Yup, Facebook is changing again. While there are still some stragglers, most users have already been converted to one of the most radical changes of the Facebook look: the Timeline.
What does this mean for your business’ presence on the king of social media? While there are some changes that might be discouraging to your social media strategy, we think that most of the changes you will find helpful in branding your product or service. Everyone will be converted to the Timeline starting March 30, so if you haven’t done some work understanding the new format, it’s time to get cracking. Here are some tips to give your business an edge when converting to the Timeline.
Choose a cover photo
This drastic shift away from the traditional profile picture gives you a great space to get creative with branding. According to the Facebook Help Center, your cover photo may not contain price or purchase information, contact information, references to Facebook features such as “Like” or “Share,” or calls to action. Facebook also gives you 851px X 315px of space to place your image, so spend some time getting your image to show up optimally. While this may seem limiting, the message from Facebook is clear: be creative and fun with your branding. Check out the cover photos from the Coca-Cola and X-Box pages for some good inspiration.
Tell your story
Implicit in the “Timeline” title, creating a narrative for you or your company lies at the heart of the latest Facebook change. Capitalize on this feature by “going back in time” to tell the story of how your business was founded, highlighting milestones along the way, and peppering your story with anecdotal tales of customer satisfaction and the day-to-day life of your business. Check out the Starbucks page for a great example of a compelling narrative told through the Timeline
Re-order your page
Another aspect of the Timeline that will shift the way your information is displayed is greater transparency. There are four windows on the top of your page which you can use to display number of page “Likes,” page activity around the globe, photos, etc. Maximize the first impression and interaction with your page by displaying positive and interesting apps and other media. Notice how Red Bull has placed its featured content promoting instant engagement through Red Bull TV, sponsored athletes, and a constantly updated photos page.
Decide about direct messages
Facebook Timeline is now giving brands the option of giving individual users the freedom to directly message admins of the page. While this may mean positive feedback and useful suggestions for your business, you could be overloaded with spam and other unwanted time-wasters. Put some thought into whether or not you want to feature direct messages on your page.
The “Pin” option
This new tool is one that should certainly be exploited. This feature allows you to “pin” important information to the top of your page’s Timeline and keeps it at the top even with other page activity.
How have you used the Timeline to promote your brand and stay ahead of the competition? Let us know in the comments!