Earlier this month, Facebook unveiled their new “Timeline” for pages. While this may have you worried about you practice’s Facebook page, breathe easy! These changes are actually good. Timeline for pages offers more tools and functions to better brand and tell the story of your practice.
Tomorrow, Facebook will automatically upgrade your page to include Timeline. Now, it’s important to note, you don’t have to change anything, but we recommend using these new features to your advantage.
Here are 8 Facebook “Timeline” features that could benefit your practice:
1. Cover photo:
Identical to Timeline for personal profiles, your practice’s page will showcase a large, wide cover photo atop your page. A page admin can choose to use an existing Facebook photo or upload a new one. This prominent image space is a great opportunity to brand your practice. Choose something catchy and consistent with your practice’s image.
Note: Cover photos cannot include price or purchase information, contact information, calls-to-action or any indicators such as “like” or “share” your page.
2. Call-to-action at top:
Quite possibly one of the most convenient new features for your practice is the new location of your contact information. Your address, phone number and hours of operation will now be “above the fold,” visible and apparent to all viewers.
3. Custom tabs are now applications at top:
If you hadn’t already used custom tabs for your practice’s Facebook page, now is a great time to consider the addition. Custom tabs used to run in a vertical list below your photo.
Your tabs may have included a promotion you run through Facebook or links to your blog or Twitter account. Now, these tabs will be applications displayed as boxes below your cover photo. You can change the images of these tabs as another opportunity for branding.
4. Pinning or highlighting posts:
Another great feature is the ability to pin posts to the top of your Timeline. This ensures that page visitors are viewing the most important posts on your page. Each post you pin will remain at the top of your Timeline for 7 days, before returning to its chronological spot.
Similar to pinning, you can now highlight posts. Perhaps you have an important post, but already have something pinned to the top; you can highlight that post to appear bigger than the rest.
You can share your practice’s history with milestones. Did you expand to a new region? Take a new doctor on board? Share these events in your timeline for a more personal visitor experience.
6. Friend-to-brand interaction:
In the new experience, page viewers will now see how their Facebook friends have interacted with your practice’s page. This feature is great because it’s been proven people are more likely to use a service if their friends like it!
7. Direct messaging:
Now your patients, practice friends, and prospects can send you private, direct messages through Facebook without posting the comment publicly. This is a great solution for those who may have questions they don’t want to post publicly on your wall. You will see the message in your new admin panel.
Note: You cannot initiate contact with a Facebook fan or user.
8. Improved admin panel:
There’s a new admin panel on top of your page where you can view all recent page activity. This is much quicker than having to click through to view notifications and page “likes.”
As you can see, there are many changes in Facebooks’s Timeline for Pages. If you use these changes as an opportunity to optimize your Facebook presence, your practice’s page will can only become more purposeful. Use this as an opportunity to brand your practice, and to interact and engage with fans.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding Facebook Timeline for Pages, feel free post on our wall.