Don’t you just love change? If not…stop reading this post! You don’t want to know that Facebook is going to force all business fan pages into the new timeline layout. On March 30th, all pages will be converted, whether they are ready or not. So, if you don’t like change…don’t get on your Facebook fan page after March 30th! Yes, you can do nothing about it…however, if you spend a little time, or hire a company to help you out, your fan page will make you look like a rock star! I’ll admit, I wasn’t happy about the change at first. We had just made an awesome welcome page that automatically came up with you come to our page. That’s not relevant anymore. After being upset, I decided to look more into it and see why the change is happening. What I’ll do here is briefly tell you what the changes are and why they are awesome, along with how to get going on your page.
Why Timeline is Awesome:
Before Timeline, there was only a 10% chance a fan would come back to your page for anything. They just see your posts on their news feed. Timeline is designed differently to help engage your fans and get them more involved. If you ask me, it’s almost like an individual website within Facebook. Here are some new additions:
- You now have the ability to pin a post to the top of your page. If you have one about an event, or anything else you want to be noticed, you can pin it to the top of your page, and it will stay there for a week. It keeps your most important info right in front of your targets.
- You now have the ability to send messages and chat directly with your fans! This might be my favorite new addition.
- While nobody can choose their landing page anymore, you get to have a huge cover image to show off your brand. This cover image reminds me of a website homepage. How do you want to be portrayed. Check ours out at www.facebook.com/visionarymarketing. Have fun with it and brand yourself!
- And last, but not least, notice the navigation below the cover photo. Just like you always could, you can have individual pages with different information. Before, however, your pages were hidden on the left of your screen. Now, they are up front and will guide your fans where you want them to go. Great for more interaction!
How to Do Your Own Page:
While there are tons of tutorials online, I’ll just go over the main key points on what you should do before March 30th.
First, and foremost, make sure your cover photo is taken care of. You want to make it 851 px x 315 px. Brand yourself, so have fun with it. However, you might want to follow Facebook’s guidelines:
- No price or purchase information. Do not include discounts, sale pricing, etc. Make sure you follow, or if you get reported by 1 fan, you will be reviewed, and the page will be taken down by Facebook.
- Do not include contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
- Do not include references to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
- No calls to action, like “Get it Now” or “Share with Friends”
Might have too many guidelines, but they are wanting a uniform NON-SALESY look and feel to Facebook. You can include everything on your page, just not in your cover. It’s not good for business anyway, as the fastest way to lose a fan is to always sell to them via social media.
As you see on our page, we have a services tab and an open mic (blog) tab. Get creative! If you have a blog, you might as well have it there. Think of this as your website…what are the most important parts of your business to incorporate into your social media. You can change these tabs anytime, so go ahead and get creative. If you don’t know how to create a tab, there’s an app for that! One that I used that is very popular is Involver. They have some basic free ones, that are great, like the blog one. Then, make an image and change it in the settings for a nice navigation look!
If you aren’t the type to go and make your own Facebook Timeline, go ahead and give us a call. We are doing this for a very affordable price right now to make sure our clients and fans have their best foot forward. I hope you got something from my long-winded post here. If you have any questions, let me know!
“Organizations cannot afford not to be listening to what is being said about them, or interacting with their customers in the space where they are spending their time and, increasingly, their money too.” ~ Malcolm Alder, KPMG’s Economy Practice, KPMG in Australia
As I was a shy child (way long time ago), I think I would have cringed at the idea of social media when I was in high school and college. There is something about hiding that still appeals to me today. I could only imagine if parents could have checked up on me in college by viewing my Facebook pictures. Whew…thanks goodness I made it through before cell phones to call home regularly and before social media to track my every move.
Now, however, as a business owner, social media is my friend. I might have gotten addicted to Facebook for my personal life too, but that’s a whole different topic! As a business owner, I know I need to stay fresh in the eyes of my clients and prospects. We need to portray our company in the personality that we want to be known by, and leave that ever so sought after first impression. I’ll admit, I didn’t want that additional task to add to my list of duties, or the list of a team member’s duties. We are all working hard over here, but somewhere…time had to be found!
Too many companies treat social media as a one-size fits all. If all companies don’t have the same marketing strategy for their business growth, then they shouldn’t have the same social media strategy either. What works for one company may not work for you. Sure, we can all take lessons from how social media giants like Chick-fil-a and Nike keep their information fresh, offer deals and promotions and keep their audience entertained. But when it comes down to it, you need to do what works for your company. What works for your clients and prospects. There is no one-size fits all strategy behind it.
Many more posts will be coming about social media, but first and foremost, make sure your social media plan incorporates the following key ingredients:
- Keep it Fresh! Your target audience is looking for fresh ideas and a source of knowledge. Make sure your plan incorporates a timeline of when you need to be thinking of new topics.
- Don’t Sell! There is nothing worse than following or liking a business and being sold to every day. Retail stores need to post sales and coupons, but most of us don’t. When a follower feels like they are being sold to because they like your page, they can simply unlike it as fast as they liked it. Remember, social media is NOT a direct sales tool. Yes, sales come from it, but they come from you building your brand and building a loyal following based on your perceived personality. Direct sales pieces bring in clients for a transactional deal. Social media brings them in for life!
- Quality NOT Quantity! There is a misinterpretation when it comes to staying in front of your followers. They aren’t on social media to follow only your company. They are on it for friendships, relationships and knowledge. Companies that post every day are very likely to get ALL of their posts hidden from being as bad as spam. Make sure what you post is interesting and targeted to your audience. Build loyalty versus annoyance!
When we work with our clients on social media, we’ll start by building a brand image. Then, we’ll work with the client on a social media strategy that is just for them. What’s their personality, and how can we portray it to make then stand out when somebody is looking for their product or service. When doing social media yourself, make sure to follow the simple rules above, and you’ll be on the right track! However…don’t take a break…social media doesn’t have downtime!
Last, but not least, I have to show you the best cartoon I’ve found on the effects of social media. Check it out below from Mashable!