On March 30th, Facebook launched their new Timeline. It has not been received all that warmly. The non-linear setup can look like a jumble at first, but there are some real advantages to the new design. Set aside an hour, sit down and run this little tune-up. Or, go to the bottom of the page, contact me, I’ll come do it for you and save you from reading the following. The choice is yours!
1. Dress up the appearance of your page. Take advantage of the new Facebook Timeline by setting an effective icon and cover, or design one if needed. Think about the photos you have that best represent your business or what is going there at the moment, find a favorite and either choose it or upload it. Then drag it to the position that best suits you. Remember you can change the cover as often as you like, and you should to keep it fresh.
2. Re-position and prioritize what’s important. Nice features of the new Timeline: “Pin To Top” and “Highlight”. Identify your most important post, for instance, a big announcement, or post about a time sensitive contest. Mouse over the upper right hand side of that post. A star and pencil symbol will appear. Click the pencil symbol to expose your options and choose “Pin To Top”. This will pin the post to the upper left hand corner of your page for about 7 days, or until you pin another post to the top, which ever happens first. This makes the post the first thing visitors will see when they arrive on your page. It will not work downwards as you add posts, eventually falling off the page, as it did with the old Timeline.
“Highlight” works similarly. Unlike “Pin To Top”, it will gradually be pushed down by further posts, but a “Highlight” post will run all the way across the page, like a banner. This is a good choice for your second most important post, for instance, a post about an award, event or new mission.
3. Clean up your page. Remove unwanted material and posts. This means posts that are spammy or off-point for your page. Again, find the post you want to delete, hover over the top right hand corner, click on the pencil icon and choose either Delete (permanent) or Hide From Page (which you can undo).
4. Optimize settings. Click the Admin Panel button at the top right hand corner of your page. Go to > Manage > Edit Page. Choose Manage Permissions.
Social media is a conversation. I suggest your page is set up to enable that. Make sure that fans can post, add pictures and video to your page. Set the default visibility for others to post on your page to: “Allowed on Page”. Then keep an eye on your page and respond to posts daily. Larger businesses, or organizations that have a lot to say (er, post) sometimes set their page so that posts by others are hidden. This is mostly to keep a large community from being too “noisy”. Small businesses should welcome the activity!
5. Grab a Username. If you haven’t done so already, get on your page and type in www.facebook.com/username You can use what Facebook suggests or choose your own. The name you choose must be at least 5 characters long and can have no spaces. Select “Check availability” to see if the web address you want is available. If it is, triple check your spelling because the change is permanent! Then click “Confirm” to confirm your choice. The common-sense convention is to try to grab the name that matches the one you use for your web site, i.e. www.derryarts.org = DerryArts Follow the instructions carefully. Triple check your spelling before you finish because you cannot change the username again! If you don’t choose a username, your site can still be searched and found. But the next time someone asks you what your FB address is, you can TELL them, instead of asking them to “find you.” Clearly, it’s also more efficient branding.
6. Train your team. First of all, its a bad idea to be the only admin for your page. If you run into a problem with your profile, your page could be orphaned. Something happens to you… same thing. Oh, and you’re busy! Let your ambassadors help you. Train key staff members to help you be the “voice” of your page by adding them as Facebook admins. Same as above, go to > Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Manage Admins and tap their name in. As long as they have “Liked” your Page, you should be able to add them.
Have your team think about what the page should be saying. One of the most common complaints about posting is “I don’t know what to post!” Many new admins are humbled, feeling that what they have to say isn’t important. This is why you should pick admins that are passionate about your business, and your best “people” people. (“People” people? Did I just write that?) Now, think again… What about your new product? How about adding a behind the scenes pic? Maybe a little history? Add a shout out to your friends at a nearby business, branch, or organization? A funny story or interesting fact? Something your customers can relate to? An announcement? (Posting could easily be a whole ‘nother article, and will be.) Be positive. Be encouraging. Share. Show them how good you are at customer service. Be part of the community.
There are many other strategies you can use to increase your Facebook outreach. But you wanted to take just an hour, right? Time’s up! Try these, then feel free to reach out and share your observations.
For small businesses/organizations looking to “tune up” their social media platforms, start with a Facebook Page tune-up. The cost is just $75 for one hour, time and money well spent. I work in southern New Hampshire.
For most small businesses, one hour does it. Additional consulting hours can be added, if you wish. Ongoing management of your web/social media outreach, promotions and marketing is also available. I work with most platforms and can help you find the ones that are best for you.
Want to take a peek at some newly “tuned” Facebook pages? Some are brand new! “Like” them, and watch them for posting ideas. I contribute to these pages regularly.
- Londonderry Fine Art www.facebook.com/LondonderryFineArt
- Just Maple www.facebook.com/JustMapleNH
- Sisters Gift Shoppe www.facebook.com/sistersgiftshoppenh
- Making The Numbers www.facebook.com/MakingTheNumbers
- Greater Derry Arts Council www.facebook.com/DerryArts
- Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center www.facebook.com/LondonderryCVC