Facebook Timeline is currently available to all personal pages, but the clock is ticking for brands to join as well. By March 30, like it or not, everyone will be on Timeline. The time is now for REALTORS® to jump on board and make sure they’re ready for the change.
Timeline accentuates stories, with large images, more compelling content and the ability to add milestones to tell an even deeper story. This allows REALTORS® to better feature listings, highlight neighborhoods or tell your own story.
Here are five things REALTORS® can do to get the most out of Facebook Timeline:
1. Cover Photo and Thumbnail
The new Timeline cover photo dominates the new layout, replacing the five-image photo strip of old. The new cover photo (851×315) gives REALTORS® plenty of real estate to showcase a compelling image that enhances your personal brand. Perhaps an image of a family in front of their new home or a beautiful home and with your sign on the lawn?
The thumbnail (90×90) sits at the bottom left of the cover photo and appears next to all posts you make on Facebook, so take care to make it compelling as well. The best thumbnails are usually professional headshots that blend well with your cover photo.
Here’s a link to get inspiration on creating your own cover photo and thumbnail: 13 Creative Facebook Cover Photos
It’s Facebook’s intention to allow the social network to catalogue and tell your life story. Since your life goes back further than the invention of Facebook, Timeline allows you to include milestones along the way. Near your status update box you’ll see Life Event, which allows you to tag a significant event in your life on the timeline. Work, family, relationships, home, living, travel – Facebook offers a chance for individuals and brands to tell a full story on Timeline.
REALTORS® can take advantage of this by inserting key events in their own personal and professional lives. Seeding Timeline with home sales (included with a photo of the smiling family), real estate awards, conferences attended or personal events like marriages, children and grandchildren will tell your story and enhance your brand. These can be entertaining and useful at the same time – like your own personal rich media Wikipedia page.
3. Put Your Best Foot Forward
When Facebook moves a page from the old layout to the new Timeline, every post moves as well. Since the format is new and links will alter slightly, REALTORS® are advised to perform a content review and go through their profiles to select posts that should be hidden from public view. Users can hide less compelling posts, freeing up Timeline for the more compelling content. Remember, not all posts are created equally. Put your best foot forward at all times.
4. Highlight Your Attributes
Just as Facebook Timeline allows you to hide posts, it also allows you to highlight your best content. Posts are displayed on either side of the Timeline branch, unless you click the star at the top right of the post which gives you the option of highlighting it. Highlighting a post positions it in the center of the branch, giving it extra real estate. REALTORS® should highlight their best photos or video – excellent properties, happy clients, personal images that accentuate your community involvement – anything to help tell your story. These will stand out and draw the most eyeballs.
5. Changes for Brand Pages
If you’re a REALTOR® running a brand page, there are additional changes to the platform you should be made aware of. First, default landing pages are a thing of the past. All Facebook pages now default to Timeline. This does away with landing tabs and “like gates” of the past. Tabs also move from the left sidebar to the top of the Facebook page where a maximum of three can reside. This makes them less prominent than before and forces brands to prioritize.
On the positive side, brand pages can now pin highlight content to the top of the page where it can remain above all other posts for seven days. This can help REALTORS® show off big wins or promote upcoming events so visitors are aware of them. Timeline for Brands also allows Facebook users to message brands directly instead of relying on writing on a wall to communicate. This is a big step forward for customer service.
Facebook Timeline is a good thing for motivated REALTORS® because it offers even more ways to highlight compelling content and tell your story. What differentiates you from the competition? Why should a homebuyer or home seller look to you for trusted guidance? Timeline allows you to create a rich media experience that touts your business and personal side like never before.
How do you think you’ll use Facebook Timeline to enhance your brand? Leave a comment below and let’s start a conversation.