FACEBOOK’S NEW TIMELINE FOR BUSINESS

In the world of Facebook, there have been some major changes with business page designs and features. As a result, brand marketers will have to make some adjustments to their current social media strategies and graphics by the time the new Facebook Timeline is made mandatory for all business pages on March 30th.

Your Look

A very noticeable part of the entirely  new design of the page is a cover photo, which is a large photo banner at the top of the page. There needs to be a lot of thought put into which photo should be designated as the cover because it’s the first thing that consumers are going to focus on when they visit the page. It should really be a representation of your entire brand, so this choice should be made wisely.

Basic Image Sizes

Facebook cover photo size: 850 x 315 pixels – that’s 850 wide by 315 high

Facebook profile image size: 180 x 180 pixels square

There are very strict new rules you need to make your graphic designer aware of as well. According to Facebook, your cover photo is not an advertisement and must not include:

  • Price, offers or purchase information such as “10% off” or “Visit our website for more info.”
  • Contact information such as a website, email and mailing address.
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features.
  • Calls-to-action such as “Buy it now” or “Tell your friends.”
  • Covers must not be false, deceptive or misleading, and must not infringe on third party intellectual property.

Your Message

You will notice below the cover photo there is a new message feature, which allows for more personal interaction between a business and its audience. If a consumer has a question or comment, her or she will be able to reach out through a private message instead of posting it publicly on the timeline. The new message feature makes it simple to build one-on-one valuable relationships with your audience.  Even though personally responding to each message may be time consuming, you will be showing your audience that you genuinely care.

Your Past

Along with the revamping of the design, Facebook Timeline also allows you to go back through your history to the very moment when you set up your page. All of the company’s older material will be there, and its past will be laid out for you and everyone else on the social web. It is important to go back and take a look at what will be exposed, so you can edit and add to the Timeline, effectively creating the perfect scrapbook for your business.

Your Present

Similar to blog posts, a major new feature is the ability to “pin” certain posts to the top of the Timeline, allowing the post to appear before any other content. You are able to pin one item at a time and it will exist at the top item on the Timeline, as well as in its place where it was originally posted. If you decide to unpin the post, it will stay in its original place chronologically on the timeline. This great ability to pin allows brands to highlight new and interesting content.

5 Quick RULES to Remember When Managing Your Facebook Business Page

Though there are some new and exciting changes to the Facebook business page, the rules of engagement still hold true. inBLOOM put together this quick checklist to help you remember the RULES when socializing and promoting your business on Facebook.

R-  Run exciting promotions and contests. You will need to use applications to run these within Facebook Promotional Guidelines. Northsocial and Wildfire offer a variety of application plans to fit your budget.

U-  Understand your fans and post about current trends and topics related to their interests, as well as your business products and services.

L-   Leverage your networks. Link to other business and organizational pages. Thank them when they do the same. This will build your fan base and show that your business is an active part of a greater community of business and organizational leaders.

E-   Expect people to stir the social media pot. Be responsive to negative postings. Don’t always be quick to delete a negative comment. Take the time to respond and take your fans’ comments and gripes seriously. You may not agree with them, but unless the comment is offensive or deceitful you should engage in open dialogue with the person. Thank them for their posting and ask how you could rectify the situation. Always remember others are watching and listening to your respons.

S-   Spend time tracking your results. There are many programs that can assist you when tracking the rate on your investment. Hootsuite, Hubspot and Google Analytics are great tools for tracking your social media efforts. Like any traditional marketing campaign, you should maintain your own tracking system as well. Your support staff at your physical business location should code or track the sales or services you receive thanks to your daily social media work.  Facebook may be free, but how you spend your time using it makes all the difference in your results.

There is a lot more to mention and learn about, for instance Facebook’s policies and promotion guidelines. This all seems like a lot to absorb and keep up with, and the busy business bees may not have the time to give themselves a crash course in Facebook. With the Facebook Timeline, there are new strategic approaches to market your brand to your audience. Feel free to contact us at inBLOOM Communications with any questions.

Here are a few additional resources to help you on your path to running a successful Facebook Business Page:

Social Media Today’s Facebook Promotion Guidelines, DECODED

Facebook outlines new Timeline for brand pages, including an FAQ

“Timeline for brands: How to prepare for your company’s new Facebook page” (Mashable)

“Get ready: Facebook is rolling out the Timeline for fan pages” (Business Insider)

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Jennifer Smiga
Jennifer founded inBLOOM Communications to help brands bloom in a digital world. inBLOOM’s team of writers, designers, publicists and marketing specialists excel at converting followers to customers. inBLOOM’s clients benefit from Jennifer’s experience in donor relations, marketing, public relations and event production.

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