Business owners, you may have noticed that your personal profile switched over to a new format called “Timeline” recently. It’s graphically a more attractive format with a large cover photo and a sequencing of posts and activity on Facebook by date. Facebook is now requiring that all business, or brand, pages switch to Timeline by the end of March.
Here’s a quick overview of what you need to know to get your page switched to timeline and begin to maximize the new format:
New Profile Picture – 851 by 315 pixels
This is a large wide photo that cannot include any calls to action. You can embed some badges or accolades atop the photo if you wish. We suggest something very eye catching for this photo that will set the tone for your page.
Inset photo – 180×180
There is an inset photo on the new profile picture; we generally recommend your logo for this.
You can now “backdate” important dates in your business’ history on the Timeline. Include any milestones on the page, such as founding dates, opening new offices, new services, awards won, etc. Review what Facebook defaults for you in the Timeline and see if there’s anything you want to delete.
Individuals can now send messages to a brand page and a brand page can respond. This feature can be disabled but we don’t recommend it. This now gives a more private venue for any negative issues that come up and gives people a chance to interact with brands in a more personal way. We like it! In fact, we already got a resume submitted that way :).
“Friend Page” Goes Away
The page that people land on when they are directed to your page will now be the main Timeline wall. However, you are still able to redirect people to specific friends-only tabs for contests and other promotions. Don’t let someone tell you this is a big deal; because it’s not. We’re already seeing scams where people are sounding the alarm saying, “Hurry, you won’t be able to get any more friends after this changes! Let us build your friends for you for INSERT RIDICULOUS COST.”
You are now limited to featuring four tabs, which you can order however you’d like. Be sure to review which tabs are most important to your business (look in Facebook Insights to see which get the most visits) and reorder to feature those.
Featured Posts by Fans/Friends
This will now be listed at the top right and will feature posts from your fans. This is optional but we recommend leaving it so long as you manage your page daily and have a good level of engagement (which we know all of our clients have :)).
Feature Page Posts at the Top
This will allow you to feature content that you want to have the maximum exposure. We can choose to “pin” a post at the top for up to 7 days. Posts that are good candidates would be those promoting a contest or a call to action.
Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns about Timeline and we’ll be happy to address. Thanks and good luck!
Facebook started this week off with even more changes but ones that I find super exciting. They have added three new metrics to their Insights analytics tool that allow administrators to see their brand page reach more effectively. If you’re an admin of any company page, the new Insights are up today and you can see some of the numbers right below your total number of friends on the left hand side of the page.
Facebook will also be rolling out the new Timeline sometime next week and the ability to translate posts from all around the world. And that’s not all! Facebook will roll out a new expandable ad option at an advertising conference next week that would make the ads you’re see appear more like recommendations from your friends than an actual ad!
Wednesday brought sadness to the entire world when Apple founder and former CEO, Steve Jobs, lost his battle with cancer. Social media sites went crazy with thoughts, prayers and memorials dedicated to a true visionary. Google, Facebook and Disney were just a few of the huge names that honored Jobs Wednesday and Thursday. There are many ways for you to send your words of mourning and honor about Steve Jobs, but here are some great images courtesy of Mashable of notes in front of the Apple stores.
One final but very exciting social media update is that LinkedIn has finally made it possible for businesses to post updates in a similar format to Facebook. I’ve been waiting for this day to come for a while now and personally think this will do wonders for business pages on the social network. Thanks LinkedIn!
Step Ahead’s Lyn Mettler recently talked with two different media outlets about how the new Facebook changes — from Timeline and the ticker to Smart Lists and the Newsfeed — affect businesses and their Facebook marketing strategy.
On the WISH TV interview, she quickly hit the highlights of the updates to educate the viewers about what to expect and how to make changes to the settings.
On INside Indiana Business, her article addresses specifically how each of the updates impact businesses and how they should alter their Facebook strategy.
Struggling to get a handle on all the changes Facebook recently made? Not sure how it impacts your company’s business page? We’ll walk you through the changes and answer any questions you have about the updates at an informal brown bag lunch at the Step Ahead office’s at the downtown Flagship. We’ll also share with you our thoughts on how the changes affect your Facebook strategy.
The nitty gritty details:
Get a Grasp on Facebook’s Changes Brown Bag
Oct. 12 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Flagship, 475 E. Bay Street (Corner of Calhoun & East Bay)
Parking: Gaillard Auditorium garage or Aquarium garage
$15/per person payable at the door, cash or check
RSVP to hold your spot by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (limited to 25)
Bring your own lunch!
After much anticipation, Twitter finally revealed their analytics product on September 13. This feature allows publishers to track how many links and tweets are shared, information which was previously only available to advertisers. Also abuzz in the Twitter world is a new advertising feature, which allows brands to inject advertisements into the timelines of “non-followers”. This will be of great value to advertisers, especially since Twitter just announced that it has more than 100 million monthly active users around the world.
Over at Facebook, some changes are in order as well. This week, in an attempt to compete with Google +, Facebook revealed a new look for its “Friend List”. The new design allows users to have greater control over what they share and with whom they share it. Another feature that Facebook promoted this week was subscribing to profiles as opposed to “friending” people. By subscribing to a user’s profile, your newsfeed will show their public status updates and you can decide how much of these updates you would like to receive. This is yet another change in response to Google+.
Do you think changes made to Facebook will keep them more popular than Google+?
Last week was all about the crazy weather and with hurricane Irene still causing damage along the East Coast over the weekend it was still being talked about Monday. Twitter was all a buzz about the storm and someone even created a hurricane Irene Twitter account.
