Business owners take heed, Facebook is changing the game again, and this change involves you! On March 1st, 2012, Facebook launched Timeline for business pages. It’s important to know that all business pages will be converted to Timeline by default on March 30th, 2012, if they haven’t been converted by the pages owners before then.
I’m excited about the new Timeline for businesses. This visual format offers the opportunity to create a cohesive, content-rich story about your company that is easier for fans to view and engage with. In fact, Mashable reported that the release of Timeline for individual pages resulted in a 37% increase in the amount of time people spent looking at another person’s profile page. This can only be a good thing for your business.
So here’s what you need to do to get ready.
1. Choose a Timeline Cover Image.
A Timeline cover image is your chance to tell the world what your business is all about and I don’t mean what you are selling. For example, Coca Cola’s Facebook Timeline Cover image shows happy, people having fun and enjoying Coke! The image tells me that the brand is all about friends, good times, good memories and fun!
The Timeline cover image is 851 X 351 pixels and there are some very specific rules about what you can put on it, or more specifically, what you cannot put on it.
Your cover page cannot be an advertisement. It cannot have a call to action such as “like” or “call now” or a special offer such as “buy one, get one free.” It cannot have your phone number, URL or email or physical address . This information is supposed to be documented on your “About” tab which is on the left hand side of your business page, just under your cover image.
So what should you put up as your cover photo? Any kind of image or collection of images that tells the story of your brand. Here some more examples of some excellent Facebook cover images from Mari Smith, Starbucks, Cool Fords , and even Facebook. Here’s a tip: Need a graphic designer to make a custom Timeline cover image for you? Hire one on Fiverr.com or Elance.com.
2. Familiarize Yourself with How Posting Works.
The new Timeline gives page owners a couple of different options on how information is displayed on the page. It can be “pinned” to the top of the page for 7 days (pin your info by clicking the pencil icon on the top right of your post; a yellow flag will appear at the top.). Hint: Use this feature to post a call to action.
Posts can also be highlighted by clicking the star icon on the top right of the post which will make the post or image stretch across the full width of the page. (Great for images).
3. Add Important Dates to Your Timeline.
With timeline you’ll now be able to record and showcase important dates in the history of your business. Think; grand opening, anniversaries, special events, any date that is important in your business should be documented on your timeline. Don’t forget to add photos.
4. Clean up Your Timeline.
This is the time to take irrelevant posts off your business page. You can either hide them or delete them. No more explanation is required.
5. Determine Which Applications You Want Fans to See First.
Gone are the navigation links (or tabs) on the left hand side of the page which was labeled “photos, events, wall, etc.” Those are now positioned on the top right hand of your business page right underneath your cover photo. Make sure that the first four are the ones that you want your fans to see first. You can edit which tabs can be seen by clicking on the icon that has a number and an arrow next to it which is just to the right of the rightmost tab.
Change can be a good thing, and I think the new Timeline for business pages is going to be good.
Do you have your Facebook business page optimized for Timeline already? Do you have a fabulous cover image? Share it here!
- The Complete Guide to Setting Up the New Facebook Page Design (hubspot.com)
- Facebook Brand Timelines-6 Big Changes Every Marketer Needs to Understand (mashable.com)
- Introducing New Facebook Pages: Updated Tools for Your Business, Brand, or Organization (Facebook.com)
- How to Use Facebook Pages- Overview Guide from Facebook.com
- 20 Creative Facebook Cover Photos