Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post: 6 Ways to Enhance your Business Page using Facebook Timeline

Timeline for Facebook Business Pages has arrived offering a new format, a new look and a new way to market your fabulous business.

So let’s get busy and revisit, revamp and rebrand our social media strategies.  Here are a few ideas to get you started…

First, let’s “see” the elements we will discuss…

Next, let's see some recent examples that we have just finished designing:

Billycart Market
Melissa Caron Jewellery
Boutique by Design

1. Cover Image
The cover image is the large image that spans the entire width of your Facebook page. It totals 800 x 315 pixels worth of invaluable marketing real estate. This is THE space to define your brand and set yourself apart from the ordinary, so be sure to use it to feature something powerful and captivating.

Use this space to:

  • Permanently brand your business. Use your logo, product photographs and/or mission statement.
  • Advertise weekly promotions or sales
  • Showcase a new line of products with fabulous photos.
  • Highlight your latest marketing efforts.

Regardless of what you do be creative, memorable and maximize this amazing space. The possibilities are truly endless. Just be sure that you are following Facebook’s policies to avoid any issues.

2. Profile Image
Profiles images are still very important. In the new Timeline format, they are used as both the square image sitting within your Cover Image and as your posting thumbnail. I highly recommend using your business logo for this image. That way, regardless of your cover image or where you post, your business will always be easy to recognize. The new size for this image is 180 x 180 pixels. You can upload this via your “Admin Panel” – a button located in the top right corner of your page.

3. Custom Pages/Apps/Tabs
I'm sure your old Page used many different custom pages/apps/tabs. At the very least, most of us had a welcome, contact or newsletter subscription page that sat in the left side bar menu of our page. With the new format, these custom apps now sit just under the cover image in the main menu bar. By default only four will show in the main bar, but if you look closely there is a little blue arrow to the right of this bar that allows everyone to access all the custom pages you have to offer. Now Timeline also allows us to rename these apps and include a custom image of our own for the app icon - another way to extend your brand! Here's how: click on that little blue arrow > find the app you wish to edit > hover your mouse over the top right corner > click "edit settings" in drop down menu > follow the prompts. Viola!

4. About You
On the old Pages layout “info” was just a tab in your side bar menu. While it contained a detailed synopsis of your business and brand, it was rarely ever viewed. With Timeline, the “about you” element of your information section now appears center front just under your profile image. Do not overlook this incredible marketing potential and be sure to use this space effectively.
Use this space to:

  • List your website link
  • List your blog link
  • Define your mission statement
  • Announce your weekly promotion
  • Feature a “quote of the day”

5. Design Your Posts and Control How They are Displayed
With Timeline, you can pin a post to the top of your Facebook page for up to seven days to highlight popular or relevant content. You can also change post dates, which will help you bump up posts that you want to keep at the top of the page. This will help when marketing a new promotion – you can still post your daily content, and then bump or pin your promotions or features to the top so they are never missed. Simply hover over a post and click on the star icon to make the post featured or “highlighted”. Click on the pencil icon to pin the item to the top of your page.

6. Change Your Business Page Name
For some of you this is the biggest benefit of Timeline. I am a huge supporter of brand consistency (the secret ingredient for business success). So having a Facebook page that actually has your business name (which also matches your website, blog and other social media names) is key in helping potential customers find you.

Do you have more ideas on how to enhance your brand using Timeline? Or maybe you have an insanely creative cover image to share. I love to hear all of your ideas. Just comment them below…

About the Contributor: 
Kim Timothy is the Owner and Creative Director for Boutique by Design and has been actively involved in the graphics and marketing industry for over 15 years. Her earlier focus was corporate design and she boasts an impressive clientelle who included: McDonald’s Restaurant (Canada), Westjet Airlines, Telus Communications, Forzani’s Sport Group, Fording Coal, University of Calgary, S.A.I.T., Petcetera, plus many others.

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