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5 Tips To Tame The New Facebook Timeline For Pages

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It’s been about 6 weeks since the announcement of the new Facebook TimeLine for Pages.  How do you like it so far?

I admit that I’m a creature of habit and often have a difficult time accepting change…but I’m excited about a lot of things that new Facebook Timeline feature has to offer.  This was another adjustment for Page Admins who not only had to become familiar with the many changes, but also had to create new strategies involved in engaging their Fans and enticing new ones.  But we’re used to Facebook and their ever changing ways, right?

The new Timeline primarily affects the way the Page Wall appears and functions.  For the most part, posts shown on your Fans’ Newsfeeds are not affected.  For instance, your Fans will not know if you have pinned or highlighted a post unless they see it on your Page.  Facebook Users will only see your Timeline Cover image if they go to your Page.  No longer can you count on a custom landing page to encourage visitors to your Page to become Fans.  However, the new features implemented do affect how your Fans posts appear on your Page Wall, so you need to be aware of the changes what you can do to take advantage of this new Facebook Timeline for Pages feature.

Take a look at these 5 simple tips to tame the Facebook Timeline:

1)  Create an engaging Facebook Timeline Cover Photo.  The Cover Photo is an important feature of your Page.  Because if the amount of room it takes up on your Wall, it is the first thing any Facebook User will see when they visit your Page.  Use this image to set the tone for your Page.  Use photos of your products, a menu item, artwork, or a photo of your business represented at a recent community event, or yourself at a speaking engagement.  Try something a bit more abstract.  You could even create of picture containing a collage of photos.  This image was created by a fun application called PhotoFunia.  The Cover Photo should be at least 851 pixels wide x 315 pixels long for minimum resolution.

Facebook has very strict rules about what can and cannot be used for a Cover Photo.  It is not meant to contain for a call to action, contact information, or other details that can be found in the “About” Section of the Page.  In fact, try to limit the amount of text that you include in your Cover Photo.

To be sure that your Cover Photo conforms to Facebook rules, adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Do not include special offers or purchase information
  • Do not include contact information such as your email, phone number, address, or website.
  • Do not refer to any Facebook features such as “Like our Page” or “Share with your Friend”.
  • Do not make any calls to action such as “Call today”, “Download our app” or “Enter our contest”.

2)     Utilize the Custom Tabs to Help Make Your Page Unique. The custom landing tabs that we came to know and love have been eliminated.  So how are we to differentiate our Page with unique content above and beyond our posts?  There are thousands of Facebook applications that will make your Page more interesting and engaging for your Fans.  When you create your Facebook Page, it is already loaded with a few default Applications:  Photos, Videos, Events, and Notes.  As you load new apps, they will populate this list also and can be accessed from this window.  The applications that you install will be shown on your Page Wall.

Your Page can have as many as twelve application boxes that can be accessed by your Fans. However, only four can be seen without any effort.  To see the remaining application tabs, you must click on the number that you see to the right of the fourth tab.  (If you do not have more than four tabs, you will not see a number.)  The Photos application is always the first application and cannot be moved.  The remaining eleven (or as many as you are using) can be organized so that you can choose which other three are always visible.  You can add a tab for your YouTube videos, contact forms, a custom HTML tab, or even a reveal tab that requires a visitor to your Page to Like your Page to view your content.  (There are dozens of options, but try Hosted iFrame, My Tab, or Static HTML to create your own unique tab for starters.)

Take advantage of the opportunity to change the name of your custom tab and to upload a unique image that relates to the content.  When you click on the small button with the number on the far right of the tabs, then hover over the custom tab you want to change, choose “Edit Settings”.  This will allow you to change the name of the tab and upload a new catchy image.

If you are just developing your Fan base and are not too excited about the number of Fans that you have so far, then add a couple of custom tabs to give more information about your business.  Then you can move the Likes tab to the second (or third) row of four so that people won’t see the number without clicking and searching for it.

3)     Pin and Highlight Important Posts. These new features allow you to draw attention to special posts when someone visits your Facebook Page.  Sometimes a post is important enough that you don’t want it to get lost in the Timeline, but you don’t want to repost it every day or so.  In this situation, you can Pin a post to the top of your Wall so that it stays in that position, even when you make subsequent posts later.  Pinning adds a small orange flag to the top right corner of the post and keeps that post on the top of the Wall to draw attention.  Note that a post can only be pinned for seven days.  After the seventh day, the post will revert back to its place in the Timeline on the Wall. Only one post can be pinned at a time.  Also, pinning has no effect on the post in your Fans’ News Feed.

You can also give some extra attention to the message by highlighting a post.  This feature causes the post to span the entire width of your Page Wall, making it stand out more when a Facebook user visits your Page.  The post will stay in the same chronological position, but the larger size will help bring awareness to the important information that you want to share.  Highlighting has no effect on the post in your Fans’ News Feed.

To pin or highlight a post, hover over the post and look for the two boxes to appear.  Clicking on the pencil will allow you several options, one of which is “Pin to the Top”.  Once the post is pinned, you can hover over the post, click the pencil again, and then the post will revert back to its position in the Timeline on the Wall.  Clicking on the star will highlight the post.  Once the post is highlighted, you can hover over the post, click the star again, and then the post will switch from the highlights format and revert back to the regular size.

4)     Solicit Recommendations from Clients. The new Facebook Timeline format gives much more “real estate” to the recommendations section for your Page.  When someone writes a recommendation for your Page, it will show up in a box on the right hand side of your Wall for all to see.  Yes, the number of Fans that you have is important, but having a client share their great experience with your business is priceless.  When a Fan writes something complimentary on your Wall, thank them and ask if they’d repeat that sentiment in the recommendations section of your Page.

5)    Don’t Settle For A Blah Thumbnail. Previously, it was tricky to add a photo to a link if you didn’t like the attached thumbnail, or if there was not thumbnail at all.  Often, the thumbnails that are attached to a link you want to share are completely arbitrary and have nothing to do with the content of the link.  Plus, a post with an image draws attention than a post with just a link and no image.  Now, it is easy to add your own image when you post a link.  You can upload the image of your choice (search for something interesting, and not copyrighted, on Google Images).  Then add the link to your status update and choose “No Thumbnail”.

So it is time to embrace change and take advantage of these new features.  It’s time to tame the Facebook Timeline.

How do you like the Facebook Timeline as a Page Admin?

How do you like it as a Facebook User?

Still needing some guidance in using the Timeline, or Facebook for Pages in general?

Everything you need to know can be found in the simple, step-by-step guide “Facebook for Smart People”.

This book covers everything from creating your first Page to developing content, understanding how to engage and grow your Fans base and utilize your Page to promote your business.

Click Here to order your copy today – because it’s not just for dummies anymore.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.faceitsocialmedia.com/2012/04/5-tips-to-tame-the-new-facebook-timeline-for-pages/

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