Don’t Get Tied-Up with Facebook Timeline

This Friday, March 30th, Facebook will be transitioning all pages to the NEW Timeline format.  The new format will change the way businesses and fans interact on Facebook, so we’ve put together a few tips and suggestions to help you organize your page for an optimal fan experience.

The first new feature you will notice on the Timeline is the Cover image at the top of your page.  You are able to choose an image from a Facebook album or upload a new image. We recommend a Cover image that best illustrates your business like a specialty food dish, real estate listing or quality photo of your staff. For optimal viewing, the image size should be 851 x 315 pixels.  Your Cover image is the first thing people will see when visiting your page – choose an image wisely!

Your Profile picture is now located at the bottom left corner of the Cover image. The image size should be 180×180, and we recommend using an image that is different from your Cover image like your company’s logo or a photo of your product.

Slightly below your Profile image is the About section. This is where fans will find your company information such as your location, hours of operation and contact information. If you are a location-based business, your address, hours and telephone number will appear. If you are not a location-based business, or choose not to list your address, you will be able to write short description about your business.  AND, here’s the bonus, you can add a live link! We recommend your web address.

Next to the About section is an Applications Banner where your fans can choose different types of content to view.  By default, the four featured apps are Photos, Fans, Map and Likes. If your old page had custom tabs, they will transfer into the new App Banner. The Photos app will always remain in the first position. You can reposition the others or customize them by clicking on the drop-down arrow and clicking the edit pencil in the top right corner of the app you wish to alter. If you wish to alter the image of an app, the dimensions are 111×74. Fans will be able to see 4 of 12 possible apps without any extra clicking so carefully consider your app positioning. If you would like to create special apps like “Make an Appointment”, “Blog”, “Welcome” or “Join Our List”, you will need to hire a developer (unless you can write code!)

The Like feature has not changed. What is new is the starburst icon next to the Liked button. When fans hover over the Liked button, they will be given options such as adding your page to an Interest List. Interest Lists are a great way for your fans to organize business pages on Facebook.  Encourage your fans to add your business page to an Interest List and give them suggestions as to which list name is best suited for your business.  For example, Upbeat Marketing may suggest their fans create a ‘Marketing Resources’ or ‘Small Business Resources’ Interest List where they can keep track of businesses like ours.

Fans can also now Subscribe to your page so when you post an update, your fans receive a notification – make sure to ask them to subscribe by clicking the arrow next to the Message button so they can be the first to receive deals, promotions and great information (just make sure you keep those promos out of the Cover image!)

One other new great feature is Messages. Your fans can now send you a private, direct message. In the old format, you had to do all customer interaction on your wall, now these interactions can be private – great news! To see your Messages, click on the Admin Panel button at the top right of your page.

The Timeline format also had Filters so you can view your page by Highlights, Posts by Page, Posts by Others and Fan Activity. By default, the Timeline is on Highlights. By clicking Highlights, located directly under the business block, you are viewing the posts that Facebook deems most important to your page.

Fortunately, posting a Status Update remains largely unchanged – Hooray! You have the option of adding a location and language to the updates, but otherwise keep up the spell and grammar checking because there still isn’t a way to edit mistakes in your status updates.  If you want to add a year to a post, remove a post or mark a post as spam, hover over the post, and an edit box appears on the top right corner. Click it and make the edit you need.

The status bar does have a great new type of post you can create: Milestones.  You can add a business Milestone to your Timeline at any time by clicking Milestone in the status bar.  A Milestone might include an anniversary, new location, product launch, ribbon cutting or client acquisition. Fill in all of the pertinent information, add a photo or image with the dimensions 843×403, and it will appear chronologically on your Timeline designated by a flag icon. You also have the fantastic capability to edit these posts once they go into the news feed.

There is also an option for you to Highlight a post.  Hover over the post and click the star icon. It will in stretch the post horizontally across your Timeline making it more prominent.  Next to the star icon is an edit icon that allows you to Pin the post to the top of your page where it will remain for seven days.  Types of posts we suggest pinning to the top of your page are special promotions, reminders, events and complimentary comments. We also suggest rotating the posts that you Pin so your page doesn’t appear stagnant to frequent visitors.

The last new feature on the new Facebook Timeline is the Admin Panel.  It’s located in the top right corner of the page and is only seen by page administrators of the page. It allows admins to access Insights, Messages, Notifications and Tips and allows you to view your page by a specific month and year. The Insights section shows you all the metrics of yourpage: fan demographics, page reach, which types of posts are most effective for your business, etc. The Message Inbox is the feature we mentioned above. Notifications show you recent activity on your page, and the Page Tip gives you tips on how to enhance your Facebook experience and interactions with other organizations and fans.

We hope this post will help you feel comfortable with the Facebook’s new Timeline format. If you need help or are interested in having Upbeat Marketing optimize your page, please contact us at info@upbeatmarketingaustin.com or 512-222-7141. We offer page optimization packages starting at $250, and we also provide tutorials, advanced strategies and social media campaign maintenance.

Visit our website at www.upbeatmarketingaustin.com.

Thank you for reading!

The Upbeat Marketing Team

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