In my opinion the storm that caused the most disasters was this years MTV Video Music Awards that aired Sunday night. The invitation to attend has to say “Attire: Customes Only” because the outfits were out of control. Lady Gaga came as a man, Beyonce announced her pregnancy and Niki Minaj wore a mask while carry stuffed animals on a chain all night!
It took me a few days to recover from the stupidity that the music industry has turned into and turn my attention to something way more important, football. Thursday was the start of the college football season and I’m patiently (ok not so patiently) waiting for my teams first game tomorrow! The NFL is making a techy move by replacing their playbooks with iPads. I’m sure this will move into college football sooner than later.
I have read one too many articles lately that claim you just cannot measure success on social media, at least not yet, but rather it’s more about awareness, engaging loyal fans and customers, creating goodwill, etc.
While, yes, social media is about that, it’s also about RESULTS and yes you can measure that. I’ll tell you how in my weekly SocialMoms.com post. Read on!
How can a news anchor connect with his or her audience in a more personal way? Well, Brad Franko of WCBD-TV has shown that by using social media, you can connect with and update viewers in real time. Brad recognizes the importance of instant communication and that those connections formed on social media lead to more loyal viewers.
In just a few short years, the newsroom has changed from just monitoring a police scanner to monitoring local Facebook and Twitter feeds, searching for breaking news.
Read more from Brad to find out how he monitors multiple social media tools daily and keeps his viewers up-to-date in real time.
What is your job/company/profession/title?
News Anchor/WCBD-TV/News 2 Today
What was the first social media technology you used?
Facebook was the first tool I used…and I was resistant to it for a long time. It wasn’t until probably two years ago that I jumped on the wagon.
What is your favorite social media tool?
TweetDeck (Twitter in general) is my favorite right now. The ability to post news information on the various platforms through Twitter seems easier to me. Since I’m sending information to personal/TV station accounts I need to minimize the repetitive posts.
How have you used social media for your business/company and how has it benefited?
I use it daily to send out breaking news stories and updates to those throughout the day. I also use them to solicit information from followers/friends/fans. The best part is the instant communication you can have with viewers. I think making that connection on a semi-personal level leads to loyalty. It really helps us respond to breaking news faster than ever before. In the “old days” (three years ago) we would hear about a story over the scanner. Then you call a public information officer to confirm and then send a crew. Now, someone sees news, it hits Twitter or Facebook with a picture…and that’s confirmation enough to get a crew rolling to a scene. The interaction also galvanizes the trust you build over the years on the air with a more personal connection.
How much time would you say you spend a day engaging social media?
I am constantly engaged in social media…during the work day, Facebook and Twitter are open on my desk. I have a laptop with the dual-monitor setup so I can always see what’s happening. When I’m at home, I’m obviously not glued to my phone, but it’s not far away.
How do you incorporate it into your day so it’s not a time waster?
I find that leaving it open, almost like background music keeps me from drowning in updates.
Is there a social media tool/technique that you think is underutilized that you would like people to know about?
I think hashtags are overused, but underutilized if that makes sense. I’m guilty of it too though. I run searches for #CHS, #CHSTRFC, #CHSWX…if someone has something important to say about either topic, and I don’t follow them…the hashtag search pops it into a feed window. If you’re like me, you run out of characters and the first thing to go is the hashtag.
Where can people find you online and via social media?
Brad Franko – News 2 (Facebook)
WCBD News 2 (Station Facebook, great resource for your readers!)
@WCBD (Station Twitter)
Let’s start with Foursquare rolling out tons of updates this week! The check-in giant launched Tip Lists, which allows users to compile tips into a category such as Dining, Entertainment and Bars. Your friends or brand followers can then subscribe to a list and make it their To Do list. We started our first Tip List for a client this week and we really like it.
This week, Foursquare also gave venues the option to create events for users to check-in to. This update is a long time coming and the gang here at Step Ahead has wanted this update for some time now, so we are happy campers! Both updates are awesome but their most talked about update this week is The White House joining the location-based service!
For any of you getting ready for a weekend date, you have to see this hilarious video from Mashable about social media ruining a relationship! If that video just scared you out of your date, don’t worry you can still watch “The Big Lebowski” with them via Facebook! If you do muster up the courage to meet your date face to face, take this advice: If your date leaves you waiting and you’re embarrassed sitting alone, just pretend to text or call someone! Every other young adult does it, so why shouldn’t you?! Have a great weekend!
Convinced your business needs to be on Facebook but not sure HOW to accomplish that? Or, do you have a business Facebook page but you’ve been stuck with only 20 “likers” since you started the page a year ago? Let us walk you through the start up and management, step by step. No convincing you WHY you should use Facebook, we just want to focus on the HOW.
After hosting a broad Charleston Social Media Step by Step seminar this spring, we got lots of requests to spend more time on specific tools, so we’re starting with the king: Facebook!
In two half-day sessions this month, Aug. & Aug. 23, you’ll learn everything from the basics of page set-up and posting etiquette to more advanced information like page customization, Facebook analytics and all about apps. You can attend one or both sessions based on your comfort level in the social media platform! We’re also offering several 30-minute one-on-one sessions after the seminar for those who would like more personal attention.
We love talking about social media and these seminars give us a chance to share some of our Step Ahead secrets to success when it comes to social media management. Seats are limited so make sure to sign up soon! Both sessions will be hosted at the Charleston Digital Corridor Flagship downtown Charleston at East Bay and Calhoun.
Click here to sign up and for complete details. Hope to see you there!