If you have a Facebook Page for your business, products or a project, then whether you like it or not, you have a few days to upgrade to Timeline. The new version of Facebook is designed to be based around the most interactive elements of your life, and is now being adopted by businesses across the globe, all under a new-look but highly restrictive Cover Image at the top of the page.

From March 30th Timeline will be adopted for your business whether you want to or not so if you’ve not yet looked into it, you have less than a week to get to grips with it. The official Facebook explanations can be found here but we’ve tried to highlight the most important steps you need to take below:

The Cover Image

Very much like an HTML email header image designed to create impact but there are many restrictions you need to be aware of.

  • The image size is 851px wide X 315px tall
  • Obviously you need to own copyright for or permission to the image
  • You cannot use pricing or calls to action in your cover image
  • The image cannot contain URLs or other contact details

Private Messaging

Just like the Facebook messaging many of you probably use on your personal account, you now have that functionality on your Business Pages. This sounds a great way to encourage people to use Facebook to engage with customers and interact but could have hidden risks. People will expect quick responses to these messages so make sure you commit the resources to monitor and respond as needed.

Landing Pages have gone

Forget those fancy landing pages, promoting your business, they mean nothing now. The cover image is all and with the restrictions on calls to action, etc there you are going to have to become more creative on your uses of Facebook for you Business.

New 4 tab limit

These appear as mini boxes now and you can choose a striking image for each, so all is not lost. However, you need to focus on what is most important to your business and what will drive sales. Is a video tab more important than photos of your products?

Pin-style importance

While Pinterest may be gaining the media coverage at the moment, Facebook has similar functionality already. The new Timeline offers a ‘sticky content’ function to make sure that the most important message you are trying to push is kept right at the top of your page. Again there are more features, the impact of them are yet to be truly seen by businesses. At least by adopting the new format already in use for personal pages, the difference from Business Pages are less glaring and should encourage more interaction by the more wary of customers.