In just over a week’s time, the Facebook Timeline will become compulsory for not only personal profiles, but also for company pages which have been set up on the social network. With the new timeline in mind, we take a look at what the latest update from the social network giants means for businesses engaging in social media marketing.

The idea behind the Facebook Timeline is to tell the story of your history on Facebook, and as a result it’ll show comments from when you first joined the network through to the modern day.

Although it can be interesting to see how your page has progressed throughout this time, nostalgia should be put to one side, as you ensure your page is prepared for the changes, whilst taking steps to guarantee your page remains inviting, engaging and informative for your visitors.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words:
The old proverb that “a picture is worth a thousand words” seems to ring true with the design of the Facebook Timeline, as a large image should now be incorporated at the top of the page to prevent unattractive grey space showing.

The image, along with hiding the grey space left from the redesign by Facebook will also push the majority of comments, pictures and information below the fold on the screen, so it is important to select an image which positively reflects and “sells” your business.

Whether you opt to use your company logo, a team photo or an image of your products as the opening image remains your decision, but Facebook do insist on it being a minimum of 399 pixels wide, so you need to make sure that it doesn’t distort when expanding.

Top Tip: If you want your Facebook page to remain engaging to regular visitors, why not consider changing the image used every few months – whether to fit in with new product launches or popular days within the calendar (i.e. Easter, Christmas, summer holidays).

New Features Mean New Opportunities:
Along with the introduction of a large image at the top of the page, the introduction of the timeline brings with it new features – which in turn bring about new opportunities for businesses to promote themselves.

One of the biggest new features to be introduced by Facebook is the ability for businesses to “pin” a post, meaning it stays at the top of the page (even once the page is updated).

The ability to pin a message on the page now allows businesses to keep important information, such as impending seminars or product launches at the top and in the public eye.

Another new feature which brings about new opportunities, being introduced is set to be beneficial to both the clients and business; as Facebook are introducing the ability to send private messages to the owner of a business page, rather than only being able to communicate via public wall messages – a change which could see Facebook grow from a social network into a customer service platform.

Whilst the new features and design layout of the Facebook Timeline for business pages may take some getting use to, and there will no doubt be the odd grumble from those who are still getting to grips with social media marketing, there is no doubt that in the long run, the changes will be influential in the way your online advertising and marketing is carried out.

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