If you read my blog posts, you’re probably aware that I’m not the biggest Facebook fanboy in the world. To me there are too many self-help solutions and family photos. Don’t get me wrong, those things are important to 800 million people, just not me. Anyway, I would need to retire from marketing if I chose to ignore Facebook as the dominant platform in Internet marketing. It’s part of my job to be on top of the technology and best practices, so here are three things I’m doing to learn about the new Facebook updates and update my profile accordingly.

Get Your Timeline Now

The new Timeline updates are still in beta at this juncture, but you can get your hands on them now. It’s pretty clunky, but you can handle this if you’re prepared to take a few unusual steps. You need to become a Facebook developer and create a new app that you will turn into your Timeline. Yes, it sounds like a semester course, but it’s really just a few clicks to get started. Just follow these instructions, and you’ll be on your way. Here’s a bit more in depth review from Mashable of the Timeline features and how to install it now.

Update Your Cover Photo

This is a new profile photo that spans the full width of the main Facebook content area and allows you to do much more than the old left-column image. If you use Photoshop or some other graphics program, it’s easy to create something that looks great and conveys key information about you. The best ones I’ve seen have a nice background image that portrays something about you (a great place you’ve been or a scene that you love) and includes your name, company and title (if you’re using Facebook for business), website and social media “hangouts”. Here are layout and margin guidelines for creating your cover. If you’re a Photoshop geek, here’s a template you can use. If you’re too busy, too lazy or artistically challenged, there are a number of cottage industry cover creators out there. You can download premade covers or create your cover from an app.

my facebook cover photo for inbound marketing

Learn How to Use All of the Facebook Updates

I was shocked to find out how little I know about using Facebook effectively for personal and professional purposes. How did I find out? I watched a fantastic recorded webinar by Mari Smith, one of the world’s foremost experts on Facebook marketing. This 90 minute webinar goes into great depth on everything from privacy settings to sharing options to business pages and much more. If your job includes understanding Facebook and leveraging all of its bells and whistles, you need to watch this great Mari Smith webinar.

I hope these tips help you better understand and prepare for the new Facebook features. I may not be a huge Facebook advocate, but I know a huge marketplace when I see one. The way I see it, you either get on board this freight train or you get run over by it. I hope you will jump on the train and check out my new Timeline. See you on the Timeline!

What are your experiences with the new Facebook updates?