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Facebook Timeline, part 2: timely tips

Kate vanderVoortSo you’ve survived the switch to Timeline on Facebook and the world didn’t collapse. Do you like it? Is it working for you? We love Timeline and are finding that it has some great benefits for our business clients.

Here are some more tips to help you get the most out of Timeline and make sure that it is working for you and your customers.

What I love most about Timeline at the moment is it clearly shows which businesses and brands are active on Facebook. I keep stumbling across businesses that clearly are not, as their pages have not been tidied up after the switch. If you haven’t got there yet, now is the time. It is even more obvious now to your customers if you are neglecting your page.

Part 1: Facebook Timeline: 6 steps to your new look shows you the steps you need to take to get your profile Timeline terrific. This blog shows you some of the tips and tricks to make Timeline work for you and highlights some of the features you might not have found yet.

1. Don’t miss the people!

When people tag your page or post on your wall it is less obvious now than it used to be. The posts are all held together in the top right hand side of your Timeline under a section called Recent Posts by Others. This has pros and cons.

PROS
•    They are all in one place for you to review and respond to.
•    New people to your page can also see what others are saying about you quickly and easily.
•    The comments don’t get lost so easily amongst your content posts.

CONS
•    It only displays one line of text, so unless the first few words are compelling, people are unlikely to click on it to see more. This is unfortunate, because others testimonials of your brand are very valuable for new customers.
•    Your comments and responses to people’s posts can’t be seen easily by others. Your response has the power to save you time by customers having their questions answered by others’ posts.

TIPS
•    Click ‘See All’ to view the comments and respond easily to all at once.
•    You do have the option to show people’s comments on your actual Timeline. In the top right hand corner of each comment there is an X. If you click it, a drop down menu appears. You have the option to remove the post, highlight it, allow it, or hide it from the page. If you select ‘Allow on Page’ the post will actually show on your Timeline as well as in your Comments box. If you ‘Highlight the Pos’t it will feature across both columns of your Timeline. This is a great way to highlight your customer questions, feedback and glowing testimonials!

2. Backdate basics

Ever missed an important post or have more of your history you want to share?

Timeline allows you to add in status updates, pictures and milestones… in the past! You can do this in two ways:

  1. When you do a normal status update, there is a little clock icon in the lower left hand corner of the status box. This allows you to select a time in the past for the post.
  2. If you scroll through your Timeline and see a place where you want to insert a post, just hover your mouse over the Timeline and a ‘+’ symbol will appear. Click on that and it will give you the option of inserting a post on that exact date.

When doing these posts, there is an option to ‘Hide From News Feed’, which allows you to enter multiple events without spamming your fans’ news feeds. It doesn’t hurt to let the odd milestone through to tantalize people to come and visit your Timeline again.

3. Change it up!

We have noticed that as we change the cover photo on Timeline we see spikes in engagement. When your fans see in their ‘Ticker’ (activity stream) that you have changed your cover, they may be intrigued. This brings people back to your page with more likelihood of them seeing and engaging with your other content.

The cover pictures look nice in your Timeline, too, as they display differently to other pictures.

There is so much more to Timeline than meets the eye. Stay tuned for future posts revealing the nitty gritty of making it work for your business.

Tell us what you like or don’t like about Timeline!

Kate is a social media specialist and the founder and CEO of Social Mediology. She is passionate about using online technologies to connect businesses with the customers, communities and causes they care about. Social Mediology specialises in ‘from the ground up’ social media strategy, implementation and training for small and medium sized business and the not-for-profit sector.

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  1. elizabeth says:

    kate – hope all is well – re profesional FBs you mention they only display one line of text – i haven’t found this to be the case and we’re having all our text displayed

    • Kate vanderVoort says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      The one line of text was ferrying to posts by other people, as displayed on Timeline. In the ‘Posts By Others’ box it only shows the first line of what they have written. I hope that is clearer for you:)

  2. George says:

    Hi Kate,
    We are having lots of fun (perhaps too much) with the new Facebook features for branded pages. One thing we have noticed is that the cover photo of a branded page does not show when viewing in the iPhone Facebook App. This is only for branded (business) pages and it’s not a big concern … hopefully this will be sorted out – does anyone have this problem on an iPad?
    Please check out our page and let me know how we could go one better :)
    http://www.facebook.com/likemenow1

    • Kate vanderVoort says:

      Hi George,
      Great job on your page. The Facebook apps dont yet show the Timeline layout on iPad or iPhone.

      Couple of little bits of feedback:
      - Facebook are very strict on what you can and can’t have in your cover photo. You can’t have a call to action (like Call Us), you can’t have contact details like phone or web address and you can’t use it to promote your products. You CAN use it to visually show what you do and you CAN include a logo
      - I looked at your tabs and the first 2 don’t seem to be working? Might just be on the iPad though

      Glad you’re enjoying Timeline!

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