5 Tips on Using Facebook’s Timeline to Promote Your Business

By: | April 5th, 2012
Facebook timeline for business pages

Facebook timeline for business pages

Unless some of our readers are bears, we assume you haven’t been hibernating during the long winter months. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that you’ve missed the changes Facebook has made to its profile pages. The most central of these changes has been the Facebook Timeline – a completely new design of the profile page.

Basically, Timeline is intended to present your life history the way you choose to present it: on it you can post important life events, as well highlight certain events and hide others. If all this sounds like mumbo-jumbo to you and you don’t get why timeline matters, just keep reading. It’s worth it, we promise.

An important new feature of timeline is the cover photo – a wonderfully sizeable space covering 851 x 315 pixels where you can put, well, just anything you like: from a kitschy sunset on the beach, to a photo of your office building or the snow-covered Alps from your last ski vacation. In essence, the cover photo serves as a background that sets off your whole profile. The profile picture we have all come to know and love (?) has shrunk… and is now a 180×180 image at the bottom left corner of the cover photo. However, worry not! The ways to express your true self (or your Facebook image – not necessarily the same thing) have gained a healthy boost by this change. The combination of the cover photo and the profile picture provides endless possibilities to show your creativity and originality; some people have already put great thought in designing their timeline and the results are amazing.

Photos, videos and other links that you post on timeline are displayed in a much larger and user-friendly format than they were displayed on your wall. To top off all these features, you can scroll down the years on the right-hand side of the timeline and visit moments in history – before and after you joined Facebook.

This is all very exciting; but what does it have to do with you and your business page? Well, just a few days ago, on March 30th, Facebook has officially switched all the business pages to Timeline. Sure, you can be another one of those who complain about the seemingly arbitrary changes Facebook makes to its pages every once in a while; or, you can start finding out what this change can do for you. Timeline can actually help your business hugely – if only you use it wisely. If you do, you will be able to form a closer bond with your clients and make them more attached to your brand or company than ever before. How is this done? Here are a few suggestions.

#1: Make Your Cover Photo Pop

The cover photo for your business timeline can display your logo, a picture of your store or your products, a picture of people using your products – even a picture of your work team making funny faces at the camera. After all, humor always works! Remember that the cover photo is now the most dominant feature on your timeline – it is what your costumers see first; so take care to make it engaging and attractive to the eye.  However, keep in mind that there are several things Facebook does not allow you to feature on your cover photo, such as discounts, contact information, coupons, etc.

Here are some of the  2012 “Fortune 100” companies cover photos:

Download presentation: Fortune 100 Facebook Cover Photos

#2: Keep Your ‘About’ Section Simple and To the Point

The ‘about’ section is now located right under the cover photo; therefore, that’s what people see right after they have recovered from the shock they got from your fabulous cover photo. Don’t elaborate too much in this section; simplicity is best. Your company slogan, a link to your website plus some contact details should be enough. It’s the rest of the page you want people to focus on. You can get some inspiration from our recent post about how to write spectacular about pages.

#3: Make Clever Use of Your Apps

Another important feature of the timeline is the apps section. The apps are now shown as thumbnails, right under the cover photo on the right-hand side of the page. The apps are like gateways to other sections of your page, such as photos, events, etc. – so they are quite similar to the old ‘tabs’; however, they provide more possibilities. The most apps you can feature are 12 and you can choose what you want to feature on them. They can link to photos, promotions, upcoming events, your company blog, a map to your offices or store, your Likes, and so on. You can control the way the apps are featured and arrange them so the most important ones come first.

#4: Let Your Costumers Discover Your History

Interested in telling your company history? More often than not, especially if you are a new business, your potential costumers would want to learn about how you came to be. Post important milestones for your company on the timeline, such as its founding date, the date you sold your product for the first time, the date you opened your first branch overseas; and so on. You can even share historical photos, or the changes your logo has undergone over the years. Not only is this valuable information, it is your story; and people love a good story.

#5: Highlight and Pin Important Posts

One of the best features of timeline is the way you can ‘play’ with your posts. If there is a post you would like to draw special attention to, you can highlight it by clicking on the star that appears when you hover with the mouse around its right-hand corner. Highlighting your post will stretch it to the entire width of the page so it will be more eye-catching and noticeable. Another way to control your posts is using the ‘pin’ option. Pinning a post means it stays on the top of the timeline for seven days. This can be used, for example, to present special offers, a promotional ad, a photo of your new product – whatever you consider as your crucial update of the week.

Of course, this is only the tip of the iceberg; or rather, the Zuckerberg : ) The best thing you can do now is start experimenting with all these exciting features and see what they can do for you. You can also browse the timelines of other businesses to take inspiration. It may seem like a lot of work at first, but remember this: you should take the time to work on your timeline so that your timeline can work for you!

Dafna Ben-Yehoshua Google+

A biologist turned content writer who dances lindy hop for fun. Specializes in multi-tasking and never getting enough sleep. An expert on cats, dark chocolate, and how prevent cats from eating her chocolate.

4 thoughts on “5 Tips on Using Facebook’s Timeline to Promote Your Business”

  1. Alex says:

    Great article Dafna!

    I personalty don’t really like the new timeline (from user experience point of view).
    The previous look was much more intuitive…

    I have a car rental business, do you have any ideas for relevant cover photo?

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  2. Thanks!
    It took me some time to get used to timeline but now I love it. It offers so many chances for creativity and gives you better control of what you share and how you share it.
    About your cover photo – I would suggest a photo of a car’s front window from inside the car, so that most of the photo is taken up by the scenery you see from the window. And maybe the profile photo can be the car’s steering wheel : )

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  3. Garima says:

    Hei.

    Now this was one of the very few tech/socialmedia explaining articles that i found very easy to understand. And hopefully to imply as well.

    Could you shower any special suggestions for an organisation that is in its pre-launch phase?N how frequent should one’s cover photo change?
    Would appreciate a superfast reply! 🙂

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    1. Hey Garima,
      Sorry for the long delay in answering.
      If it’s still relevant, then I would suggest that your profile picture be the logo of your organization, and your cover photo to be of something that represents your organization. The cover photo should be colorful, well designed, be in focus and stand out – a photo that conveys the spirit of your organization, or an attractive photo of your product/service or people using it.
      I don’t think it should change too often – but if you want to keep things fresh, maybe once a month. As for the profile picture – don’t change it to often, so that it becomes memorable. Remember that your profile picture is the thumbnail people see when you post, or when you comment on posts: so you want to create consistency and help people remember your organization whenever they see a comment or a post by you.

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