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Facebook's New Timeline Feature: Useful Resources for Health Centers

As of March 30th, 2012, all Facebook Pages for businesses, organizations, and brands switched over to the new Timeline format. If your Health Center has already established a Facebook page, here are some changes that you should know about:

1. A New Look and Feel - Now pictures are bigger, organization milestones are incorporated, and status updates and comments are displayed through two columns separated by a dividing line, to represent the passage of time. There is a greater focus on a visual story being told over time. 

2. No More Left-Side Panel of Tabs and Apps - If you are wondering where all of your Tabs and Apps have gone, they are now beneath your cover photo. Only 4 are displayed at a time, including your photos, but you can expand the Tabs panel by clicking on the dropdown box. You can also rearrange their order and change their picture by editing the settings (to manage the settings, click on the little pencil that appears when you hover over the picture for that tab).

3. Featured News Items – In the old page format, you may have posted about that an outstanding award, an upcoming event, or a recent story of interest, but chances are those posts may have become lost amongst all the clutter of all your other daily posts and client comments. Now, you can pin a featured news item to the top of your timeline, which draws the eye of the user straight to that item.

4. No Default Landing Pages - If you had an awesome developer create a landing page that asked clients to Like the page first before seeing anymore of your organization's Facebook page, that option is no longer available. Now you will need to engage clients through the use of a dynamic cover photo and featured items on your timeline. You can also make your major accomplishments stand out with a large photo through the use of milestones. Have a Call to Action that you want to display? Put it in your About section. Users read the About section to find out more about your organization, and since it’s right at the top, it’s also the perfect place to display important information.

5. Private Messaging – In the old format, the only way a user could send a message to any organization was publicly, through a comment, but now users can message brands privately, just the same as they can message their own friends using personal pages. Use this opportunity to really engage with your visitors, however, you are only allocated two reply messages for every one message received. If clients have been asking questions publicly on your timeline that could be better serviced in a more one-on-one manner, you can now use private messaging to resolve the inquiry. It’s a good way to stay engaged with your clients and maintain a clean timeline. 

Check out this Pintrest Board that Beth Kanter put together of non-profit organizations on Facebook to help organizations with their design plans in the new Timeline format.

Here are some links to additional resources:

11 Ways Facebook Timelines Change Your Content Strategy - John Hayden

Facebook Timeline for Non-Profit Organizations – eJewish Philanthropy

13 Advertisers Doing Amazing Things with Facebook's Timeline - Business Insider Advertising

5 Ways Businesses are Using Facebook Timelines - Social Media Examiner

Facebook Brand Timelines: 6 Big Changes Every Marketer Needs to Understand - Mashable 

Facebook Timeline: What Are the Changes for Brand Pages? - TopRank

The new Facebook Timeline tells a visual story. So dust off those old photos from when your health center first started, upload those pictures from your recent wait room expansion, and keep the camera ready for any upcoming event, because Facebook's new Timeline feature allows your health center to tell its story and provide a pictorial display of its success in the community over time. 

You can visit MACHC's Facebook page by clicking here. While you are there, feel free to Like our page to remain up-to-date with our events, resources, trainings, grant alerts, and news.