The current complaint around the water cooler in most social media marketers cube is the change of Facebook book fan pages to the infamous and not quite so popular Timeline. On a personal page, the Timeline is a great way to organize your life events and really just create your own story, but for businesses, the movement from traditional “like-gated” fan pages to the Timeline format has lowered conversion rates, changed the game of getting liked and really altered the success rates of yesterday’s social media marketing strategy.
Never fear, all hope is not lost. Just as was true for personal Timeline newbies, once you get used to your fan page Timeline and learn how to use it to improve on your social media marketing, you’ll be fine with the change and getting liked again. While Facebook did provide a not-so-intuitive roadmap for new users, it was obviously not packed with tips on how to use the new Timeline to best market your brand. There are many assets to the new Timeline that you should take advantage of and there are just many work-arounds for those old tactics that worked well, but were discarded in the change.
First step to maximizing your social media marketing efforts in Timeline is to start working on a series of cover photos. Cover photos are the new large image at the top of your Timeline. There are guidelines set for these cover photos that include no call to actions, no contact info and no more obnoxious arrows pointing to your like and share buttons. That being said, this is still an awesome size space. Use it! The trick here is to change your cover photo regularly. Each time you change your cover photo (at a minimum of once per month), it goes on your wall. Extra tip, hide that wall activity after you change photos and then post your new cover as a post on your wall with a great textual post message that includes a solid call to action. There is also the issue of your profile image. Brand it. This is the image that accompanies every one of your posts. Make sure it is recognizable and the best representation of your brand.
What was lost in the change to fan page Timelines was the default landing page and home of the “like-gates” that built huge facebook fan pages of the past. Obviously, Facebook wants you to run ads and use their Reach Generator to get likes, they make cash that way, but there is a small work around that you can use to continue to supplement the like train into your fan page. All of the apps used with Facebook still have their own url. This means that the app you used to create your default landing page is still out there and it has its own url and people could still land there. The solution here is to start using links to this page in all your links. Rather than send people to your regular fan page Timeline, send them to the url of the “like-gate”. You can reset the links on your website, in your future posts and on your other social media profiles.
Speaking of apps, make sure you set your first three apps that appear below your cover image to those that will be of the most benefit to your business. Photos don’t move, but the rest can be arranged and you can even add your own thumbnail image to really create a well branded space on your timeline. Offers, Newsletter Signups, Shop Now apps can all become highly effective call to actions when you add your own image to make them look more like buttons.
After the looks are taken care of, then start organizing your fan page Timeline to highlight your journey as a business. Assign dates and times to photos and create a visual map for fans of your brand to follow your journey to success. Be sure to use the highlight and pinning to the top functions when you add new content and always remember that the images on the new Timeline are huge. Use those as highlights and create a photo album for fans of your brand to enjoy and feel connected with your business.
Those are just a few of the tips to Timeline success with social media marketing. Facebook is pushing businesses to pay for advertising and you just have to change your plan to utilize what free space they still give you. Go now and change the link in your Social Follow profile to your “like-gate” url. Yes, even with changes in our favorite social media networks, the free social media button from Social Follow is still and effective tool for building your social identity.