OK, so yesterday I spent the better part of the day creating new cover photos to use once I converted to the new Facebook Timeline. Switching to the new timeline itself isn’t hard—you just click ‘publish’—but deciding on the cover photo had me in a sweat. It got me thinking, along with this great article on how the new Facebook look betrays small businesses, about how so many social networks behave as if that’s all you do all day.
But wait. You are spending your time running your business, for crying out loud. You are ordering supplies, handling paperwork, taking orders, and dealing with customers. Most likely you have a small staff, and you are the CEO—chief executive everything. When a social media network throws changes your way, you just can’t drop everything and attend to it. Trust me, I know it’s hard enough sending out your tweets, posts, pins, and writing your blog–along with running your business.
Let’s face facts: as Jay Baer notes in the above article, Facebook has become decidedly unfriendly to small businesses. The company proudly announced the changes to business pages, trumpeting great new features. Except, unless you have staff dedicated to social media—and most small businesses don’t—the new changes weren’t terrific. They are ending up a time-consuming, stressful mess.
Take the cover photo, ugh. As I said, I spent most of yesterday working on the cover photos for Find It In Ashburn and Nova Creative Media. The one for FIIA was more time consuming, although it doesn’t look like it; after all, it’s just a couple of photos and the logo, right? Right. I had to decide on the photos, resize them, arrange them, place the logo, resize the logo, add text and decide on a background color. Then change the photos, arrangements and background color. Rinse, repeat. Deciding on what to do for NCM was a bit trickier—I don’t have a lot of photos of me blogging or posting to Facebook. So if you have a business that doesn’t lend itself to beautiful visuals, what do you do? Get even more creative.
And now, a new feature to be rolled out by Facebook: Interest lists. People will be able to develop lists of things that interest them and it will be continuously updated, creating a newspaper-like experience. So now you need to think about keywords and how to target those lists.
It will be interesting to me to see how these changes evolve and how small business owners react. The new timeline emphasizes engagement and visuals, such as photos and video. How long before small business owners decide to disengage entirely?
Please comment on how you’ve reacted to the new Facebook timeline and what it means for the future of your social media engagement.
About Lisa Karl
Lisa Karl is the president of Nova Creative Media, a social media/marketing firm in Ashburn, VA. She is also the publisher and editor of Find It In Ashburn! Connect with Lisa via Facebook (NCM), Facebook (FIIA), Twitter and LinkedIn.