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Preparing for Facebook Timeline: Tips to Tweak Your Editorial Strategy
By: Christine Geraci
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Now that Facebook has announced huge changes to business pages, businesses large and small are scrambling to re-tool and re-assess their strategies for this social channel in time for the official switch to Timeline on March 30. 
However, it appears that smaller businesses have much more significant reason to scramble. 
This post from Jay Baer rather compellingly states a case for why Facebook Timeline "betrays" small business. Indeed, the changes in their current forms do appear to heavily favor the Goliaths over the Davids: In particular, Reach generator and premium ads (which build on Sponsored Stories) come to mind as features more likely out of reach for small businesses and nonprofits at this point in time. 
If you fall into the small business category, there's a lot to prepare before March 30. Reworking your editorial strategy is an excellent place to start. Some items to consider:
You will need to update your page every day. People who like your page will see an activity stream that lists interactions between the page and their friends. Without regular posts (as in, at least once per day), this stream will look barren and reflect poorly on your page. Therefore, it's important to plan out daily content that engages users by establishing calls to action: Ask questions, and encourage comments and shares. 
Plan what you're going to "pin." If you click on the pencil at the upper right of a Timeline post, you are able to "pin" that post prominently to the top of your page feed. The post will stay there for up to seven days, then automatically be removed. This encourages you as a page administrator to keep your content fresh. Ideally, you'll want to pin stories at least once per week, or even every few days. Consider pinning user-generated content: If you have a steady stream, you'll be able to pin a different post from your fans each day. 
Don't forget about milestones. Timeline allows you to add milestone events in your company's history whenever you like. But remember to plan ahead: Map out any future milestones in advance, then pin them to the top of your timeline when they are achieved. 
Use the composer. Unfortunately, it appears that using a third party app to post to Facebook means your posts will not be displayed as prominently. In this case, it's best to post to your timeline within Facebook. Yes — this takes more time, but it will help keep your posts more visible to fans. No word yet on how Timeline will affect third party apps such as HootSuite, which allow you to preview your Facebook posts and edit accordingly.
In what other ways are you going to change your editorial strategy in response to the launch of Timeline for Facebook business pages?

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About the Author
Christine Geraci is the Social Media/Promotions Specialist at MVP Health Care in Schenectady, NY. Connect with her on Twitter @christinegeraci.
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