Coming This Week: The Facebook Timeline for your Facebook Business Page

TImeline Business

Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard Facebook has released the new timeline for business pages.  If you are confused or trying to understand how you can adapt to this new format, I will try to provide some direction on how it works.

If you have not chosen to upgrade to the new timeline format yet, you only have until March 30, 2012.  Since you only have a few days, let’s focus on the things you can do to prepare for this big change.

ŸCreate Your Cover – Facebook is giving you a chance here to customize a pretty large space on your page, and let’s face it they do not relinquish control on much of anything.  However, here you have 850 pixels and 315 pixels wide to totally create your own cover at the top of your business page. You cannot put price, purchase information, go to our website, contact information, no email or mailing address, nothing that really should be on your “about” section.  You are not allowed to have any call to action, and you cannot reference anything to the “like” or “share” buttons.  So just follow the rules, but be creative.

Choose your profile image carefully – you may want to choose a great picture for you larger image and use the company logo on the small image.  You might need to play with this somewhat so you are happy with the results.

Update your timeline – the main feature in the timeline for brands is that you have a chance to chronicle your history, and while it will only show activity since you joined Facebook, you can select previous years and add important events that have occurred.  A great site to view is Coca-Cola and see how they developed their timeline.

The Facebook apps shown below your cover need to be presented in order of importance – you can only display four apps at a time, so it is important to prioritize. This is a great place to highlight the most important business goals of your page.

Do you activate the message function? – You now have an option to open communication with your fans on a private channel.  It can set expectations and additional customer service support.  You can turn this function off, but you need to address any issues in a public forum instead of the private message area.

As with any changes it is going to take a little getting used to. The key is to prepare and plan and be ready before you are forced into the change.  Create the cover you want, one  that defines who you are and utilize the new features to bring results.  Change is good, and embracing it, finding a way to make it work for you; that’s the key to success.

Chris Ripley is a Waldorf-based marketing and business development consultant and author of “Online Marketing 101” available at Amazon.com and BN.com. He is an adjunct professor at the College of Southern Maryland and the University of Phoenix. His Web site is strategic-marketing-group.com and you can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/smgmarketing or Twitter at chrisripley. You can contact him at cripley@smg2.com or 301-328-2113.

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