The Essentials for your Business on the New Facebook

If you’re using Facebook for business, you’ve probably noticed the mandatory switch to Timeline in more ways than one. Not only do you need to find your all-time best picture for your personal cover photo, you’ve got to figure out how to put your business’s best foot forward. Without being too sales-y, too promotional or even too informational, that is. This Facebook update is a little different from some of the others we’ve experienced. It’s not just a layout change; it includes some new regulations as well.  Some speculate that this is connected to the social network’s IPO rumors; these could be regulations to prevent future investors from abusing the initial purpose. Anyway, on to what really matters to you: what you need to know about the new Facebook.
  • Facebook forced all accounts to the Timeline layout on March 30, 2012.
  • Changes include cover photo, custom tabs, private messages, milestones and posts
  • TargetClick Marketing can help! If you don’t know how (or don’t want to learn how) to make all these changes, we can get you back on track. Email Therese to learn more about what we can do.
The most obvious change, the one people are most concerned about, is the cover photo. This is intended to provide fan pages a way to get new and existing fans excited about the organization, not a way to sell. This means no calls to action, no pricing and no contact information. It also means you can’t tell people to “Like” your page or “Share” something. This isn’t just a replacement for custom tabs and you can't use it like this:

 TCM Facebook Welcome Tab 2

Instead, it should be a way to brand your organization and inspire your fans in 851 X 315 pixels. That’s it. [caption id="attachment_378" align="aligncenter" width="698"]MyEntre.Net Cover Photo MyEntre.Net does a great job of inspiring, without being too sales-y.[/caption]

 Next, it’s important to consider some of the other significant changes:
  • Custom tabs: You can still use this concept, but it’s called an App and you can’t make it your default. Four appear automatically below your cover photo, but you can expand up to eight. If you put nothing here, it will default to other Facebook features like Photos, Likes, Maps, etc.
  • Private Messages: Your fans can now contact you via Messages. It’s sort of like a contact form, but for your Facebook page. Or like a Direct Message from Twitter. Whatever analogy you use, the new Facebook allows fans to initiate a conversation with your organization.
  • Milestones: You can add Milestones to your timeline like “Opened for Business,” “Added a new location,” or “Our 20th Anniversary.” Let fans know your most significant dates and add a picture to help it stand out. Images should be 843 X 403 pixels.
  • Posts: Posts can be “pinned” or “highlighted” as a way to draw more attention to your important information. Highlighted posts span both columns on the timeline and pinned posts are “pinned” to the top of your feed for up to seven days.
There are many changes you can make to your timeline, but these are some of the most significant. If you’re having any troubles, leave a message in the comments, and we’ll see if we can help you out. What do you think of Facebook’s changes? Too frequent? Too confusing? Let us know what you think in the comments.