It’s time for timeline. Whether you wanted the new look or not, Facebook just switched your business page over to the new “timeline” layout. There are several significant changes that affect how your social network sees your business. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Upload a cover image.
One of the most noticeable changes in the new Facebook layout is the addition of the cover image above your profile picture. At 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels tall, this ginormous image spans all the way across the top of your page and makes a major visual impact. Here are some examples of how you can use this area effectively:
• Build your brand with a prominent logo – http://www.facebook.com/mynewmarkets
• Highlight your staff with an office photo – http://www.facebook.com/nytimes
• Feature your main products – http://www.facebook.com/insurancejournal
The cover image is a great way to personalize your page; however, Facebook doesn’t want these images to look too much like advertisements. Your cover image should not include contact info, pricing, calls to action, or even phrases such as “Like our page,” as they are in violation of the new guidelines.
2. Update your privacy settings.
With the transition over to the new timeline layout, it’s possible that your privacy settings have been changed or reset. Take a moment to review and adjust your settings here: Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Manage Permissions.
Note the addition of the awesomely helpful “Messages” feature. Enabling this option will allow fans to send direct messages to the page administrator (you), even if public wall posting has been disabled. This is a good way to open the lines of communication with your fans without risking the effects of spam and negative comments on your wall.
3. Share your company history.
The new timeline layout makes it easy (and even fun) to share your company’s story of success over the years. With the new “Milestones” option, you can retroactively post important events, achievements and awards on any date in history since your business was founded. Go to http://www.facebook.com/insurancejournal and click back to the early years for an example.
However, while the more accessible chronological layout is great for traveling back in time, it also makes it painfully obvious if your page hasn’t had any new content for a while. Keep things fresh by posting relevant links, photos and/or polls frequently.
Again, Facebook already switched over your business page from the old layout to the new timeline layout, so you should head over to your page to get these steps taken care of soon. A well maintained social media presence reflects positively on your brand, so it’s worth taking a little time to get your timeline in order. For more information and examples, visit http://www.facebook.com/about/pages.