Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the outback over the last few months (which is no bad thing by the way, some of my very best friends and shrewdest business associates live under rocks in the outback) then I’m sure you’ll already be acutely aware that Facebook finally rolled out the snazzy new Timelines for brands back in March.
Now that we’ve had just about enough time for the dust to settle, the fanfares to die down, and the howls of anguished despair to finally simmer down to quiet sobs, perhaps this is the perfect moment to reflect on the changes, and check that we’re squeezing out every last drop of potential from these new opportunities.
In short, have you fully optimised your Timeline to drive better marketing performance from your shiny new page?
A slightly cleverer man than me once said ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ – and the really clever bit was that he said this before digital cameras came along and turned everybody into overnight photography wizards.
Facebook is awash with images, and it’s easy to get swept away under this tidal wave of photographs of barbecues, beach parties, weddings, dog parachuting competitions and the like – so this is where your brand really has to stand out.
It’s not good enough just to show a plain Timeline cover photograph of your office desk – we need pizzazz and showmanship!
Your Timeline Cover Image needs to reflect the dynamism that your business brings to the market.
As you launch new exciting products or services, your cover picture should change to reflect these updates. An ever-changing image grabs the attention of your customers and clearly shows them exactly what’s on offer – but don’t forget to stay within the super-strict guidelines.
If you’re not sure about this, then check out my earlier Blog article Are You Breaking The Facebook Rules? for the full lowdown.
It’s tempting to plod along by just sticking with the same old business logo for the profile picture.
But a far more interesting and useful approach might be to regularly update the image to reflect a change in your initiatives.
Closely tying in a change of Profile Picture with the launch of a new product or service can prove to be incredibly powerful…and don’t forget that even just that simple act of updating your Profile Pic is enough to get your Business Page happily beamed into a big chunk of the newsfeeds of your fans!
Of course, there are plenty of other features in your new Timeline which serve to emphasise and highlight your crucial messages and promotions.
The Pin and Highlight functions are particularly useful, as they give special prominence to your page’s most important posts.
The Pin option will ensure that your chosen post sits with pride right at the very top of your content where it’s unlikely to be missed by even the most unobservant of readers, whilst a Highlighted Post will be stretched right across the full width of the Timeline – making it an ideal vehicle for striking visual content.
It’s also a worthwhile move to consider taking your pick from a wealth of custom tabs and apps which can be quickly installed in seconds for free, and smoothly integrated into your Timeline to deliver a fresh new experience.
As just one very quick random example, why not give your followers the chance of becoming your Fan of The Week?
In the same way that most offices have an employee of the week, a loyal fan here can be rewarded here just from their heavy interaction with your Timeline!
Which brings me to my final point.
As ever, swishy new options aside, the real key to a dynamic and lively Facebook Business Page has remained completely unchanged – it’s still all about engagement and interaction!
It’s about creating a buzz, generating activity and connecting with clients through likes, comments, and shares.
This hive of activity then pushes up your page’s Talking About This score, and in turn gives a welcome boost to your overall Edgerank score. (Check out this earlier Blog article for further in-depth exploration of Edgerank and how it works.)
Every business likes to be talked about! (Well, for the right reasons anyway…)
So, as well as creating your cracking content, it’s a good idea to consider other ways in which you might be able to generate simple but powerful interaction.
For example, perhaps your fans could be encouraged to post their own photos of your business products on your Timeline?
Everyone likes to feel part of something. This kind of easy interaction helps customers feel part of your Small Business family and boosts their loyalty to your brand, whilst helping you to promote your products from the point of view of very happy customers!
To sum up then….don’t be put off by change!
Seize the initiative, maintain a fluid and interactive Facebook page, and keep your business right at the top of the pile!
And always remember that hooking the attention of potential new fans is only part of the Timeline equation – and it’s the relatively easy bit!
Perhaps the real challenge here lies in actually holding that attention well into your Facebook future….