Facebook has recently announced some new changes to the Facebook Timeline Page Design. The ability to send private messages to fans as a Facebook business page admin has just taken force. Along with private messaging, Facebook just announced the release of the Timeline design for fan pages. All fan pages will be required to switch over to the new format by March 30th, 2012. Don’t be intimidated by the switch to timeline! The best thing to do now is prepare yourself for the update and take advantage of Facebook Timeline for your real estate business.
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Emphasize Posts: Keep the important news most visible by pinning a post to the top of your timeline. The post will stay at the top of your page for up to 7 days. Page admins can also “highlight” any story, which will expand the post to the full width of your Facebook Timeline, giving your story more exposure. Tip: “highlight” or “pin to top” ongoing social media contests, real estate marketing flyers, or informational posts leading up to special events.
As the Facebook Timeline Page Design becomes the status quo, this means the end of welcome pages. The welcome or landing pages that have widely been used to introduce visitors to the products or services a company provides will no longer be the first thing visitors see, this will be relegated to the apps section. The Timeline will be the first thing visitors see, so it will pay to make it count.
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Businesses will be able to share quality content and build an emotional connection with their fans through behind-the-scenes photos, videos, real-time mobile pictures, and exclusive news. In addition to expressing the brand in the present, a brand can also utilize the Timeline to speak to its past to reignite the nostalgia and sentiment that may be associated with it.
This presents a tremendous opportunity for businesses. Historically, businesses could create a Fan Page in order to generate ‘Likes’. Then once Liked, Fan Page owners could send messages or put out posts, videos, or photos related to their product or service in order to communicate with their customers. However, the numbers of photos on Fan Pages were limited, allowing only the profile picture and five thumbnails to be customized, and hiding photo albums and tagged photos beneath the Wall. Therefore, the visual benefits of Facebook were never fully optimized.
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Also, marketers misused the Timeline For Business Pages, thus ruining the platform for users. For example, marketers used these Fan Pages as opportunities to spam or broadcast their messages. With some of the recent f8 changes, Fan Pages will no longer be able to message people any longer. Users now have more control over what shows up on their feeds. Businesses who fail to produce useful content will be left out in the cold. But how does this apply to Timeline?
Timeline is a visual platform and, as humans, we increasingly consume more information through photos, from browsing friends’ Facebook albums to mobile Twitpics, than we would consume or remember reading blogs or text newsfeeds. Accordingly, Facebook Timeline is composed mainly from photos and videos. Therefore, the strategy of posting quotes, texts, or blog links that could be spammy will be replaced by more visual media.
The days of marketers spamming users on Facebook are over and the opportunity that Timeline presents to businesses willing to be creative and interactive with their users is exponentially exciting.
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