The New Facebook Business Timeline: Is There a First Mover Advantage?

The new Timeline for Facebook Business Pages was introduced yesterday, and businesses had the option of opting in right away, or waiting until March 30th when the conversion will be made for you. As a side note, I always advocate opting in when you can, rather than waiting until the last minute. The last minute option usually means you aren’t prepared, and even with a month of warning, odds are you still won’t be prepared, so why not learn it now?

But as for the Timeline, businesses get antsy. Many want to opt in right away, some without a lot of thought. My phone was ringing and my email inbox was filling up as clients were asking me,

“What should I do?”

“How do I do this?”

“Should I switch over now?”

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So I answered as best as I could, understanding that every client is different. They have different levels of knowledge regarding Facebook and different needs, and also, they will have to approach the Timeline differently. But then I decided to The way I approach it for my business is very different from how a non-profit client with a strong 107 year history will approach it. So there is no easy answer.

But as for opting in, is there a first mover advantage in installing the new Timeline on your business page?

Probably not.

We’re only talking a 30-day window when everyone will have it. Jumping in might be fine, but it also won’t give you any edge. In two months time, when everyone has it, no one will remember who was first.

On the other hand, are there any problems presented by jumping in too fast?

Again, probably not.

You can pull the switch very easily with one click of the button, and even install it without having a cover photo in place. No one will care, and you can add that and other details later as you play around with the new interface.

Can you wait, and install a lot of really cool stuff on the Timeline before making it active, such as highlighting your history? Sure. But one of the most important things to remember is that your Facebook page, just like any other social platform, is never a “finished” product or a “done deal”. You never complete it. This isn’t a print ad, or a commercial, or a billboard.

Your social presence, your Facebook Page, is ALWAYS a work in progress. No need to put up one of those ugly “pardon our appearance” signs that some people use when changing their website (or brick and mortar space)! It is never complete. You continue to grow it, and use it.

So feel free to make the switch and build your new Timeline over time, unless you have the time and resources to really build it out nicely between now and March 30th. Having said that, I will be surprised if most small businesses hold off and do that.


Because if there’s one thing I hear over and over again it’s,

“But I don’t have time to even update my page once a day!”

If that’s really the case, then you won’t have time to spend in the next month creating a full-blown Timeline presence.

So take a look at the Timeline and investigate the changes. Learn what you can and cannot do, and then make the switch sooner as opposed to later. You’ll catch on and you can build the Timeline over time.

Also, remember that while the interface, and some of the functionality, has changed, the main principles of Facebook and social networking in general are the same. You are still there for the purpose of building a community and engaging with your customers. That stays the same, so for the most part, you won’t be changing how you use Facebook on a daily basis.

How are you feeling about the new Timeline so far? Have you activated it yet, and what changes have you made? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Comments: 1

  • Joshua says:

    I made the jump today to try out the new Facebook options and be ahead of the ball for client requests. Many of my clients utilized variations of like locking and were understandably concerned about the impending changes.

    One suggestion, I can make, if you utilize a Designer to manage or create your Fan/Business pages, one should contact them quickly as we are getting booked up quick. 30 days isnt that big of a notice to recreate and attempt to integrate advanced functions

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