Facebook Timeline: How do I prepare for the new timeline?

This is a guest post by one of my favorite resources for small businesses, Janet Slack. Janet is a well-known author, speaker and blogger on topics related to running a successful small businessJanet is a social media expert who mentors and coaches her clients to profit from their use of social media and to be smart and strategic about their business decisions.  Her free ebook Biz Tips: Entrepreneur Edition will give you dozens of ideas to grow your business and earn more income – one step at a time.

Facebook Timeline: How do I prepare for the new timeline?

If you have a business Page on Facebook, you are likely aware that your Page will convert to the new Timeline format on March 30th. In order to make the most of your Facebook marketing, there is considerable work that needs to be done before that transition. Here is my list of important steps to take:

1. Switch to preview mode – This allows you to work on your Page while no one else can see it. In preview mode, Page admins can see the Timeline, but other visitors see the old version. Don’t be in a hurry to “Publish”.

2. Add a cover image – This is the large photo or graphic that spans the top of the Timeline. The size of your cover needs to be 851 by 315 pixels. Facebook has a lot of restrictions about what can be included in this area. Read them here and follow directions carefully, especially in section IIIB.

3. Change your main avatar picture – The little square picture under your Cover used to be a long banner shape but is now 180 by 180 pixels. Use a logo or picture, but make sure it also looks good as a small thumbnail.

4. Write About copy – Now there’s a small About box below your avatar picture to write a very brief summary of your business. I suggest including a website or blog URL there.

5. Rearrange your tabs – Tabs now are more prominently displayed on the right below the cover. You can have up to 12 apps (tabs), but only 4 are displayed openly. Make sure these are the most important ones for your marketing strategy.

6. Change photos for tabs – Now you can also have a custon image or icon to encourage exploration of your tabs. These need to be 111 by 74 pixels.

7. Deactivate (or not) messaging – A great new feature of the Page is the ability to receive private messages from viewers. This setting is On by default and you need to decide if you will be responding in a timely way to anyone that sends you a message. If so, no work to do; if not, turn it off.

8. Clean up the Timeline itself – I suggest you spend some time going back over the items that have been posted on your Page. Eliminate (hide) those items that are no longer relevant, timely or that can tribute to a negative image. The Timeline is intended to make your history much more accessible to visitors so you need to review what they’ll be seeing.

9. Find items to pin and highlight – Pinning is a new feature that allows you to select a post to stay at the top of your Timeline for 7 days. Put a great promotion there, for example. Highlighting spreads a post across both columns of the Timeline and gives it extra notice. Have a plan for both.

10. Add business Milestones – This is another new feature that lets you add significant events in your business history. These posts also get lots of real estate and will stand out on the Timeline. Make sure to add some.

11. No more default landing tabs – New visitors to your Page can no longer be directed to a certain tab, but will land directly on your Timeline. You may need a new strategy for connecting with people who find your Page.

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That’s it for today. Hope you enjoyed the guest post!

Is your site ready for Facebook Timeline?
March 30, 2012 will be here before you know it.
Contact me today if you need some help!

Glennette Goodbread, Owner
Premium Web Design and Hosting

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About Glennette

Glennette Goodbread is the owner of Premium Web Design and Hosting. In business since 1999, it was inevitable that she would become somewhat of an expert on web design, web hosting, search engine optimization, Google Places and lots more! Contact Glennette today for your free consultation! Connect with me at Google+ and Facebook.

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