The New Facebook Timline

Over the past seventeen months we’ve identified many steps in the process of building an effective web presence, and Facebook Timeline is the newest twist.  It’s a radical change to the way that you will see your business page on Facebook, so here are some ideas on how to make this work for you!

Facebook Timeline is coming whether you like it or not.
In typical Facebook fashion, you are not going to have a choice in the matter.  Business pages will convert to Facebook Timeline on March 31st, 2012.  The good news is that you will be able to “preview” the page and adjust/edit the look and feel of the page before it is published on that date. Start with your “cover image” and put something that has your business branding involved.  Some geek speak here – the size of the cover image is 851 x 315 pixels.  If you put something smaller than that here, it will stretch. You can change your “cover” as many times as you’d like. Your profile picture will display below your cover image and will identify you as the page owner.  By the way, this image must be 180 x 180 pixels (more geek speak).

Don’t break the rules or the Facebook police will get you.
We know of several businesses that were using their personal Facebook profile (friends) for business purposes, instead of a Facebook business page (fans). Their Facebook profile suddenly disappeared overnight, without warning.  Facebook is not very subtle when they discover rules transgressions, so here is one Facebook Timeline rule we suggest following.  In your “cover” image, do not put contact information, calls to action, or arrows pointing to “Like/Share”.  Put your contact information and business information in the “About” section.

Use Facebook Timeline to highlight your business growth.
Timeline is a great tool to chronicle the major events in your business.  On the right side is a scrolling year tool where you can add milestone events.  Some ideas: add the year you started your business, dates you closed deals with major clients, dates you added key staff, dates you garnered awards or sponsored community events,  or other major events in your business.  You can also get very clever here…we are considering adding famous weddings to our timeline for our bridal store,  Every time you add a new event, your fans will see it.  In this case, we want our fans to comment and share info we are posting on these weddings.

Pin your posts.
This is not to be confused with another hot social media channel called “Pinterest” (we can talk about that in a later column).  This is now a way for a business to “Pin” a particular post to the top of its wall where it will remain for 7 days.  This allows you to keep posts visible longer, but use caution if you have many returning fans…better to keep content fresh.

Tip of the Iceberg
There is a finite amount of space for this column, and we’ve barely touched the surface of what capabilities Facebook Timeline for Businesses brings.  To learn more, Google “Facebook Timelines for Business”…you will find a wealth of information.  I’ll give a free plug here…we follow Mari Smith on Facebook and a lot of these tips were gleaned from her daily posts.  Her information is concise, easy to follow, and she has the interest of the small business owner in mind.

I hope this explanation helps you get ready for Facebook Timeline for Business! It’s coming to your account on March 31, 2012.

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Mike Waggett, MSW Interactive Designs LLC ~ We put the web to work for you!


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