So, it’s official. Facebook have implimented timeline across the board, shaking up business pages up and down the country . But what do these changes mean for your business page? We’ve put together some of the main changes that you simply need to know to make the most of this social media medium:
Your Profile Picture and Cover Banner.
The first thing visitors will see when they hit your profile is your brand new Cover Banner and Profile picture combo – this will be their first impression of your business. But how do you pick the right picture? Go for something dynamic, something that represents what your business is all about. It needs to look really good and make a great impression on the visitors to your page. Don’t just stick your logo in big across the cover or use a boring plain background. Make sure it is a good design that reflects your level of professionalism of your company.
There are (Facebook) guidelines on how your image should be used, and of course, good protocol on what you choose. For instance, the cover photo dimensions are 850 pixels x 315 pixels, meaning a regular photo/image will tend to look stretched and of low quality if used as your main image.
Facebook have also specified that there are restrictions on what can not be featured on your image, such as calls to action, contact details, etc. (Many businesses choose to ignore these restrictions for the time being and ask us to put their contact details in the timeline cover). These restrictions aside, you have a great scope for creativity and designing an eye-catching and effective Timeline Banner.
With the new ‘Timeline’ it is incredibly easy for your customers and fans to view each and every event and update you have ever posted, dating back to the very conception of your page. The posts from your fans are now displayed in a separate area, so your Timeline is purely focused on your story and what you have to say.
What are Milestones? Well, they are whatever you want them to be. A new product launch, a new mobile app, the day you moved offices, appointment of new staff. As long as they are relevant to your business, they really are up to you. Remember, the more visually engaging your Timeline, the better.
The About section is featured rather more prominently with Timeline, so now is the time to pay closer attention to the information you have included, and the details you have written probably years ago and not since changed. Include opening times, contact details, and most importantly, what you do. Be mindful, and write in a tone that is informative but not corporate and could be constrewed as ‘socially’ boring.
Pinned Featured Posts.
With any of your posts, you can chose for one of these to be featured at the top of your page. This will last for up to 7 days (unless you choose to change it early). This is a chance to get creative with your content, and post something that will really grab the attention of your Fans each time they visit your page.
As you can see on your timeline, the page is divided into two columns. Each post you create is subsequently posted on alternate sides. If you ‘highlight’ a post (by clicking on the right hand side on the button) you can set any of these to be displayed prominently across both sides of the page. This is great for displaying new product photos, video content, links to landing pages on site, letting you really show off your business to the max.
With Timeline, the hope is you’ll be better able to Like-Gate your offers and exclusive content, which is where the use of Offers will greatly into play. A feature to soon me rolled out to the masses, you will be able to post Facebook specific offers for your fans to claim buy clicking the button/link on the post.
This is a great offering for small/medium sized businesses to get your name out there. Remember; the business goal you should keep in mind is not just to attract visitors to your Facebook page, but to convert these visitors into fans and then, possibly, customers.
Tabs & Apps.
This is probably the most important addition to Facebook for your marketing strategy, and will be a powerful tool in promoting your brand effectively.
In short, Apps are the new Tabs! You now have 4 ‘Apps’ on constant display underneath your cover image, and can utilize up to 12 custom ones on your timeline overall. These apps each have a unique URL, which is not only a handy tool for driving traffic and link building for a particular area off site, but promoting your business to its entirety. Don’t forget to create a custom image for your specific apps too, to catch fan’s eyes and encourage a click to find out more. Note; custom images can’t be used for the ‘likes’ or ‘photo’ apps. You can see ours on the picture above for Web and Facebook Design.
As mentioned above, your Apps can now have unique URLs, but as well as this, it is worth noting that Facebook have removed the miminum of 25 Fans/Followers to claim your unique vanity URL, which is great for smaller businesses or those just starting out on Facebook. Having your personal URL is great for advertising and sharing your page, as it is easy to locate and remember.
Choose your URL wisely, as once you pass 100 fans/followers, you can’t change it and would have to drop below that threshold to change it again.stuck with the name you chose when you started.
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