April 3, 2012

As marketers and business owners we are not strangers to the power of Facebook. We know that marketing on Facebook can be critical to our success. It seems like we finally became accustomed to the format of Facebook, how to purchase ads and how to use our business fanpages to effectively. Then all of a sudden, Facebook decides to change their structure with the introduction of Timeline.

Many of us switched to Timeline on our personal pages and the reaction was dramatic. People either loved Timeline or they hated this new format. Unfortunately, Facebook didn’t give us the option to switch or stay with the old layout. As of March 30th, all business pages switched to the Timeline format.

Timeline Rules

Facebook has issued specific rules for using Timeline as a business. The first rule deals with your cover image. At first it may appear that these new guidelines work against those that are trying to market their business via Facebook. If we take a look at the specific guidelines, we can discover ways to work around these strict rules. According to the new guidelines, your business page cover may not:

  • Include any monetary information. This includes % off, download your free copy of or advertise a special or specific price of an item or service.
  • List your contact information. Your cover image cannot display your URL, email, mailing address or phone number.
  • No suggestions to “like”. You cannot say, “like this” or “share this page” with an arrow showing the fans how.
  • No calls to action. Your cover image cannot give any directives. This includes “get this product now” or “share this amazing product with your friends.”
  • Your cover image cannot be misleading or break anyone’s copyright.

Despite these strict guidelines, you can still create a cover image that attracts attention. While you cannot give a directive in your cover image, you can still have sales and offers within your app array. Your profile picture can display your logo or the special that you are offering at the current moment. Another important features is the “about” section.

Timeline About Section

Once fans realize that they have to dig a little deeper on your fanpage for information, it will become second nature for them to automatically click on your “about” section. Therefore it is important to make your “about” section count. One tip is to use the 255 characters that you are given in the about title to succinctly describe your business. These 255 characters are the only thing that the fans can read in your “about” section as it is displayed when they first arrive at your page. The key is to think of these 255 characters as your elevator pitch. If you had just a few moments to describe who you are and what you offer, what would you say? This is what needs to go in your “about” sections first line.

Knowing the rules for your cover image and maximizing your “about” section will help you maximize Timeline for business pages to achieve better results.



 (Image by Scott Beale)

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