When friends on Facebook first migrated over to the Timeline algorithm, I discovered many a reaction on my update feed. Reactions were generally polarized – people either loved the change or hated it, and I’ll admit I resisted moving over as long as I could. Now that all of the Facebook pages use Timeline I must adjust to the differences. As a business owner using Facebook to promote products and services, you will do the same, but you will find the new design does somewhat favor companies.

Where once a Facebook page displayed posts by the page administrator and “followers” in a uniform feed of status updates, the Timeline design parses this information differently. Posts still appear in chronological order, but updates made by non-admins are relegated to one box on the right hand side of the screen, and boxes of posts that “recommend” the page/business take up prime real estate, too. If you have “liked” other pages through your current one, those links have moved from a narrow left navigation column to a wider, right-hand side box. While it may appear the right side of your page is taken up by material that isn’t entirely relevant to your business, you do benefit by having your posts appear more prominently on the page.

It is also worth noting that:

  • Administrators can now temporarily “pin” important posts to remain at the top of a page. If you have a sale or special promotion you want to stay prominent while you continue to post, this is a great feature to use.
  • Pictures appear much larger in posts. Where on the old Facebook pictures you uploaded directly to the wall appeared like thumbnails, Timeline expands them. You want to make sure the photos you use are of high quality.
  • You can establish a “founding story” on your wall now. In the status box there is an option called “Milestone” that lets you set the date for when your business was established. You can add a history to the post and upload old photos to show people the business before Facebook came along!

Probably the most notable change to Facebook Timeline is the looming cover graphic. This image, sized 851 by 315 pixels, takes up a large portion of the top of the page. You can include a photograph of your business or popular products, even an abstract design with your logo. You may think this is a good spot to place advertising, but Facebook notes in their TOS that calls to action are not permitted in the cover photo. This means you cannot design a graphic with phone numbers, URLs or other such language.The best way to adjust to using Facebook Timeline is to simply use it and become familiar with how it works. Play with the design and continue posting your news and promotions to keep your user reach high.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on social media writing and Virginia web design. Clients include Fairfax personal injury lawyers, self-publishing services, Virginia health care services, Norfolk Realtors, global trade portals, and Gainesville bed and breakfast inns.