On February 29, Facebook surprised many people when they announced the first major re-design to Facebook Business Pages. All pages, it seems, will be moving to the new Timeline feature, much like personal pages. The announcement was one that those of us in the social media world had been anticipating.
So, what do you need to know if you’re an administrator to a Facebook Page? Read on for the major changes and ideas to keep your Timeline fresh.

1.) Timeline will be forced on March 31
If you think that you won’t be affected by Timeline, you’re wrong! Currently, you have the option to preview your Timeline with the further option of publishing your page now. Those options will go away on March 31 when all pages will be converted to the new layout. I’d suggest you at least play around with the new format and anticipate it, or you’ll be lost when the time comes to make the change.

2.) Cover Photo
Now, much like personal profiles, you can take advantage of some major online real estate – 851 x 315 pixels to be exact. The Cover Photo will be your brand’s identifier. It’s a great place to promote your company, but be careful, there are some very specific rules as to what is allowed on these business cover photos.
The following can NOT be in your Timeline Cover Photo:
 Price or purchase information, such as ‘40% off’ or ‘Download it at our website.’
 Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s ‘About’ section.
 References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
 Calls to action, such as ‘Get it now’ or ‘Tell your friends’

3.) Pinning & Highlighting
Have a post that you’d like to keep in front of your fans? Maybe you want to put a little more emphasis on your weekly/monthly specials? Pinning & Highlighting status updates will allow you to do this.

If you’re in the middle of a great sale, hover over the right-hand portion of that status and ‘Pin’ it to the top of your profile. Pinned posts allow one status to be positioned at the very top of your page – regardless of date – for 7 days. This is great for new products, specials, contests/giveaways, etc.

If you have a post that you’re especially proud of, highlighting is your other option. By hovering over the right-hand of your update and ‘Highlighting’ it, you make that update double in size across both columns of your Timeline. You are also given a space for a picture that will also take up some pretty impressive space.

4.) Admin Panel
Page admins are now given ample space to see new fans, get instant analytics, see engagement on the page and more. Besides the position of the panel and having everything in one place, the other big change is that now business pages are able to accept messages directly from fans. This is something that page admins have been asking for and we finally got it! These come in especially handy for fans who need a little more information or a way to take conversations from public to private. It’s also a great way to keep them on the page, rather than sending them to an email program to send in questions or concerns.

These four changes are only the tip of the iceberg. If you haven’t set your page to ‘Preview Mode’ we’d suggest doing that to familiarize yourself with the layout before the forced change this Friday.

Do you have more questions? Feel free to email our Director of Social Media, Danita Maldonado at Danita@sdbcreativegroup.com. She’ll be happy to help!

Do you need help? We are currently running a Timeline Cover Photo special via our Facebook page. Check us out at http://www.facebook.com/sdbcreativegroup for all the details and while you’re there, sign-up for our email newsletter. This weekly newsletter gives you more information about our services, staff and specials.

If you take advantage of our special, you’ll also unlock the option to take part in a webinar detailing the changes. This webinar will be held Thursday, March 29th at 2:00pm. All the details are on our Facebook page.

Written by:
Danita Maldonado, Director of Social Media, danita@sdbcreativegroup.com

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