At the end of February, Facebook finally unveiled Timeline for business pages. The new features offer great opportunity for your dental practice to share your culture and highlight key messages, as well as share the story of how your practice has evolved over the years. Timeline does have a lot of benefits for local businesses; however, it also comes with a few challenges. First, the new layout takes some time to get used to. Second, all business pages need to be switched over to the new format by the end of the week or Facebook will be switching your profile over for you. Don’t worry, we’ve
compiled a few tips to make this transition easier.

  1.  Cover Photo – You now have the ability to show off the culture of your dental practice in a cover image posted at the top of your profile. This is a place where you can show off your creativity; however, Facebook does have a few guidelines you need to be aware of. Some are:
    • Cover images must be at least 399 pixels wide and may not contain:
      i.
      Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
      ii.
      Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your page’s About section
      iii.
      References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features
      iv.
      Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”
  2. Pinning Posts – If you are asking your patients to weigh in on a survey or letting them know about something special going on in your office, you can “pin” a post to
    the top of your page. This allows users who are visiting your page to see that content more easily. A pinned post will only remain in that position for 7 days, so if you would like a particular post to be shown longer, remember to re-pin it to the top.
  3. Historical Milestones – You now have the ability to add historical data of your dental practice to your Timeline without bombarding your followers with a lot of
    posts. You can add milestones such as when you first opened for business, when
    you implemented new technologies, or when new employees joined your office.
    Think of it as an online scrapbook of key events for your dental practice.
  4. Private Messaging – Pages also now have the ability to send private messages to individuals. This can be a great tool to communicate with your patients privately; however, make sure you are aware of this feature and are answering
    any inquiries that may not necessarily appear on your wall. It is still another great way to connect with and strengthen the relationships you have with your patients even though it isn’t displayed publicly.

There are many more changes with Facebook Timeline you can explore in the future. However, if you master these by the end of the week, you will be off to a great start. You can get started, explore the new features and find all the guidelines related to Timeline at: https://www.facebook.com/about/pages/

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