On the advent of Timeline on Facebook last March 30, 2012, a lot of businesses were surprised. First of all, the look was totally different. Second, business owners and managers weren't exactly sure how to navigate through the new layout and features. As a result, many got frustrated, especially those who have already invested too much time and money in learning, establishing, and polishing their fan pages. For them, it was like all of their efforts were put to waste. And since many business owners already have their hands full, they just don't have the time to learn Facebook all over again. Some just gave up and put off any plans to familiarize themselves with Timeline.
So why the sudden change in Facebook? Some speculate that Mark Zuckerberg probably wanted to reinvent Facebook every now and then to stay ahead of the competition. People already know what happened to MySpace and Friendster, so Mark is probably doing his best to avoid the same fate.
Anyway, whatever the change is, every business still needs to be present in Facebook. People need to see businesses present on Facebook because it somehow affects their purchasing decisions. Yes, there are features in the old layout that are no longer in Timeline. For one, there is limited fan engagement because posts and comments are really not that much called for in Timeline. However, business owners should know that Timeline does have new features that would allow them to market their products and services well. Here's how:
Use the best cover photoBefore Timeline, what people see on a Facebook landing page is the profile picture and thumbnails of the most recent photos uploaded or tagged. In Timeline however, there is this huge space atop. Businesses can take advantage of this by uploading the right image that would best represent what their business really is all about. The photo should not only sum up what your company is all about, but also tell your customers how you want your business to be perceived.
Create a fabulous "About" pageWith Timeline, the "About" page has become more prominent, so it should have a great content. Businesses should keep the write-up short enough to make it interesting, but long enough to cover all important things.
Highlight the best contentTimeline keeps track of all activities. Instead of boring the readers by including everything in the page, businesses should feature only the best content they have. Examples of these are milestones, testimonials, big events, important announcements, and more.
Expand network by going localBusinesses should remember that they are part of a community. People are more likely to view or visit their page if they share information about other things that can be found or seen within their locality. Geo-tagging is a great way of doing this. For example, if the business has an event in a local bar, then that bar should be tagged. If a business has a local personality as an endorser, tag that person including the places where he or she performs. Your page will certainly attract viewers and visitors due to "like-gating".
Position campaigns effectivelyTimeline allows businesses to position their marketing campaigns at the front and center of the page. A promotional post can also be pinned atop the Timeline page. To do this, just click at the top right portion of the post box, then choose "pin to top". To edit the post, just simply click on it.
Prepare a ready list of linksPeople want information right away. It would be better if businesses compile all of their useful links in one area in the Timeline page. Businesses can be creative about it. For example, for coffee shops, they can post a video link featuring coffee farms to explain where they got their coffee beans from.
These are just some guidelines to help small businesses cope with Timeline and to use it in their everyday marketing activities. However, nothing is permanent in Facebook. Mark Zuckerberg and his team will surely find another way to update Facebook and keep it in the number one spot.