What the Facebook Timeline Means For You
By: Joe Prasad
Category: Social Media
March 21, 2012
If you’ve logged onto your Facebook account recently and seen that your friends and businesses are rapidly converting over to the Timeline feature, you are not alone. Millions of businesses have made the switch to the new layout since it was introduced in recent weeks. The Facebook Timeline is a new way of synthesizing the data available on your page in an attractive, convenient, and straightforward manner rather than scrolling through lists of what you ‘like’.
A New Cover Image for Businesses
Certainly the most obvious feature to be found in the new design is the cover photo, the massive background picture that greets visitors coming to see what’s new with your business. The old “Welcome” page feature is gone and so is the ability to have opt-in forms. The cover photo is quite large, filling up the top of the entire screen, allowing businesses to insert a picture of their choice, whether it is a logo, a favorite snapshot from a customer, an image from a vendor, or a portrait from your business. For businesses if you want your page to be compelling, the cover photo will be what grabs people’s attention.
In previous versions of Facebook, your information on education and employment was a minor blurb, but on the Facebook Timeline it is front and center. Facebook re-designed the format with businesses in mind and company’s who want to boost their marketability or get more attention to their website can use the ‘About’ box and the tab features in new and creative ways. In an era when a friend request is the equivalent of handing over a business card, your professional information should be front and center. With the Timeline feature, it is the very next thing a visitor will see after the cover photo.
Apps Take on New Importance
The Apps box on the right-hand side of the Timeline reviews the number of add-on programs that you have on your Facebook page. These can be anything from the hugely popular networking games like Farmville and music apps like Spotify, to apps that sort and organize your friends’ updates.
Easier to Navigate and Communicate
Below your page information is the entirety of your status updates. While the previous version of Facebook required scrolling through mountains of text in order to find your updates and postings from the past, the Facebook Timeline organizes them by year and month for easy scrolling — if you want to find the Onion article that a friend posted or a YouTube clip, just look up the year and month. The status updates themselves have not changed with the Timeline and businesses can now send messages to other business pages directly from pages. This is by far the best feature addition for all businesses.
You can Still Integrate other Social Media
There is no change to posting Tweets or YouTube videos or uploading photos. You now, however, have the chance to ‘pin’ updates that stay at the top of your timeline. This can be a reminder of a certain date or event, a web page you need to continue to come back to, or similar needs, simply ‘pin to top’ and the world will see it. Highlight updates with a star so that it draws further attention. Although many of the features businesses grew accustomed to using are no longer available, the new changes bring interesting features to pages that businesses will have to master if they want to optimize their marketing activities on Facebook.