Are you ready for it?

Here’s what you need to know, and what you need to do, to prepare your business, brand or fan page for the latest and greatest Facebook shakeup:

  1. Click on Preview Mode: whether it’s good, bad or ugly, you need to know. Why?
  2. Because like it or not, Timelines are coming on March 30th. Facebook is drawing a line in the sand and this is the published mandatory change-over date.
  3. Default landing tabs are going away. Custom tabs and iframes will still be available, but they are moving and will not be as front and centre as they have been. In the past you have been able to send non-fans of your business page to a custom landing tab. Going forward with Timeline, all viewers will land on the wall tab every time they connect to your page.
  4. You’re getting a great big billboard space at the top of your page. Use it creatively and wisely. If you haven’t seen the new Timeline format (which you were supposed to have done way back at bullet point #1 ;-), then here’s the scoop. Facebook has added a gigantic 851 x 399 pixel billboard at the top of your page. It’s in a letterbox format which offers a great deal of opportunity to use the space in interesting ways… such as not just stretching a regular sized picture grotesquely to fit. Have some fun with it in order to stand out!
  5. Brand pages now have a message box much like regular profile pages which will allow viewers to send a message to you. This can be disabled by a page administrator if you feel you don’t want to let customers talk to you.
  6. Offers is a new kind of post available that is much more powerful than a regular status update. It will allow you to highlight sales or specials on your page. Why is this cool? Because with one click, viewers can spread your offer to their network of friends, extending your page’s reach exponentially.

So like it or not, it’s coming. You’re best to be prepared and, if possible, be a first mover. Even with all the promotion Facebook has put out there, and all the hype in the news, magazines, blogs and social media, this change is going to catch a lot of businesses by surprise. Be prepared and you may seize some new opportunities while your competitors scramble to catch up.