebook Timeline, as Facebook rolled out the new functionality around the world.

This day was a long time coming. When we were pitching for the Bulmers business in September, Timeline was being made available for personal profiles,  and knowing that 2012 was going to be Bulmers 125th anniversary, we were pretty amped about the possibility of bringing the two together at some point in the future.

We had everything ready to go, as we had been working on a dummy Timeline for a few weeks, which we named 'Rob Hyde' (which happens to be the name of one of the team here working on Bulmers, but I can assure you this was purely coincidental).

Six weeks previous to that we'd started work with Bulmers Cider Communications Manager, Gabe Cook: the ultimate fountain of knowledge on all things cider-y, and from there we quickly built a relationship with Margaret and Sally at the Hereford Cider Museum (housed in what was the site of the first Bulmers cider factory) who gave us access to a massive archive of images and videos from throughout the brand’s 125-year history, everything from Fred Bulmer inadvertently altering the course of entertainment history, a visit from Apollo 11 to the Beverley sisters:

And let's not forget the Bob Monkhouse comedy kit:

Fortuitously, the museum had been looking to digitise this archive content for a while, so it was high fives all round for pretty much everyone involved. There was so much of it that Dan, who spent two days in the museum picking out some of the best content, didn't even scratch the surface. The museum are still sending us the odd gem, which we'll be putting live throughout the rest of the year as part of our ongoing engagement work.

So here's what we've learned:

  • When we ran the dummy account we found that images and video on their own without any context around them were a little dull and ended up looking a little chaotic on the page, so we added a simple design element to bring some order to proceedings - this is something we think we'll add to all imagery going forward.
  • To bring the page to life a little more, we also created a variety of post styles; typographic, infographic, cartographic and contextualised.
  • During the upload process, we've noticed that setting some updates not to publish publicly sometimes doesn't work, although this was at when we first started the process and didn't seem to be an issue later on.
  • Even when you set 'Hide from Newsfeeds' on video posts they publish publicly at the moment, which is a bit of a bummer as we have quite a few but don't want to spam people's newsfeeds. We'll have to wait for the bug fix.
  • If your brand's history goes earlier than 1905 you need to set updates as Milestones as opposed to any other type of update, although this issue may have been fixed by the time you see this.
  • Some of the new admin features are looking strong - Activity Log (in the Manage tab) gives a good overview of the page as a whole, Messages is prominent and will be a big feature over time for servicing fans, and you can now easily request name changes for your page in the Help tab - good if you're going through an identity crisis.
  • The new 'pinning' feature looks promising - With this feature, you can anchor the most important story to the top of your page for up to seven days, which is really useful for any competitions or special promotions you might be running.

Anyway, that’s enough from me – head on over to the Bulmers page and experience its rich history for yourself.