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!
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!