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Attention Facebook Users: The Countdown Has Begun

Mark Kawabe - Thursday, March 01, 2012

Hey folks - remember the timeline switch for personal profiles in Facebook? Yeah. I know. Most of you probably didn't really notice. That's fine.

What you need to take notice of now is the switchover on March 30th to Timeline for Business Profiles in Facebook. There are some important changes happening and they will likely affect you. Here are some considerations.

Bigger Graphics!!!

As with the personal profile timeline, your business Page can now have a huge graphic at the top. There are a few things Facebook says can NOT be displayed:

  • Pricing or purchase information
  • Contact information
  • References to "Liking" your Page
  • Calls to action like "Tell your friends!"

So, what does that leave you with? The ability to post an image that showcases the benefits of your business, that conveys your personality, or just has a nice, friendly welcome message.

Just remember - the switch happens on the 30th so if you're not prepared, there will be NOTHING at the top of the page when the change happens.

No Default Landing Tabs?!

Nope. They're gone. All custom application tabs (apps) are now lined up under the header image. There are four spaces for apps but one is taken automatically by "Photos" so in reality you only have three.

This lack of default landing tabs means EVERYONE - fan or non-fan - hits your page and sees your timeline first and foremost. You can still create custom pages and direct people to them. It's just a little more difficult.

Apparently Facebook just wants us to become more creative in how we do things. Thanks. Grrr....

Build Audience (Share Is Back!!)

Okay - this is a good thing. Remember how you used to be allowed to share your business page with your friends? That got taken away a couple of years ago. The new Timeline has an "Invite Friends" in the new administration panel.

You can also invite people by email, share the page on your own personal profile or create an ad.

A Couple of Gripes

While I like some things about the update, there are a few other oddities that hopefully are getting worked out in the background.

  • When you highlight a post, it looks great when you're logged in as the administrator. The post is the full width of the page. Lovely. Only problem - it doesn't look like that when you're a visitor to the page. A highlighted post displays as a regular post - at the moment. Hopefully this is something they're working on.

  • If you set up your page as a "local business", your contact information is automatically set to show your address (with a link to a map), your business hours and your phone number. I'd prefer it to show my website and no business hours. To do that, I had to shut off the "business hours" function and check "no phone number" in my business profile settings.

I'm sure there will be more to discover about the new Timeline update. However, business owners who have business pages really need to be aware of the changes and perhaps revisit or re-think their Facebook marketing strategies.

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