Dentistry IQ- Facebook timelines: it’s about time!

Posted on May 04, 2012 by Solutionreach

By Misty Absher Clark

Timelines have taken the Facebook community by storm! And it isn’t stopping with personal pages. Now your business page has a timeline. Fortunately, you have this guide to help you create the best timeline for your business Facebook page.

Many of you may be skeptical about the timeline look. But all indications point to this as being a positive change. Sure, with change, there are pains from the conversion process and getting used to the new format.

However, the benefits in the end will be helpful to expand your business presence and brand on the Internet.

A few key changes

There are many changes you will see in the timelines. Here, we have highlighted the ones that have the most relevance to your dental practice pages.

Cover photo.

You now have a profile picture and a cover photo. The profile picture (or avatar) is what appears in the newsfeed next to the posts you make. The cover photo is what people see when they come to your page.

What should your cover photo be? Think of this image as a dynamic image, one that you will change often. It could be used to highlight a feature or service. You could showcase a patient or display before-and-after photos. Use your imagination. Remember, the cover photo you place here should be supportive and reflective of the brand, image, and marketing goals you are trying to achieve. Avoid using images that you just think are intriguing. The photo must have a concrete connection to your overall marketing strategy.

Landing pages.

Your landing page is not the first place people land when they get to your page. They are directed to your timeline/wall page but can still navigate to the landing page. This may have an impact on the way you market your business. Secondly, the dimensions have changed. The Facebook screen is larger. If you do not change the size of your landing page, it will still appear and work; however, it will have more white space out to either side of it. The result will be similar to how many iPhone apps appear on the iPad.

Pin.

You can pin stories to add to their stickiness. If you have a story or post that you want to stay at the top of your screen, you can “pin” it. The post then stays at the top of your screen regardless of what else is posted. This allows for more pertinent stories to have a longer life span on your timeline.

Highlighting posts.

You can give a picture, event, or post more prominence than others on your timeline by highlighting it, which essentially formats it to a “double-truck” size. The picture or post would become twice the size, taking up the full width of the screen. As someone scrolls through your timeline, it will be more visible and have a greater significance than other posts.

Tell your story.

You can use the timeline feature to document important points in your practice’s history. It allows you to add posts, photos, and videos with dates on them. Then Facebook will place it appropriately on the timeline. This is a great feature for highlighting significant events. Such key events could be the announcement for bringing on a new associate, a team member addition, a move or upgrade in your facility, a logo or brand change, and even the addition of a new piece of technology such as digital radiographs.

Apps.

The apps are no longer located on the left-hand side of the screen. They are now placed at the top of the screen, directly below the cover photo. In addition, the appearance has changed. As a result, third party software companies such as Lighthouse or Smile Reminder have changed the structure of those apps.

Admin panel.

The administrative panel is now easier to locate on your screen. No longer will you have to navigate away from the page. The panel is located on the same page as your timeline. You can simply click on the option to administrative features, and it will expand to display them to you.

Timelines are here, and we couldn’t be more excited. Yes, you have worked hard to develop your page as is and may feel slightly disappointed that once you have one format under control, you have to change again. That is the nature of Facebook and all things related to the online world. It is fast-paced and moving quickly! But with change comes great things, for without it we wouldn’t even have the Internet or Facebook.

Embrace timelines and how they can benefit your business even more strongly than the old format ever dreamed of! Now you can brand your practice, differentiate yourself from other pages, and highlight the things that matter most to you.

Author bio:

Misty Absher Clark, vice president of creative services at Jameson Management. Jameson, founded by Drs. John and Cathy Jameson, helps dentists increase productivity and profitability while decreasing stress in their profession. Jameson advisors offer in-office dental consulting, marketing services, and online education such as their recently launched Facebook University. Ms. Clark may be reached at www.JamesonManagement.com, info@JamesonManagement.com, or (877) 369-5558. To register for a free webinar or strategic planning call for your practice, visit the Jameson website.

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