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Small Biz Help: 3 Tips to Optimize Your Facebook Timeline

Every now and then I work with my amazing business partner Sandy Fowler and we do a collaborative post on different topics that are relevant to our peeps. This Social Media post was originally  written for Michelle Mahoney from Kick Ass Business News  .  I hope you enjoy it!

Profiles, Fan Pages, Business Timelines…can we ever be sure there isn’t another overhaul coming for our Facebook business profiles in the near future? Keeping up with all of the changes in social media has almost become a full-time job so it’s no wonder many small businesses are throwing their hands in the air in frustration.

While Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and Pinterest, go through simple upgrades and changes, Facebook seems to be the biggest offender and has the most obvious and significant changes that impact its users. But there are things you can do that no matter what the change you will showcase yourself in style!

But here is some great news. In our efforts to “keep up” with the latest trends in social media, we have discovered that the latest changes, i.e. Facebook’s recent shift from Fan Pages to Timelines, are really big news for small business owners. With this new design, small businesses can highlight their products, interact with and support their customers, and market to target audiences much more efficiently and effectively. Not to mention the fact that there are many other significant upgrades which you can take advantage of yourself.

The difficulty for an already busy, stressed out business owner comes in finding the time to utilize this new format. How do you keep up with social media trends or take advantage of new services and still have time to finish your to long “to do” list?

The answer is to find balance and make a plan. First decide which social media platforms make the most sense for your business. Then determine how and when you will utilize them.

You may be tempted to cross Facebook off your list simply because of the recent change to a timeline format, but truly that change was designed to help your business. Think about it, the hottest new social platform is Pinterest. Why? Because it’s visual. Timeline is designed to more visual as well. It’s also designed to help fans get to know you and it encourages visitors to ‘like’ your page and to interact with you on your other platforms.

By carving out say an hour each week, you can take advantage of the new format and put your Facebook Business Timeline to work for you. And the first thing to do is to optimize your page. We have a few tips for doing that.

Facebook Timeline Optimization Tips 4 You

Two simple and significant ways to maximize YOUR Timelines center around the images you select to use for your cover and profile. Both of these “pictures”, if chosen correctly, can help you capture the attention of potential clients, provide visual representation of your business and invite people to get to know you in a whole new way. The third way to maximize your Timeline is to turn visitors into fans and to keep them coming back with a few simple strategies.

Tip #1: When choosing a Cover photo there are a few important things to consider:

1. Your cover photo must capture what your business is. If you are a photographer a collage of YOUR photos would be appropriate. Likewise if you are an author a cover that illustrates your latest book would work. The goal is to visually capture a snapshot of who you are and what you do. [Tweet “Your Social Media cover photo must capture what your business is. #smallbiz #advice”]

2. It needs to evoke emotion and tell your story. Think about some of the cover pictures you have seen. Many of them are pictures of relaxing beaches, maybe a sunset or even a family portrait. And while the photos are nice and could be a good choice if you are a yoga instructor or a photographer they lose their impact when a D.J. or marketing consultant uses them.

3. It must follow Facebook cover guidelines. The cover photo is affectionately known as “the land of no”. Facebook has a whole list of things that you may not include on your cover photo so be sure to follow their rules to avoid having your Timeline shut down.

Tip #2: Make your profile picture work for you:

1. Make your profile picture action oriented. This is the icon that the Facebook community sees every time you post. Your ‘friends’ and ‘followers’ see it and so do potential customers. Using an image that encourages them to click on it is the best strategy.

2. Add a call to action. All over Facebook people are clicking on profile pictures. They look and then add comments. But what do people see when they click on your profile photo? What if, when a potential client clicked on your engaging icon, they saw instructions on how to get more information, connect to your web site/sales page, or learn more about you or your services?

By making these 2 simple changes to your profile you are already on your way to getting more from your social media efforts.

Tip #3: Engage your visitors:

1. Talk to your visitors. It’s tempting to simply post your latest blog entry or press release, but Facebook is a social platform. Turning people into raving fans means engaging with them. So post questions and respond to their comments, and be sure to include their name in the response. Talk to them and make it personal.

2. Create a community. According to the research firm Razorfish, the #1 reason fans like a page on Facebook is to gain access to exclusive content, promotions and deals. So give them a reason to ‘like’ you! Use those tabs at the top of the page to ‘friend-gate’ information. This way only the people who’ve liked your page can access it. It’s a great place to post special deals, ‘fan only’ info, and other things that let your fans know you appreciate them and they’re considered insiders.


~Judy Davis, the Direction Diva is a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur as well as a military life and teen suicide prevention expert. Co-founder of DASIUM, Judy’s books Right Side Up  and Warning Signs: Is Your Teen at Riskare go to resources for families and her websites are filled with tips, inspiration and resources for those looking for direction. Connect with Judy at

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