Timeout! Let’s talk Facebook Timeline
Facebook timeline – like it (pun intended) or hate it it’s here to stay, at least until the next update. So what does this mean for your small business’ page?
Bye bye Landing Tab
This was quite useful for small businesses as a way to host a promotion and increase your pages Likes by directing new ‘fans’ to a Welcome landing page. The Marketing Mix have created custom landing pages for clients with contact info, competitions and generally a ‘reason’ for people to hit Like. Click on these clients for a preview:
It seems you can still keep these landing pages but they will be located at the top right hand side of your timeline along with your own Likes, Photos etc. This essentially means the page is less accessible in that fans will have to select to click on this option rather than be directed there automatically. For us small businesses this means hosting giveaways, promotions and the like is going to be a little harder. Below is what our landing tab used to look like:
Hello Cover Photo
Instead of a custom landing tab we now have a custom cover photo for our page. Myspace anyone? But seriously, regardless of whether you like it or not it’s now a marketing essential which Facebook are asking us to get creative with, and there are some good ones out there. Check out Fanta’s and you’ll see what I mean.
However interestingly Facebook have added some fairly strict rules about what businesses/brands can include in their timeline cover photo. Here’s a quick summary of what you can’t include:
1. Price/purchase info such as “40%” off or “download it at our website”
2. References to user options such as Like, Share etc
3. Contact info or anything intended for your About section
In other words it’s going to be trickier to give users a real ‘reason’ to Like your page unless you can really offer useful information, lots of interaction and entertainment. For smaller businesses who update far less regularly than big brands this is going to be a challenge. Especially seeing as the new timeline really draws attention to periods of inactivity. You can however, ‘pin’ a post to the top of your page for 7 days to draw attention to it, but again this is only helpful if your promotional only goes for a week. I guess you could always re-post and re-pin again?
Push for Facebook paid ads
I think what is happening here is a move from Facebook to increase ‘Facebook ads’ revenue by restricting brand pages own attempts to increase their Likes through competitions and giveaways. It is no longer possible to restrict users from seeing your page before they Like it. You’ll also now be able to pay money to increase your posts’ reach amongst your fans (from 16% to 75% reach). That is, you can pay to get more eyeballs on your status updates.
You’ll also need to get your head around new Facebook premium ads which we’ll dedicate a whole post to as more information comes to light.
Record your business milestones
Another new feature is the Life Events update, which feels to me a lot like I’m playing a version of my own life in The Sims. Still, it can be handy to highlight ‘milestone’ events for your business and it looks quite pretty. I’m sure we’ll all find ways to amuse ourselves and hopefully our fans with this option!
It will be interesting to see if the Life Events are the same for businesses as they are for personal users or if they have been tailored to suit the sort of events businesses would like to post.Only time will tell – March 30 to be exact, which is when the forced rollover will take place. So make sure you’ve got your new cover photo ready to rock!
Stay tuned for more about how to deal with the new timelines as the date for changeover approaches. To read more, check out this article Tiffany Monhollon at ReachLocal.
The Marketing Mix will now be very busy creating new custom cover photos for their clients, but we’re still happy to take your queries about social media. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for help.