So how about that new Facebook Timeline?
Love it? Hate it? Either way it’s here to stay (until it isn’t).
As always, Facebook loves to change things up and people love to kvetch about it. You can always use new Facebook Features to improve your marketing, so how can you use the Facebook Timeline to your advantage? Read on.
First, a few facts about the Facebook Timeline. The Timeline only affects personal profiles at the moment. Facebook has not announced when (or even if) they will roll the new Timeline look out to Facebook Pages.
Second, not everyone has the Timeline yet. If you don’t, you can visit Facebook’s Timeline page and click the gigantic green button to get started with it.
Third, whether we love it or hate it, Facebook’s going to be rolling the Timeline out to all personal pages in the coming weeks. Hey, it wouldn’t be Facebook if they didn’t turn everything upside-down on you every six months, right?
The Timeline essentially replaces what we called the “Wall,” and is accessed when you click on your name in the upper right corner of the page when you log into Facebook.
If your business strategy includes using your personal Facebook profile to connect to customers (and there are many good reasons why it should) then you need to use your Facebook Timeline to tell a story.
There are four key parts to the Timeline that will help you tell your story:
- Using the Subscribe button,
- Adding a great Cover photo,
- Crafting your About page, and
- Adding activity and Life Events to your Timeline.
Let’s take a look at each of these four more closely …
Simple Step #1: Understand the Subscribe button
The Subscribe Button on Facebook allows people to get your Facebook updates without actually friending you.
The Subscribe button is perfect for people who want to use Facebook and the Timeline to support becoming authorities in their topics.
Facebook Privacy settings have gotten better, so you can control who sees particular updates. Some of your customers want to connect with you personally on Facebook (not just via your Facebook Page) and the Subscribe button will help. It lets you keep a personal profile, without having to friend everyone.
If you get a friend request and you have your Subscribe feature turned on, then they will be subscribed to your Updates — but only the ones that you mark as Public. You can find out more about the Subscribe button right here.
Simple Step #2: Add a Cover image
OK, this is the fun part: deciding on your Cover photo.
The Cover photo is like your website header — one you can easily switch out whenever you like. You can use personal photos, something great from your graphic designer, arty shots of your fleet of Lamborghinis … whatever strikes your fancy. Here are some great examples of how people have had fun with their Cover images.
Showcase business and life:
To highlight your work, combine both work info and some information about your life in the photo.
Be creative, and remember you can rotate these photos based on your mood or things happening in your life. You can use any photo as your Timeline Cover, just hover over the lower right side to change it.
If you want to design something unique, the dimensions are 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels high, and remember to leave a good spot in the lower left corner where your profile picture will go.
Simple Step #3: Spruce up your About Page
Just like on your blog or website, a well-crafted About Page can showcase your business and experience and let people know what you do and who you serve.
First, make sure your Facebook Page (or Pages) is linked to your “Employer” section in your profile, as shown in this picture.
To do this, start typing the Page name in your “Work” field and it should pop up in a drop-down menu. This ensures that people can easily connect to your Facebook Page by hyperlinking it in your profile.
Also make sure that this is public information by clicking on the little people icon next to the Work field.
Now edit the “About You” section on the right by adding all kinds of interesting goodness. You can add hyperlinks, testimonials, and go deeper into your business. But keep it real and fun.
Remember, your friends will see this. They know you.
Watch your privacy in all the sections of your About Page by clicking on the little Edit icon in the upper right corner of each box. Only share publicly what you intend to be public.
Simple Step #4: Decide what’s in your timeline
Go through your posts and decide what is going to be Public and what should remain more personal.
When you turn on your Subscribe button, everything defaults to be shown only to your Friends of Friends. Make some of your posts Public to highlight your business: your blog posts, articles you might share, business Events, etc.
To control who can see your post, click the icon next to the date. The world icon is Public as shown in this picture.
Make important posts longer and more prominent by clicking on the star icon in the upper right corner of the post that says Feature. That post will then span the whole page and not be collapsed by other posts nearby.
Add significant Life Events to your Timeline with the Life Events. Don’t add them all at once because they will post updates to all your friends and you will look like you are bragging. Add just one a week.
Life Events show up larger than, well … you know, life, if you have a picture with them.
Facebook’s intent with the Timeline is to tell your life story.
Obviously your life is richer and more complex than a few photos and status updates, but why not use this to your advantage and let people know more about you?
The world is spending more time online searching and learning. Use this tool to get to know your clients and have them get to know, like, and trust you.
Or just use it to find some good cat videos.
Either way you win.
About the Author: Are you ready to drink the Facebook Kool-aid? If so, Andrea Vahl has lots of handy tutorials on how to get started and how to effectively use Facebook, with the help of her alter ego, Grandma Mary. Get more from Andrea and Grandma here: AndreaVahl.com.