Guest Post by Jenna Smith

As you may have heard, Facebook recently unveiled a new profile feature called Timeline. Timeline, which provides all profiles with a chronological history of usage, a large cover picture at the top of the screen, and a two-column approach to comments and images, will soon be the standard user page for all businesses and individuals. For private Facebook users, the arrival of Timeline may necessitate cleaning up some embarrassing wall posts from 2008 that, now, are easily viewable by scrolling through the dates and milestones posted in a permanent sidebar. This has led many users to criticize Timeline from a privacy perspective.

But the Timeline redesign stands to impact businesses more than it does individuals. These days, almost every company out there whether based online or offline has seemingly turned to Facebook as a way to gain exposure, interact with consumers, and market a given product or service. Timeline?s arrival makes all of these objectives easier to realize by turning a company’s Facebook page into more of a unique and informative marketing platform. But a business needs to take advantage of the new features in order to realize these benefits.

Here are a few tips for doing just that:

-Create a story. The most substantial change brought by Timeline is the opportunity for businesses to create and display a history that goes back to their arrival on Facebook or, if desired, to their founding. This history can be explained in wall posts whether actual or retroactive pictures, and noted milestones. In this manner, a business can turn an About Us? into a compelling story spelled out over social media a story that can translate into greater consumer appeal.

-Set the background. As aforementioned, the Timeline offers a cover photo? in addition to the standard profile picture. The cover photo is large and fully envelops the top of the page, while the profile picture is positioned as a smaller image in the corner of the former. This addition provides businesses the tools to make their page look and feel unique. They can do this by making the profile picture something basic and informative (ie the company logo) and the cover photo that is brash, vibrant, and relative to the product offerings.

-Provide a mission statement. The Information? tab in the old Facebook form has been replaced by an About? section that can easily be accessed from the top of a business’s profile page. This section gives companies room to more explicitly market their brand by providing a mission statement and a consumer guarantee.

-Manage your posts. Finally, a business using Timeline can pick and choose among posts so that some are starred while others are hidden in the process insuring that compelling data, photos, or updates are prominently displayed at the top of the Timeline. This allows business to create a narrative of their choosing. It also can have SEO benefits by allowing certain linked wall posts (such as video) to occupy prime real estate for an extended period of time. If you are unsure how to manage posts with such objectives in mind, you can always turn to seo consultants or professional seo services for assistance.

These are the main strategies that a business should employ when making the transition to Facebook Timeline. While the new interface may prove challenging and overwhelming at first, it ultimately promises to deliver greater value to business marketers. Now is as good a time as ever to start capitalizing.