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MD Social Media: Facebook Timeline Comes to Fan Pages

Marketing your practice as an MD in this social media world means being able to adapt. And sometimes, it seems, at the drop of hat. Among a flurry of changes, Facebook is now introducing its new time line to Fan Pages. Everyone’s Fan Page will change to the new format on March 31st 2012 but you can preview how yours would look and go ahead and change early if you like.

Large, High Resolution Cover Photos

The first thing you will see when you convert your fan page is a prompt to change your cover photo. Facebook calls this photo the banner image that goes at the top of your page. Choose something that reflects both the look and feel of your practice and clinic so you set the tone for the rest of the content you will share. It is important to know there are some do’s and don’ts for this photo.

Don’t

  • Include any pricing information or direct advertising.
  • Use graphics of coupons or other price promotions.
  • Display contact information such as your email or mailing address, website URL, or other information that belongs in the “about” section.
  • Refer to Facebook feature such as “like” or “share”.
  • Use graphics with calls-to-action, such as “call us now” or “new procedure.”

Do

Choose Featured Content

Facebook wants the banner image to represent you in an image not words or ads. But don’t worry; the point is still to do business. You can now choose which apps are featured on the top of your page, their appearance, and which posts you feature or even “pin” to the top of the page.

The end result is that you have more control over what information people see first when they visit your fan page. The “pin to top” feature is especially useful as that post will remain just below your banner image until you pin something else.

Take Advantage of Tab-based Features and Apps

You won’t be able to have a “like-gate” feature on your fan page any more, so this is one of the places you will have to adapt fairly quickly.  This really isn’t a great loss as according to TechCrunch, default landing pages only drive 10% of total page traffic. The other 90% come from published links and ads, which still function the same without the default landing page capability.

You can still default to a Welcome Page which now will fill the entire screen with no side bars. Other tabs that drive social media efforts such as Twitter and your blog will now be just beneath the banner image instead of in a side bar.

Where to Start

Pick the Right Image

The cover photo for the banner image is the first impression prospects who visit your Page will have. The photo should represent not only what your practice or clinic looks like, but also what it feels like. Is it warm and engaging? Buttoned up and secure? Be sure to show who you want people to think you are and set the right tone for the conversation.

TIP: The photo you choose for the banner image should be sized to 1000 x 400 and be high resolution for the best appearance.

 Add Milestones to your Timeline

You can add key dates from your practice’s history to the Timeline so that when visitors scroll down, they see your whole story, not just your posts. You can add a lot more detail now in the “About” section so take some time to check what you have there.

 Feature your Campaign

There are two great ways to feature posts, campaigns, or images now.

  • Pin to Top – Force a status comment to remain front and center until you want it replaced with something else.
  • Change the name and image of apps you want to promote (Open the Admin panel, click Manage, then Edit Page, go to Page Settings, Apps, and Edit Settings, where you can change the custom tab image and the custom tab name.)

You have until March 31st to adapt so it is probably a good idea to go on and start now.

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About Tim
Tim George is a regularly contributing author to the MDWebPro blog. Tim is passionate about web marketing for MDs expecially the latest trends and results in social media, SEO and inbound marketing. For more, please follow @MDWebPro on Twitter

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