How to Use Facebook’s Timeline for Your Business

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Facebook seems to change its platform more often than not.  Every time a major change takes place users react with either love or hate.  Posts flood Facebook’s walls stating either how great the changes are or damning Facebook to hell for them.  There just doesn’t seem to be any in-between.

Now we have Facebook’s Timeline.  Many uses adapted early on and love it.  Others are being forced to use it as Facebook blankets Timeline across all users’ pages.  If you haven’t had Timeline take over your page yet, you will very soon.  Originally set to release for all users in September 2011, Facebook has been pushing back the full roll out due to copyright issues with  Facebook also wants more technically adept people to use it first and be an endorsement for the new layout.

The fact is Timeline is here and it’s not going anywhere.  While it hasn’t been rolled out to business pages yet, it will.  Facebook’s own page doesn’t even have Timeline at this point.  But it will.  The personal pages are just a start.  So instead of picking it apart and complaining about what we don’t like about it, let’s look at the positives from a marketing point of view and discuss how to use this platform as an advantage for your business.

Advantages of Facebook’s Timeline

Let’s focus on the layout.  Timeline is set up to tell a story.  Your story.  It’s a virtual scrapbook.  There has never been a better opportunity to reach your audience than now.  Timeline offers many options with its use.  It also offers you the choice to not use features you don’t want to.  And as always, don’t forget to set your privacy settings as you wish.

As you scroll across your Timeline page, a floating menu will appear that supplies options for you to update your information, pictures, maps, friends, statuses and even add an event.  Facebook events can get a lot of attention if done correctly.  You’ll also get an option on when Timeline should focus.  “Now” is an option and so are the months and the years.

Timeline also offers the large banner area across the top of your page.  Known as your cover photo, what better place for your logo, latest promotional push, new product announcement or great sale information?

Facebook’s Popularity = Your Win

With over 800,000,000 users, Facebook is still the most popular social network.  It’s also the most preferred by consumers to be able to connect with brands.

Facebook Brand Connection Chart


Facebook Business Page Tips

Utilize everything about Facebook to your full advantage, regardless of what the layout is.  Use it best you can and make it work for you.  Your photos should be of those from your Website or eCommerce store with a link to that exact page.  That drives traffic from your Facebook page to your business Website.  Encourage your fan base to tag themselves in your photos.  For example, a lot of rock bands will upload photos from their concerts and request their fans tag themselves in the pictures.   Of course these tags end up streaming downing many Facebook walls, hundreds in fact, and the photos easily go viral.  This scores the band some really great exposure, all from the point of view of the fans.

Ask for feedback on products while still in development.  Give some choices of new products and ask for fans to vote on the best one.  Ask for feedback on current products already out in the market so you can make appropriate improvements and upgrades.  Ask what new flavors of drinks your audience would like to taste.  Have contests on naming new products or services.  Do anything to get your audience involved.  This gives them a sense of ownership to your products and services and they become your greatest influencers and supporters.   This also help you better your business, products and services all the way around.

Another way to connect to your consumers is to offer purchase advice.  Consumers are constantly asking for the low down on products before they buy them:

Facebook Purchase Advice Chart

You could also ask your fans to upload video or pictures of them using your products or benefiting from your services.  Then tag, tag, tag these videos and pictures. You can tag anyone in fan base and ask for feedback on the video or photo, regardless of if they are in it or not.  If you keep engaging enough of them, eventually some of them will start uploading their own photos and videos to your page as well, without even being asked.

Got an interview coming up about your products or services? Have fans send in the questions they want answers to.  Give them to the interviewer ahead of time and post the interview when done for your fans to comment and share.  If possible, stream it live so fans can post (and tweet) while it’s going on.   Or if you have an event coming up, encourage fans to organize ride shares or share the best routes, coordinate colors to wear, etc.  Anything that can unify them would be great to encourage.  You may end up with your own hive.  The rock bank Thirty Second to Mars’ fans call themselves “The Hive.”

Spend time with your audience, not just on Facebook, but also on Twitter, Pinterest, Google +, Tumblr, Flickr and wherever you have a social presence.  Get to know your audience, especially your top influencers, and interact with them directly and on a consistent basis. Your biggest advocates deserve your time and attention.  So do all of your fans.  Use Facebook’s Timeline to do just that.  Don’t forget you can cross promote these channels but definitely send links back to your main Website.

For more information, visit Facebook’s Timeline and The Facebook Blog, where you can also learn about your 7 day preview time period.

For help from us and to engage our services, please visit Social Media Marketing from Vizion Interactive