Do you like Facebook? If you have a business, personal preference shouldn’t matter – the fact is that if you ignore the world’s biggest social networking site, you are doing your brand a mega disservice.

On 30 March, Facebook will be rolling out its new Timeline feature for brands, but you now have the opportunity to get your business’ page looking excellent ahead of the compulsory change. The Timeline layout has the potential to be a really useful asset in your marketing toolbox, so it’s well worth investing a bit of time to make sure you get the most out of it.

In fact, it’s a surprisingly quick and easy way to build brand loyalty and tell your company’s story to customers. It’s also fun – engaging positively with staff to add important milestones to the Timelineis a sure fire way to create a buzz in the workplace.

Sharing is Caring

So what should your business share on Facebook? Here at Zeta, a very stripped-back version of our social networking strategy goes something like this:

Facebook = a behind-the-scenes peek at our internal culture
Twitter = a blend of serious announcements and exciting project news (in our daily team meeting we ask the question “has anyone done anything amazing to tweet about?”)
LinkedIn = serious news and comment only, a place to showcase the individual industry credentials of our team
Pinterest = a place to share our creative side

Facebook’s Timeline is definitely geared towards allowing brands to let their personalities shine through. It’s a really good opportunity to showcase the human side of your brand and show how proud everyone is to be a part of the organisation.

Main Differences Explained

So how is the Timeline different? Perhaps one of the most obvious changes is the cover image – Facebook has done away with customisable landing tabs for brand pages in favour of a large image at the top of the page. There are strict rules about this – covers may not include company information information or calls to action, so a certain amount of creativity is required in choosing an image that works for your brand.

The new format also gives marketers a lot more control over posts from other users – particularly useful if your brand has ever attracted negative press coverage. A new filtering function allows page owners to block posts containing certain keywords and review posts before publishing. Basically, Facebook has taken measures to enhance the user experience by making brand interaction less spammy and more about positive engagement.

5 Steps to Marketing Heaven on Facebook

If it all sounds like a bit of a minefield, here’s our quick and dirty guide to joining the top brands who are choosing to go live with their timeline before 30 March.

1) Keep it visual: Try to accompany every status update with a relevant image or video, and aim for one engaging post every day (overkill will just annoy your page’s fans).

2) Take a trip down memory lane: I asked my Zeta colleagues to send me the date they started work here with a picture of themselves to add to our Timeline. I also added important milestones such as our office move, and interior makeover by a graffiti artist.

3) Get to know your way round the analytics feature: – it can give useful insight about when your followers are most active, and therefore more likely to see your content.

4) Be savvy when it comes to choosing a cover image: get to grips with Facebook’s rules and find the best way to circumnavigate these to get your message across. Hint: there’s nothing in the rules that says you can’t upload a picture of your product or service. Images should be uploaded at 851×315 pixels.

5) Pin it! This feature allows you to keep important announcements at the top of the page for 7 days, allowing your product announcement or press release link to gain maximum attention. To pin a message, simply hover over it and click the pen icon.

For a comprehensive overview, check out this brilliant guide to Timeline for marketers. We’ve enjoyed updating our Facebook page ahead of the big switch over on 30 March – why not have a look at our handywork and drop us a comment?

If you don’t have the resources to create your Timeline or would like some help managing your social media strategy, give Zeta a call on 01202 901145.

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