On March 2012, another new feature rolled out from Facebook’s stable – Timeline. Facebook Timeline feature allows users to customize their profile page, making it more user-friendly and stylish, even though some people do tend to disagree! Lately, the Facebook timeline feature has emerged as the new trend to promote business online.
In this post, we will discuss:
- What is Timeline?
- What are the existing features of Timeline?
- How you can implement Timeline for your business campaign?
Let us discuss them one by one.
What Is Facebook Timeline?
Facebook Timeline is a chronological layout or structure given to users’ Facebook profile. It converts an existing Facebook profile into the new layout with a list of recent updates to the overall summary of the user’s activity from the date of joining. This Facebook customization is divided into two columns.
- First vertical column is for adding user’s cover page.
- Next column has the user’s recent updates and shared activities.
Timeline can also disable unwanted updates from profile. It works on an integrated platform to customize the user profile and to promote business in an easy format.
Features of Facebook Timeline
Timeline is beneficial not only for personal purposes, but for commercial purposes as well. Before we move on to how you can turn Facebook into an interesting platform for business promotion, let me first discuss what’s new with Facebook Timeline and its various features.
1. Profile Cover Photo:
The most demanding feature of Facebook was the cover photo add-on to the profile. Considering the demand, Facebook Timeline enabled users with the facility to add 851 x 315 pixels photo on profile page.
Adding a cover photo on the profile for the first time is very easy. The user just has to click on “Add cover photo.” The option is placed at the upper-right side of the Timeline page. If the user wants to update an existing cover photo, profile is enabled with “Change Cover” option when hovering mouse over cover photo.
2. Pinning Posts:
Facebook Timeline allows to “pin” a post to its users. The pinned posts are valid for seven days. This means the user can remain abreast of development concerning people, brands and other chosen things.
For example, if you are planning a get-together with your school friends this weekend, you can simply ‘pin’ an informative post regarding the gathering date, place and time. The number of updates from your friends on this page will be easily seen on your profile pin board.
3. Customizing Apps:
Facebook has updated its application tab placed at the middle-left side of the user’s profile page while enabling Timeline. The new timeline enabled profile has a limit of 12 apps on the wall. However, only 4 apps are visible at a time on the Timeline page.
The first app is by default the same as the earlier Facebook wall. It is reserved for users to add new photos, update them and delete existing photos. The remaining three apps are definable by the users. Some of the common apps users most use are the “Like” buttons, video opt-in applications and email opt-in applications from the applications tab.
One of the best things I like about the application update is the ability to customize the app visibility according to the user’s choice. This helps in controlling who gets to see your apps and its activities.
Business Integration with Facebook Timeline
In an era of fierce online marketing, marketers are eager to find different online marketing innovations to promote their business in as customized format as possible. After the announcement for Timeline, marketers began to speculate the best way to use timeline for marketing. Keeping the online marketing campaign in mind, I sorted out the following promotional activities from Timeline.
- Business Optimization With Cover Photo:
Cover Photo of Timeline profile is the first step for business promotion. The user can create a profile cover photo banner displaying business details like name, tagline, email id, contact number and location.
Corporate people are highly dedicated towards business logos as it directs the audience towards business and its services. The timeline is the perfect place for business promotion. For the self employed people too, a cover photo of their services enables various opportunities to connect with clients across the globe.
- Provide Business History To Client Satisfaction:
Hiring an organization to accomplish certain tasks is not an easy matter for any client. Finding the organization’s history, its completed projects and business growth in the past years provide credibility to the client towards business services. Timeline allows highlighting business history and its achievements on its user’s profile. This indirectly promotes business products and services.
- Easy Campaign Visibility:
Launching new products or services is not successful until they are not promoted globally. If an organization really wants to do so, it needs to use Timeline. The ‘Pin to top’ on the Timeline profile enables people to post promotional activities and position them at the top of their profile page.
As described earlier, validity of this pinning facility is for seven days. The seven days validity is beneficial for those people who constantly add promotional details on their business pages. This keeps their business profile fresh for their regular visitors or customers.
- Managing Campaign:
Whenever you want to edit or organize your product name and images, Timeline provides an easy but effective campaign management facility. Businesses can assign images to its products for individual campaigns with the custom tab facility.
- Effective Image Branding:
Business branding with Facebook Timeline is much easier than other modes of brandings. Individual pages as well as product campaigns can be optimized easily with Timeline. Enabling business videos with the Timeline ‘Video App’ enhances the visual brand image of the business.
- Timeline Apps Showcase:
Customized tabs and the capacity to add twelve apps with the Timeline business profile has begun to attract corporate people to integrate their business page on Timeline. This integrated version of Facebook provides the facility to put four apps on Timeline profile at a time.
Generally, business profiles customize this facility with email app, video and photo sharing apps, Business logo apps and “pin a post” app.
- Business Likes At Timeline:
‘Page Likes’ is not new to Facebook users. Timeline has enabled the same feature for business page promotions too. This is the essential and most demanding feature with every business on Facebook since it directs the audience towards a landing page. When the user clicks or hovers on ‘Like button,’ the user can click ‘Like’ and ‘add to interest List.’
- Extended Post Facility:
Business profiles on Facebook can make use of the extended post feature, allowing the webmaster to post about products and services in a more descriptive format. To activate this facility on Timeline page, the user just has to go to the business post and click the ‘star’ icon. This will enable extra space to post complete the description of the chosen business post.
- Receive Private Messages From Visitors:
Business profiles customized with Timeline format enables visitors to send private messages to the profile admin without getting associated to the business page. People who don’t want to enable this feature can turn it off through the page setting option.
However, this integrated version is highly in demand amongst business people since it can be utilized in getting customer feedback for their products and services in a comfortable manner.
Essential Business Practices
Besides the above mentioned features, you need to utilize the following measures to make use of Facebook promotions adequately.
1. Micro Blogging:
As Facebook has expanded its post space facility up to 5000 characters, micro-blogging for your business products and services becomes easier now. You may not have a separate blog but turn Facebook into a blogging space.
2. Audience Engagement:
Post your business updates, questions related to your services, polls and business forums to keep engaging your regular visitors, which is a necessity these days for steady brand promotion and brand building.
3. Be a Client Resource:
Do something to make the Facebook business page resourceful towards new and old clients. For instance, uploading business statistics, links and useful facts helps a lot.
4. Request Feedback:
Requesting customer feedback for your business posts or services adds value to your business promotion. Also, it holds the visitors’ attention towards your commercial posts.
These were some essential promotional practices you need to utilize for effective Facebook business promotion.
Facebook Timeline Summary
Various big organizations are adopting marketing campaigns with Timeline and getting good results. The Timeline features help businesses to keep the users engaged and transparent to audiences. Market research proves that Facebook social media promotion is actually helping small and large businesses to develop long term relations with their consumers.
Facebook Timeline is an integrated platform for both the business people and consumers. I hope that this discussion will help you to jump start business promotion on Facebook timeline. If you are already doing these things, do share your experience with us below.