Ready or not, businesses will see their facebook pages switch over to the new timeline format today.
While reactions to the change are likely to be mixed, local social media strategist Glenn J. Miller says the timeline format offers beneficial tools for businesses.
“We’ve seen this before,” he said. “Every four months or six months, facebook rolls out a new format and half the people love it and half the people hate it. But in two months we’ll forget there was even a change.”
When facebook automatically switches business pages today, those companies that haven’t prepared will see blank banners, so it’s important to get online and update the page, Miller said.
“I’ve certainly already done that for my clients,” he said.
Once the switch is complete, Miller said there are three things that will make businesses and their clients happy about the new format.
The first is that businesses can pin things to their banners. That means they’ll be able to continue updating their pages while simultaneously highlighting what they most want to highlight.
“Those pinned items will get twice as much engagement, three times as much engagement as anything else on there,” Miller said.
And that gives businesses more control and the ability to direct facebook traffic to what they hope visitors notice most. Those pinned items can stay put for up to a week.
The second feature Miller is excited about is the ability to highlight items within the timeline. While it’s great for personal pages that can transform into virtual scrapbooks, Miller said it’s even better for businesses.
Companies can highlight certain events and spread them across two columns in the timeline to draw the eye toward them.
And the third tool is the ability to create milestones. Miller said it’s an especially great tool for one of his clients who is an author. They have made all of her book publishing dates into milestones that stand out and show her success.
The timeline is the perfect way to appear modest and humble, as we all want to appear, Miller said. But to achieve our secret desire that people will notice the things we most want them to notice.
“It says: ‘if you check me out, you can see how completely awesome I am,’” Miller said.
And that’s the whole point of facebook.