Gaining Leads from Facebook’s New Timeline Design

23 Apr

Now that the Facebook changes have gone into effect, let’s take a look at how you can maximize the “new” Facebook Pages. Today we’ll walk you through some of the creative ways to boost your exposure and your page on Facebook.

The apps that now appear on your Facebook Page can be used in all sorts of ways. You can use them in some pretty great ways but it will be important to make sure that the thumbnails associated with them are coordinated in colors and look. You can have fun with these, but I’d recommend keeping an eye on your branding because these show up on the top of your page and are very visible.

Now that we know we can use these fun applications, what are some marketing tips that folks can use to make the most of these?

Well, you can and should rename your applications. When you do, make sure there’s a clear call to action, especially since the default welcome tabs have gone away, you can really use these to maximize your impact and get folks to sign up or whatever it is that you want them to do. You can also move these applications around.

So, how do you upload a custom thumbnail?

The first thing you want to do is collapse all of your applications so they all show up. And then, hover over the right corner of any of your applications and you’ll get that little edit pencil that popped up when you moved the boxes around. Next, you’ll get the drop down and you want to click on Edit Settings. Once you click on Edit Settings a box will pop-up here and you can add or remove the application, you can change the thumbnail image and you can name your application; like I said, put in a really good call to action — Enroll Now, Sign Up Here, Listen, or Watch or whatever you want to do.

How else can users customize their Fan Pages?

In the old layout we were able to use a default landing tab. Many of us used it as a default welcome tab where all non-fans would land before landing on our Wall. Now this option is gone. You can no longer set a default landing tab. However, the good news is that each custom app has its own unique URL so you can take that URL and then drive traffic from outside of Facebook into Facebook with that custom URL so they actually land on the tab you want them to land on.

Another way that I drive traffic to my applications is by designing a timeline cover image that draws the eye down to a specific custom app. For example, I used my Timeline cover to draw attention to a “Webinars” custom app. If someone clicks on my “Webinars” app what they’ll see is an opt-in opportunity to sign up for my upcoming webinar. So it is essentially a lead generating opportunity.

Here’s what’s cool, in this instance I used a tool called Lujure and this tool allows you to pull in a web page outside of Facebook and have that function inside your custom tab on Facebook.

So, other than the new Timeline cover image and no default landing tab, what else has changed? What are some tips for increasing Fan engagement?

With the new Pages rollout — first impressions really matter! The goal is to get people coming back for more. Having an impeccably branded Facebook page is important; it’s got to look good in order to attract people’s attention. That’s where your cover image comes into play. Also, on your Wall, I encourage you to use more eye-catching images and video. Video especially is a great way to build authority and build a stronger relationship with your fans.

Also, I always say ask interesting questions that can be responded to easily. One word questions are always great. Also, don’t post and ditch. I was really guilty of this the other night when I posted something on my Facebook page. I had found this really cool Facebook ad and I wanted my Facebook fans to tell me what they thought about it. However, I posted it and then I went off to bed. When I woke up the next morning there were 50-plus different comments! I should have stayed up a little later and engaged with my fans. The way I see it, if your fans take the time to comment, you want to make sure you show them you’re present and listening.

Tell us about some of the new features for building fan engagement?

There are some exciting new features, let me explain. First of all, there’s something called Recent Posts by Others that is now on your new timeline. When someone writes on your wall or tags your page, posts are not always prominently displayed on your wall. It’s really weird how they’ve done it now. Posts by others are actually grouped together. You want to go out of your way to make sure you answer any questions they have and respond to their comments. Remember to make it a habit to reach out to those who have commented on your page.

Another new feature that is good to know about is the “Friends” indicator box. When you go to any Facebook page, at the very top, right under the custom apps, you will see a number. That number is the number of your friends that are also fans of the page that you are on.

In addition to encouraging more engagement on your Facebook page, there are two really cool things that you can do with posts now. If you wanted to really draw attention to a post, what you could do is hover over the right corner of a post and you’ll see a star and a little pencil. The little pencil is to edit the post; the star is to highlight it. Click that star and what happens is the post expands across the timeline. Instead of it being in one of the columns it takes up both columns. Now when people are scanning down your timeline that post that will stand out more than the other posts. This is a great thing to do with just a select few posts that you want to draw attention to and highlight.

The only problem with this is that as soon as you put up a new post, it will be pushed down on your wall. One way to keep a post at the top is to pin it. Pinned posts have a small, yellow ribbon in the right corner of the post — that’s how you know it’s pinned to the top of a Facebook Wall. Pinned posts allow you to feature your most important content at the very top of your wall. When you pin a post, it will stay there for 7 days and then Facebook will automatically unpin it.

Although it would be nice to do, you can’t highlight and pin a post at the same time. It’s one feature or the other. Meaning you can’t pin a post to keep it at the top and then highlight it so it stretches across your Timeline.

To wrap up, here are five quick Timeline strategies:

  1. Make sure you create calls-to-action with your thumbnails and name your applications with strong words that encourage your fans to click on them, such as: Enroll, Watch Now, and Sign Up Here.
  2. Be strategic with the three apps across the top — remember any Facebook page you go to, you’ll see the Photos application and then three boxes next to it. Be strategic with those three applications because those are the ones that everyone will always see.
  3. Make a mindset shift — start focusing on quality interactions, more engagement, more lead opportunities versus more likes.
  4. Make your Timeline visually appealing (while invoking real action)! Choose words and graphics that will get your fans to pay attention.
  5. Bonus Tip! Use Facebook Ads to drive traffic to your applications. Facebook ads can be very inexpensive and get you huge results when you experiment with them enough to really understand how they can work for your business.

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