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How The New Facebook Changes Will Impact Your Small Business Page

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How The New Facebook Changes Will Impact Your Small Business Page

Like it or not, your Facebook Fan Page will change on March 30, so the countdown begins.  Think this won’t impact your Facebook presence? Think again.

The fact is, Facebook has decided to make the format for Pages very similar to personal profile. This means your old Facebook Fan Page will now have a Timeline format with a cover photo at the top of the Page.  Landing or Welcome Pages will become a thing of the past.

Instead of moaning, complaining or whining, here are a few ways your small business can take advantage of the new Timeline format.

1. Create A Compelling Cover Photo and Profile Picture

Cover photos are in; photo strips and Welcome or Landing Pages are out.  Big, big change here.

Think pictures and storytelling to communicate your company’s message and brand.  Pictures are always worth a thousand words, so it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and your strategy refocused.

The good news, is that you can take advantage of the large cover photo to make a great first impression. Maximum dimensions of the cover photo are 850 pixels by 315 pixels which is a big piece of ‘real estate’ on Facebook.

If you are creatively challenged, a good graphic artist can help or if you are a photographer why not ask your clients to submit their favorite photos and select one for your cover photo.  What about an upcoming event? That could be a cover photo. Keep in mind you can switch your cover photos as often as you like.  Compelling visuals can be very impactful.

A word of caution, you are not allowed to have a Call to Action on your cover photo.  You are also not allowed to include your website address, phone number or mailing address. Gone will be the days when you asked a visitor who landed on your Welcome or Landing page to ‘Like” it or Share it.

Before you start throwing a temper like two year old Johnny, you can include company details in your About section or you could have a ‘Like” app as one of your app buttons.  Just no call to action in your cover photo.

Profile pictures are now 180 pixels by 180 pixels.  This is good news, because you can now size your logo or picture in a bigger square.  Your profile picture is usually what appears beside every post in the news feed.

2. Tell Your Company Story With Milestones

Here’s where your storytelling can really shine. Use Milestones to tell about your company’s history, provide interesting facts and figures, firsts, launch of a new product, talk about a special award or anniversary, whatever provides a history and story about the company. The more visually engaging you can make your timeline the greater impact on your fans.

Here’s how to fill out your Milestone information. Click on the line that runs down the middle of your Timeline and select Milestone.  Fill out the company information as shown and start your story telling!

3. Feature Pinned Posts and Starred Posts

With the absence of a Welcome or Landing page, featuring a “Pinned” or ‘Starred” post is the only real way to highlight a story, a comment, a status update, a video, a promotion, a video or whatever content you want highlighted or featured.  A “Pinned” post is expanded to display the full width of the profile.

“Pinned” or “Starred” posts can be kept on the timeline for up to 7 days

To do this, click the pencil icon in the upper right of the post and select Pin to Top

Take a look at how Starbucks highlighted their Kona promotion by using the ‘Pin’ post feature.

4. Create a Call To Action With The New App Buttons

The Welcome or Landing tab will disappear. You will now have twelve applications (apps) you can showcase, however, of these twelve only four will be promoted on your page.  The rest will be hidden but still can be viewed.  This is where you need to think carefully about the apps you want front and centre.

Please note that you cannot change the position of the photo app which will be the first position in the row.  The other three you can choose and switch around however you want. If you so choose, you can maximize ALL twelve apps (but remember only four will be visible).

Some of the apps could include videos, a welcome app, a current promotion, a contest, another social media channel and so on. Consider using one of the app buttons to create a call to action.

These are just a few of the changes that are coming to a Facebook Page near you on March 30.  Change can be good, so consider how your small business can use this as a big opportunity to shine and tell your story.

Will you be ready?  How do you plan to make your Facebook Timeline stand out?

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