I know change is not something many of you look forward to, but in this instance, I’m excited that the new Timeline Profile format offers everyone a chance to be creative and individualize your pages.

Some important facts:
1.  This new “look” will only affect your Personal Profile page and your Brand page.
At this time, your Newsfeed (Home) page will look the same.

Helpful Hint: One of the first things the new Timeline will ask you to do is upload a “Cover” image. I found it helpful to have one already picked out and correctly sized for the upload.
For your Profile page, FB recommends that you pick out a photo that shows a life altering moment, or something that exemplifies your personality.
For your Brand page, they suggest something that shows exemplifies your business, without being an advertisement.

The ideal dimension for this cover photo is 850 pixels x 315 pixels.

Timeline will automatically keep your current profile photo and inset it into the Cover image (bottom left) – but it will be re-sized to 180 pixels x 180 pixels. But you have the option to edit this and change out photos.
Feel free to check out my Brand FB page:  Media Fast Lanes or my Personal  FB page:  Indy Quillen.

As a writer, this is your chance to showcase your writing, without it looking like blatant advertising – which can be a real turn-off to readers. Just add your books to your Life Events in the Status Bar.

Business owners – the same applies. Done correctly, you can highlight your business as part of your Life Events (see instructions below). Right now there are ways to “cheat” the system and make your Cover image a sales banner – but Facebook will eventually find you out – and why take the risk, not to mention the potential of turning off future customers?

I would caution you to keep in mind the best practices guidelines for Social Media. Remember that Facebook is a social venue and readers want to interact with you – not be pitched to, or sold to. Entice them with interesting facts and share pertinent information. Once you’ve gained their trust, they will follow you back to you website or blog to learn more about you.

To make the transition easier I’ve listed 10 steps below:

Basic Instructions:
1.  Go to your Facebook page and type “Timeline” in the search box at the top of the page. Click on the top result, which will be “Introducing Timeline by Facebook.”
2.  This page gives you a video to watch and other information about the new format. You’ll also be shown the names of your FB friends who are currently using the new Timeline, and you can check out their new pages for ideas, if you like (although some of them may have not “published” their page for public viewing just yet).
3.  You can work in your page and make changes before you Publish, or just Publish and then make your changes.
4.  The first thing you will want to do is add your large “Cover” image. (see Helpful Hint above).
5.  Now you can customize your profile page. You’ll see that there is a mix of all your old posts. Some of them might be boring or even embarrassing, some will be important to you. Read through them and choose which ones you want to highlight or remove. These are the first things readers will see when they come to your page, so it’s important to take the time to do this with thought.
6.  Here’s a hint from Facebook: “Hover over a story and click the star icon to expand it to widescreen. Or click the pencil icon to hide or delete the post.”
7.  This is a great way to highlight business articles you’ve posted, your blog posts or up-dates for your books.
8.  On your Status Bar, you’ll now see an item called  “Life Event”. Click on the tab and you will be able to add information that ranges from births, jobs, hobbies, relationships, etc.
9.  Add your books or business news as an “Other Life Event”. You can add articles you’ve written, publications and other materials you want to share with your readers. A box will appear where you can load photos and the story.
10.  Once you’ve hit “Publish” your page can be viewed by your FB friends.

I hope these tips give you enough information to feel comfortable, maybe even excited, about going in and having fun with your new page. Enjoy!

I’d love to hear back from you about your personal experience, what you like, and don’t like about the new format.