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APRIL 2012 issue of
Rental Management

Time out for Facebook
04/06/2012

By the time you read this, your Facebook page will have had a complete makeover. If you have checked your Facebook page recently, you’ve either made several changes to the new design or had a panic attack when you realized it looked totally different. Fear not — it’s happened to everyone and the changes may actually be beneficial to your business.

On March 30, Facebook planned to transfer all business pages from the old layout to a new design called Timeline. The company announced the change in September 2011 and, on Feb. 29, 2012, made the change optional for individual and company users. Several bugs have been worked out in recent weeks and many large-scale companies took Timeline on early, including Dove, Starbucks, Red Bull and others.

The new layout features a screen-wide “cover photo” in addition to the business profile photo. It also lists all the older posts and news items, virtually any item that links the business name, chronologically. On the right-hand side is a clickable timeline by month and year from the time the business joined Facebook to the present, thus, the name “Timeline.”

If you hover over posts on your page, icons will appear in the right-hand corner. Click on the star icon to make the post enlarge to screen width or on the pencil to pin it to the top of your page, hide it or delete it. Have previous posts you don’t want to see again? Now is the time to clean house, as they will be more, not less, visible and easier to find. You also can “pin” certain posts — such as great compliments from customers — to move them to the top of the Timeline, where they will stay for a week or until removed by you.

Many businesses feared that their welcome pages would disappear with the new design. These pages are now a tab on the right-hand top of the page, and they should include the same information and photos as before the change.

Constant Contact offers ideas on how to best take advantage of Facebook Timeline and handle your social marketing campaigns with the new layout. Go to:

blogs.constantcontact.com
and search “Facebook Timeline” for more information.

The biggest change is in the photo area. The new design features a cover photo that takes up the entire width of the screen. This photo is the first major message viewers will now see, so it should reflect your company and your mission. The table under “Choose Photo” lets you remove or reposition the photo, choose a new photo from an existing album or upload a new photo at any time. Whatever photo you choose should be fairly high resolution.

Next you can adjust your profile picture. If you have been using event or job-site photos for your profile photo, now is the time to change over to your logo, as the cover photo feature is handling the illustration of your work. Try to use an image that is square and is at least 180 pixels wide.

On the Timeline, you have boxes on your page under the cover photo, including “Photos,” “Likes,” “Videos,” “Notes” and “Events” as well as other apps. The Photos box is static, but you also can show a maximum of 12 apps in this location and change the order as needed.
For instance, you could create an inventory guide and use that as one of your apps.

The admin panel on the new design also allows you to track activity. There are boxes for notifications, messages, new likes, insights and page tips. Under Insights, much like the previous design, you’ll see a breakdown of your posts, who is talking about them and how you are reaching people. Under Page Tips, you can click on View Insights for demographics on the people who like or talk about your page on Facebook. You can view these stats in a custom range of dates and also export the data to Microsoft Excel.

There also are tabs for “Manage,” “Build Audience” and “Help.” Under the Manage tab, you can edit your page, see banned users and use an activity log. Here, you should see a list of new posts, which you will have the option of keeping. Build Audience has options that used to be under “Resources” in the previous design. Here you can invite email contacts, invite friends, share your page and create an ad. Under Help, you can take a tour of Timeline and peruse products, video and send feedback.

 

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