As I meet with clients who want to set up a presence on the social media platform that everyone seems to be on, one thing that I’m regularly impressed with is that their experience extends far beyond the date that the Facebook page was created. So how do you highlight that expertise in your field? The answer is… by using the Facebook timeline!
Before we talk about how to do this, let’s first lay some ground work to level-set what I’m talking about and the potential impact of not taking advantage of this tool.
When you create a Facebook page, the history starts (by default) with that date and a “Joined Facebook” milestone. The problem with that is there’s more to you and your organization than the day you decided to join Facebook! You likely have a rich history of events and milestones that have brought you to where you are today, and it’s important for your customers (and potential customers) to see that.
It builds trust.
When left alone, visitors to your page only have the frame of reference related to when you joined Facebook. So there’s a missed opportunity to share with them why they should buy with you. You miss the opportunity to make them say “Wow! This dude knows what he’s talking about!”
An empty timeline is the biggest travesty that I’ve seen so far with businesses on Facebook.
So what do you do about it? We add that history, that’s what!
Going back to the beginning
The first thing you’ll want to do is to define where the history begins. It might be when the company was actually formed. Or maybe there was some other event that kicked off the experience that you wish to highlight. If your company is a more recent launch, you experience likely predates your launch. So you’ll want to start your timeline with when that relevant experience begins.
This initial ‘start’ information can be set in the Basic Information section when you Update Info in the Edit Page menu.
As you can see, there are several different types of starts that can be selected, depending on the beginning you want to highlight. The key here is to be creative, and focus on the first event that adds value to the expertise you want to highlight.
Outlining the organization’s history
The next step is to add the milestones over the history of the company that show people who you have the expertise they need. And where you can… add pictures! The key here is to create a sort of highlight reel of the company history. Here are some starter-ideas to get you thinking about the types of events that you may want to add:
– Milestones in the company’s growth
– Associations and affiliations joined
– Awards and recognition
– Community/public service projects
– Industry and product shifts that changed how you work
One of the best examples I’ve seen with building company history in a Facebook timeline is with TheHighCalling.org. The website, which is relatively only a few years old, is part of a bigger story that extends back to the early 1900’s when one family opened a grocery store… with a motive for making a bigger difference. Here are a few snapshots of how that timeline plays out…
As you can see, there’s a progression to the story line that eventually leads up to who this organization is and what they stand for. And that’s the best way to think of it… as if you were hanging out with a bunch of new friends at a dinner party, and they want to hear all about how you (and/or your organization) got to where you are today. When you think through that story line, there will most definitely be a series of events that have shaped what the business looks like today.
Why the timeline matters
The most important rule of social media platforms is that they are social. Organizations have an opportunity to develop relationships with their customers, and knowing one’s history deepens those relationships. Granted, not every customer will read through your entire timeline history. But even if they don’t, putting yourself out there like that shows that you’re making the effort to be known.
So show your customers why you matter. Show them who you are. Show them that you are willing to establish a long-term relationship. Show them why you are credible.