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The Futurist

Facebook pages, what is changing for you?

There have been mixed reactions to this already, many naysayers proclaim the timeline is unattractive, hard to use, and dilutes their message. But if used well, this timeline can make visitors to your page much more interested, and increase your engagement with your fans (or potential fans).

You may have noticed Facebook has had some changes lately. The new Facebook Timeline is soon to become permanent and mandatory for all Facebook profiles, and something very similar is soon to come for your business pages too.

This new view lays out all of your posts and actions on Facebook on a timeline, shifting the focus from visitors reading post after post to showing visitors the story of ‘your organisation’ on Facebook.

There have been mixed reactions to this already, many naysayers proclaim the timeline is unattractive, hard to use, and dilutes their message. But if used well, this timeline can make visitors to your page much more interested, and increase your engagement with your fans (or potential fans).

Let’s show those naysayers and have a look at some of the great parts about the Facebook Timeline.

Cover photos

In the old facebook pages there were five slots for photos at the top, but these were randomly selected and you had no control other than selecting which ones you didn’t want shown. In the new Timeline page owners can select a cover photo, a large banner image that welcomes visitors to the page and proudly announces “This is our page”.

Some brands have already started utitlising this cover photo to great effect.

Just keep in mind that, with all things, Facebook does have some guidelines on selecting a cover photo. Read these here.

Pins and Highlights

The Facebook Timeline gives you more ability to curate your posts. Rather than every random post on your page receiving the same level of attention, you can now allow more important posts to be more prominent, while letting some more trivial posts float on by.

Pinning a post will raise it to the top of your timeline, where it will sit in prime real estate for 7 days. After 7 days it will then return to it’s rightful place in the timeline.

Highlighting a post will cause it to become a bigger box, spanning the entire breadth of the timeline. Great for important events such as launches, galas, and of course being nominated for awards.

History

Using the old Facebook pages it was difficult for newcomers to look back more than a few weeks or months, because it was a matter of scrolling to the bottom repeatedly to see older posts. Their impression of you would likely be based on your very recent posts. In the new Facebook Timeline new visitors can quickly jump back to the founding of the organisation and read through your updates and events from over the years.

Some corporations have taken advantage of this by adding their history into their timeline. Coca Cola and Toyota, among others, have added posts dating right back to the company’s founding. Even if your organisation isn’t as old as these large companies, it could help gain more fans if you add a little of your history into your timeline.

Go for it

Your pages can no be much more customised, allowing you to fine tune your message and draw in as many fans as possible. But of course the best way to learn these things is to dive straight in, have a play, decide what works best for you.

Before making your timeline permanent and public you have a chance to preview it. If you haven't already, go to your page and click the Preview button. You can play around and finetune your timeline, or take Facebook's tour and let them explain the timeline's merits.

Get out there and have fun.

Of course remember to check out Freerange Future's Facebook Timeline.

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