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10 ideas to get your business ready for Facebook Timeline

16 Mar Posted by in Blog, Social Media | 5 comments
10 ideas to get your business ready for Facebook Timeline

Like it or not (no pun intended), the layout of your Page is going to change once Timeline for pages is enabled on March 30th. Before that happens, take this time preview the Timeline of your Page, but don’t enable it just yet. Read through our 10 ideas to get your business ready for Facebook Timeline first.

1. Modify or develop your social media plan

Facebook Insights
(Click to enlarge)

Assess your social media plan and see what’s working for you. For example, use Facebook Insights to see which types of posts engage your users the most. If you’re posting day-by-day, this is a good opportunity to reevaluate how your Facebook Page fits in with your overall social media strategy.

Here are seven questions you need to answer to get a social media strategy in place:

  1. What are your goals for your social media activities?
  2. How do you plan to achieve these goals?
  3. How will you monitor and respond to conversations about your brand?
  4. How do you plan to engage your audience through your content?
  5. How often will you communicate your content?
  6. What purposes does each social network serve to your business?
  7. How do you plan to improve your social media activities overtime?

2. Create a lasting impression with your cover image

Facebook Cover Image
(Click to enlarge)

One of the more exciting features of the Timeline is the cover image, a large image featured at the top of your page. Use this opportunity to create a lasting first impression for every single person that visits your Page. You can change the image frequently, allowing you to create a new impression every time. Try uploading an image that best represents your unique selling proposition; once you’re comfortable with the new timeline, you can start getting more creative with your cover image.

Keep in mind, cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and must not contain:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “30% off” or “Download it from our website”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
  • Calls to action, such as “Sign up now” or “Invite your friends”

3. Use the profile photo to display your brand

Facebook Profile Photo
(Click to enlarge)

Your profile photo is the first thing users see when browsing through Facebook’s search results; use this opportunity to create further brand awareness for your business. Keep in mind that Facebook displays this image at 180px by 180px and any image with a lot of details may not look as good.

4. Choose your tabs wisely

Facebook App Icons
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If you have custom tabs installed, it is important to change the custom tab image. Use the new dimension of 111px by 74px to create bigger, attention grabbing icons for your tabs. If your tabs have simple names like ‘Welcome’ or ‘Accommodation’, make the effort to change them to something more actionable or informative such as ‘Get 20% Off’ or ‘Special Offers’.

Keep in mind, with one space locked for native apps like Photos means that only three tab panels are viewable at any given time. So pick your top three tabs to display and change the order of apps accordingly as they will likely be the first to be interacted with, or entirely ignored if not optimized for the new experience.

5. Update or create your landing tabs

Facebook Custom Apps
(Click to enlarge)

Your landing tabs can now only be seen if users click on the tab icon under the cover image or you link directly to them. This is not to say that fan gating is not an option, as you can entice fans to Like your page in order to reveal sweepstakes, voting contests, and other promotions.

Have a 520px tab? Don’t worry, it still works in the new Timeline format

Facebook 520px Tabs
(Click to enlarge)

Even if you have already switched to Timeline, your 520px tabs will still function. With the extra 290 pixels, your 520px tabs will get centered in the middle of the 810-pixel layout without any adjustments.

6. Go back in time and tell your story

Facebook Milestone Post
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With Timeline, you can now add company events dating all the way back to its beginning. Take this opportunity to go through your company’s history and mark your company’s milestones such as the date you were founded, your first customers, when you moved to a new location, when you added new services, or increased staff.

Fans like to see businesses adding a personal touch to a Facebook page, and everyone enjoys a good startup story. Take this opportunity to tell your business’ story, add personality, let people know how it all began and share with others about how you got to where you are today.

7. Highlight what’s important

Facebook Higlight Post
(Click to enlarge)

Learn to highlight posts (expands to widescreen) you think are important. This will allow you to emphasize key moments on your Timeline in a more strategic and unique ways. Experiment with this feature as it may prove to be more engaging than a Landing Page.

8. Pin your posts

Facebook Pinned Post
(Click to enlarge)

While you no longer have the ability to create a default landing tab, you can now “pin” your posts to the top of the Timeline. Similar to marking a blog post “sticky,” a pinned post remains at the top left of the Timeline for seven days. Keep in mind, you can pin only one item at a time. Once the seven days are over, the post will return to the date it was originally posted on the Page’s timeline.

Use this feature to spotlight new and interesting content. You can even use it to create call-to-actions or special promotions with the opportunity to have your post shared by users.

9. Encourage users to send you a personal message

Facebook Page Message
(Click to enlarge)

Businesses can finally send and receive private messages with users. This allows for much deeper consumer interaction, and will also enable Page managers to take extended customer inquiries off the Timeline and into a private message.

These inquiries can be better serviced in a more one-on-one manner, reach out to the consumer with a private message and resolve his/her question. It’s a good opportunity to yield both a happy user and a clean Timeline.

10. Ultimately, focus on creating more engaging content

It has been shown time-and-time again that businesses posting content that shows behind-the-scenes activities, exclusive updates or promotions encourages user interactions and promotes higher engagement rates. Using interesting milestones to craft the story of the business over time can help to stimulate conversations around major achievements. Remember to update the Timeline with new milestones as they happen.

Once you’re happy, publish your Timeline

Timeline for businesses will certainly shake things up for everyone who’s looking to make an impact on Facebook. One thing is for sure: The way content is shared and viewed within a Timeline Page is incredibly important. Businesses that consistently create engaging updates and share important milestones will continue to gain users’ attention. The switch to Timeline will put the focus on getting users to Like you because your content is informative and engaging not because they are being forced to like you through a fan gate. Create and rotate new apps for engagement, pin relevant and timely content, and update the feed with user-friendly dialogues to stay relevant in this new space.

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Written by

Originally from Canada, Mohammed just recently graduated from Griffith University with a Bachelor in Marketing. In the past, his creative abilities have allowed him to be a graphic designer, web designer, music producer, and photographer. Now, he's applying his talents and experiences to structure the role of Business Success Coach and use that to help empower business operators of Australia through web marketing. You can follow Moe on his adventures on Twitter @advertculture

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