Is Your Business Timeline Ready?

However you interact with Facebook, one key certainty remains: it’ll never stay the same for long.

After introducing the timeline layout for individuals late last year, business and brand pages now will get their makeover by March 30. Most of the major brands have already converted, but if you manage a brand page and have not yet switched, don’t wait.  Based on an informal poll at allfacebook.com, as of this morning about 60% of the respondents have already switched, while another 20% are waiting to the last possible moment and 13% plan to ‘fight to the death’ to avoid the switch.

Among the cries of outrage, many from those that have spent time finding clever ways to take advantage of the soon to be ‘old’ layout, there are some improvements and new opportunities to be had.

Where the profile photo on the top left of the old page allowed for some interesting ways to share, along with controlling the first five photos that appeared at the top of the page, the cover photo is now a big billboard to share your message.  There appear to be no hard and fast rules in place about what’s allowed, although you may see a message window stating that “this space is not meant for banner ads or other promotions.” Ultimately, as long as your not taking money from someone else to advertise with your cover photo, you’re not likely to have an issue.

Coca-Cola Cover

Sample Facebook cover used by Coca-Cola

One other benefit you’ll gain from the timeline for businesses is the ability to add events into the the timeline, such as when the business started.  While the intent of the timeline is to allow users to see activity that’s occurred over time, you can now augment that to include the events that may not be represented naturally. For example, the Coca-Cola timeline now goes all the way back to their start in 1886, well before this whole Internet thing started.

If you haven’t started your timeline, don’t delay. As before, there are many eye-catching and useful ways to use the new layout to represent your business on Facebook, you just have to take advantage of them.

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