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Facebook Timeline for Pages: Rolling With the Changes

Facebook Timeline for Pages: Rolling With the Changes

When friends on Facebook first migrated over to the Timeline algorithm, I discovered many a reaction on my update feed. Reactions were generally polarized – people either loved the change or hated it, and I’ll admit I resisted moving over as long as I could. Now that all of the Facebook pages use Timeline I must adjust to the differences. As a business owner using Facebook to promote products and services, you will do the same, but you will find the new design does somewhat favor companies.

Where once a Facebook page displayed posts by the page administrator and “followers” in a uniform feed of status updates, the Timeline design parses this information differently. Posts still appear in chronological order, but updates made by non-admins are relegated to one box on the right hand side of the screen, and boxes of posts that “recommend” the page/business take up prime real estate, too. If you have “liked” other pages through your current one, those links have moved from a narrow left navigation column to a wider, right-hand side box. While it may appear the right side of your page is taken up by material that isn’t entirely relevant to your business, you do benefit by having your posts appear more prominently on the page.

It is also worth noting that:

  • Administrators can now temporarily “pin” important posts to remain at the top of a page. If you have a sale or special promotion you want to stay prominent while you continue to post, this is a great feature to use.
  • Pictures appear much larger in posts. Where on the old Facebook pictures you uploaded directly to the wall appeared like thumbnails, Timeline expands them. You want to make sure the photos you use are of high quality.
  • You can establish a “founding story” on your wall now. In the status box there is an option called “Milestone” that lets you set the date for when your business was established. You can add a history to the post and upload old photos to show people the business before Facebook came along!

Probably the most notable change to Facebook Timeline is the looming cover graphic. This image, sized 851 by 315 pixels, takes up a large portion of the top of the page. You can include a photograph of your business or popular products, even an abstract design with your logo. You may think this is a good spot to place advertising, but Facebook notes in their TOS that calls to action are not permitted in the cover photo. This means you cannot design a graphic with phone numbers, URLs or other such language.The best way to adjust to using Facebook Timeline is to simply use it and become familiar with how it works. Play with the design and continue posting your news and promotions to keep your user reach high.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on social media writing and Virginia web design. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, self-publishing services, Virginia health care services, Norfolk Realtors, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

Social Media Resolutions for 2012

Social Media Resolutions for 2012

This was written for a social media blog, but much of what is written here can be applied to authors seeking to use social media to sell books. Enjoy!

With 2011 behind us, now is the time to think about marketing strategies for the new year. By now, you likely have your Twitter account and Facebook page for your business set up, connected to each other, and updating followers regularly with news of your business and products/services. Perhaps you don’t have as many followers as you would like, but a new year brings the promise for increased interest. It’s also a good time to take into consideration a number of social media resolutions.

What should you plan for 2012? This largely depends on what you have intended for your business. Your marketing strategy will differ from those of other companies, but if you are looking for ideas here are some to adapt.

1) Cut away the dead weight.
Do you have social profiles set up that you do not use anymore? Maybe in a fit to cover all the bases you set up a Flickr or MySpace page and let it fall to the wayside. You might want to consider deleting profiles that haven’t been updated in several months – it looks rather unprofessional for a social profile to lie stagnant. Either that, or find a way to revive it by feeding an active RSS into it. At the very least, remove any icons of neglected profiles from your site.

2) Re-Evaluate design. This could be a good time to change your Twitter background or your Facebook page profile photo. As social networks have changed interfaces over the last year, your current designs may no longer suit. Take the time for a few makeovers.

3) Check Facebook tabs. Are you still using FBML for custom tabs on your Facebook page? Better fix that quick, for FBML support will eventually go away. You need to make sure you are familiar with Facebook’s development site for making tabs, and that you have a server with https support to host the pages.

4) Engage more in social media with people. Once a day, commit yourself to the following:

  • Re-tweet one update on Twitter
  • Respond to another person’s Twitter status
  • Use Facebook as your page’s persona and comment on another Facebook page (without spamming your business)
  • Share one status update from another person on your Google Plus page
  • Comment on a relevant Youtube video
  • Comment on a relevant blog post

Social media entails more than shot-gunning information. Put the social back in your social campaigns.

5) Lastly, don’t be afraid to show your sense of humor. One doesn’t always plan to go viral with a tweet, video, or blog post, but when it happens it’s because the item is worth sharing. You don’t have to be the clown prince of social media, but if you let your hair down once in a while you can show people a new side to your business that they will want to know.

Good luck with your social marketing in 2012!

Kathryn Lively is a social media specialist assisting clients with social media writing and Facebook marketing. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, self-publishing services, Virginia health care services, Norfolk Realtors, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Right now I’m doing something I never thought I’d do, something that might make a marketing expert cringe. I am purging my personal Facebook account to leave primarily family and people I know or am acquainted with in real life.

As an author, I should be doing the opposite, right? I should have a friend count teetering on the edge of saturation. If it bogs down my news feed, I can just place the important folks in a list and read only that, right?

I could, but I find I don’t want to.

I use many social networks to promote my work. I have a Facebook page for promotion, which I believe is more conducive to reaching the masses in terms of book promo. This morning I had close to a thousand “friends” on Facebook, and I had to ask myself…why? I had people listed who didn’t speak English, people who hadn’t posted in months, and people who only wanted me as a warm body to plant trees on their farms. I had to ask myself – do I reach anybody when I post on my wall?

The answer is yes, but I always reached family and people close to me. It only makes sense, therefore, that I limit my account to have more access to these people.

In going through many of the people I have friended on Facebook, I see many of them are hovering around 5,000 friends. Do these people even see my posts? Will they notice if I leave? Probably not.

So if you have friended me and suddenly notice I’m not around anymore, please do not feel insulted or rejected. It’s not personal at all. I have only decided to keep the Facebook for personal interests. I will continue the friend whoring at Goodreads, so feel free to friend me there.

I’ll also follow you on Twitter @MsKathrynLively. Drop me a line.