Facebook has recently made Timeline available for business pages. Millions of users are now in the process of updating their pages before the changeover is mandatory at the end of March. But, unless you have to, you don’t want to jump on the change bandwagon too soon, or wait too long. Here’s why you should, and why you shouldn’t, and why you need to set a budget in both time and money to keep your site and online presences updated.
Technology Keeps Rolling
Have you noticed the uptick in the pace at which technology seems to be changing these days? Do you feel like all the Facebook rollouts are rolling over you? Me too. In my business, I have to keep up with all of this, including the changes to WordPress, social media sites like Facebook, mobile devices, Google, and more. The pace is so hectic that I’ve decided to specialize in WordPress and what goes along with having a successful site, like SEO and ever-changing theme design trends. I read about 80 blogs a week to keep up. And every time WordPress has a new update, I’m all over it as a beta tester.
I’m very grateful for the boom in Social Media experts in the last few years. They keep us all informed about changes to our favorite platforms, like Facebook, and how to maximize on what they offer. Unfortunately, Facebook seems to have thumbed their noses at the open source community and refuses to make beta models available to third-party app developers. That means every time Facebook rolls out a major change, like Timeline, everyone has to scramble to make it work. It’s especially hard on developers who have to work around the clock to make their app compatible and keep their users happy. And user-level experts have to work around the clock documenting new things to show the rest of us how.
When to Update
Social Media experts have no choice but to be early adopters. It’s their business to report what works, what doesn’t, and how-to info. Just like it’s my business to beta test WordPress, except that I get to do it on a beta site, not my real business site. Same with testing plugins and such.
So, if you’re in the Social Media Expert business, you have to update immediately.
If you’re not in that business, you can wait for the dust to settle a bit, and I suggest you do.
For example, with this latest Facebook Timeline change, there’s more to it than just updating your cover image. You also have to consider your landing page and any other tabs you were using, especially if you had a gated Like tab. And, you’ll also want to consider how you now want to link to Facebook from your website. Folks will now go to your Timeline instead of your Welcome tab, unless you take special measures (and some of those aren’t working well yet either.)
Don’t Wait too Long, Though
A couple of months ago I paid someone to update my Facebook Welcome tab, including the graphics, as well as the graphics that run in the segmented strip across the top of the page. She did a great job. Wish we had both known that Timeline for business pages were coming. I would have waited. Now, I did already have a Welcome page, but it was on the old FBML tab. And, I did have top images, but they needed improvement. I had, what, a year or so to make those updates? I just waited too long.
The Moral of the Story
The moral of this tale is that you don’t have to rush in to a change unless it’s your business to do so. Let everyone else work out the bugs first. But, don’t be the last person to update either. For one thing, your site will just look old compared to everyone else’s. And, you’re likely to pay twice in a short amount of time.
The other lesson you can take away from this is that the pace of change is likely to remain fast for all Internet marketing platforms. So, put in your budget the time and money needed to stay up with it from now on. That counts for your site plus your social media platforms. And, put time in your budget to learn how to max out on these changes to your benefit. If you don’t, your competition certainly will.