The latest Facebook changes are almost live
March 30th is almost here and with it comes those Facebook for business pages timeline changes you’ve been reading about for the past month.
Despite Facebook saying they are committed to giving us “tons of notice” businesses had but 30 days to prepare for these changes. While I disagree with most of Jay Baer’s complaints about these changes I do agree with his view that this change period was not sufficient; it’s fine for companies with the resources to handle the ever-evolving social media landscape but for most serious small businesses it is an unwelcome interruption to our schedule. That complaint out of the way I do accept that the changes ARE happening and for the most part I do believe they are an improvement technically and socially.
I didn’t post on it here earlier simply because everyone else was already doing that and I don’t want to be accused of being like everyone else. Instead I’ve waited until the changes are almost on top of us and now post the following reminder checklist of what you should be doing to adapt your Facebook profile to the new Timeline over the next few days.
Get under the cover
You are probably already familiar with the cover photo from the facebook timeline for personal pages. This is great for branding etc. but there are a few Dos and DON’Ts from Facebook:
- Do NOT display price information
- Do NOT display direct contact information
- No “Like us” calls to action or similar, as we could do on the old pages …
- DO be creative.
As Facebook product chief Sam Lessin said last year “Watching people choose their cover photos, people are really using them to express themselves. It’s a rich storytelling opportunity.”
Let people learn more about your company easily by marking your milestones, such as
- when the company was founded,
- major news events,
- press coverage etc.
Despite what the detractor’s say the timeline does make things intuitive and much easier to follow through, well, through time…
Pinning a post is great for special events, offers, promotions etc. A post can be “pinned” to the top of the page for up to 7 days in much the same way one can do on most bulletin boards or forums. The size of the post can also be controlled by “starring” it – this will make it the full width of the timeline so that it stands out.
Top content boxes
All your custom pages and apps will be accessible through these boxes at the top of the page so make sure your important info is first. This is all part of Facebook’s efforts to make brands and companies appear more as a person, thus facilitating the “social” aspect of the social network.
Get used to the Admin Area
The admin panel is much improved allowing more control over more things from a single area of your page. This is much more intuitive than it has been up to now and is a welcome improvement.
There are more to the changes than the few things I’ve mentioned here but if you get these five areas covered I can guarantee you’ll be a long way ahead of most businesses who – despite all the coverage – will still somehow forget or ignore the Facebook timeline changes until it’s too late and they have no choice but to conform in a hurry. And conform we must as long as Facebook continues to be, basically, a software product from a private company who can pretty much dictate how we must use their software.
Now, if millions of people started to join an Open Source Social Network … but that’s a post for another day!