Facebook where would we be with out it?? Some say better off but the fact of the matter is in most cases Facebook has helped the world get connected. We all know we need a Facebook page for our photography business and by now you should have all be upgraded to the new Timeline. If you don’t like the Timeline then chances are you didn’t know about these awesome new tools that are there ready for you to use.
Facebook changed things up a little when they invented and rolled out the Timeline. These days a post to your Timeline is called a “story”. Your ears should have all pricked up by now because we all know that telling a story with our photos is extremely important, no matter what we shoot.
So the 5 new features of the Facebook Timeline that we are going to discuss are:
- Pin to Top
- Bonus tool: Offers
I left out the most known change (The Cover Photo) because well I’m pretty sure you can guess how to use that. Just think BRANDING!
This as the name suggest highlights a “story”, and it does a beautiful job of it. Move your mouse and hover over one of the the stories your have posted. You’ll come across a group of buttons on the top right of your story one of which is a “Star”, when you mouse over it you’ll see it’s called “Highlight”. When you click it you’ll see that story expand to fill both halves of the Timeline.
Think about it, this is a pretty huge feature for your photography page. Any thing that is worth bringing major attention to is going to stand out. That could be a awesome photo, rave review from a recent client, or some important news like you just got a brand new studio etc…. Your basically tell people to pay special attention to that particular story.
Like most things, you need to use it in moderation. The fact you have just finished your 4 wedding for the weekend (4 weddings in a weekend, I know, but we’ve all seen the posts) probably doesn’t require highlighting. I know it’s amazing that you do 4 weddings a weekend but the more you use the highlight feature for unimportant information the more you dilute it’s value.
So we know by now that the timeline is separated into two columns, with a blue line down the center of the two columns. If you put your mouse anywhere along that line you’ll get a + sign. Which if you click will allow you to add a Milestone to your timeline.
Milestones are key events that you want to emphasize on your page, which will be expanded to 843 by 403px when clicked on. Milestones can be added to any date on your timeline so that means you can go back in time and put some of those important moments in.
Some ideas for important moments could be your first print advert, cover or whatever. I’m sure you will have something that is important enough to mark. Have fun with it you could even put in when you got your first camera or the date your got your D800 or MkIII.
Remember all those apps you use to have installed on your previous Facebook page. Usually there was a welcome page, youtube channel, twitter and perhaps your blog. Well they are still there and are called tabs. In your admin panel click the “Manage > Edit Page” which is on the left hand side, you will see a few option ine of which is Apps.
In here you can install your apps just like you did before. Make any customisation that may be available. You have 4 additional “app containers” on your facebook page to store quick links. By clicking on the down arrow where you see the 4 boxes below your cover image you can then add in 4 more items.
The beauty is that pre-installed Videos and Evens can be removed or swapped out, so if your blog or YouTube channel is more important then I would put them in those two spots instead. Think portfolio!! Keep in mind that very few people will probably ever click on the arrow to see the other 4 options you have filled up. So a little bit of thought as to what should go there is required. Perhaps something to do with clients like a client login would suite.
Pin to Top
Again we are hovering over a story to display those options, however this time we are going to click on the “Pen”.
Once you’ve applied this your story will move to the top left of your Timeline. It will stand out from the other stories you post with a very stylish orange flag on the top right side. This story will remain at the top for 7 days, after that it will return to it’s original position on the Timeline.
You can now pin favorable story to the top of your Timeline so that it is the first to be read. It could be a press release, you were featured on RAW or you have something special happening like a workshop.
Bonus Tool: Offers
This is a bonus because I discovered this while writing this post. There’s a new post type called “Offers”.
This is Facebook’s way of by passing sites like Groupon. You can now create your own offer and limit the amount of people who can redeem it, along with an expiration date. Along with the usual title, description and photo you can also add in your terms and conditions.
Once the offer is posted people can comment on it, share it and redeem it. When they redeem it an email will be sent to them which they will have to show to redeem the discount, simple isn’t it.
I haven’t come across anyone using this yet but from what I can tell it’s simple enough to work brilliantly so have a think about and offer and perhaps give it a try.
Time to play
So these are some of the new features on Facebook that you may not have known about, give them a go and see how they work for you. Do you know of any more features of Facebook that might not be so well known? Share then below in the comments.