Facebook's Timeline Coming Anytime
Of the three biggest social networks, Facebook is the most visual. That is because it allows a firm to express its brand through pictures, videos and more. In a relationship industry, this marketing tool is too often undervalued. Facebook can offer help strengthening existing relationships and in some cases developing new business.

Now it is about to become even more visual. Facebook rolled out "timeline" last year, a new way of showing its profile pages. For now users have to manually make the switch. And don't worry, in this pre-rollout period it allows for a seven-day preview before the new version is published to your friends. 

What is Timeline?
Facebook is enhancing its profile page offering into a chronological scrapbook. You can now choose banner pictures that go across the page and it also shows each year, dating back to your birth year, assuming you have content that dates back that far.

This new feature is not yet available for company pages, but it soon will be. To be prepared to take advantage of the new features, update your personal profile, like I did here...


Here is how to make the upgrade:

Step 1: 
Log into your Facebook page.

Step 2: 
Open a new Internet page using this link, while also keeping your Facebook profile page open:

At the bottom right of the page, click the "Get Timeline" green box. 

Facebook will then configure your new profile page that can then be customized.

Step 3: 
Click the "Start Tour" green box.

Reach each pop instruction and then click "Next."

Step 4: 
Take time to update your cover image, choosing a picture that will go across the top of your profile page. Notice, your normal profile picture will now be a small box overlapping the bigger picture.

Step 5:
Experiment with hiding and featuring different things. Then, when you are ready, publish your new timeline by clicking "Publish Now". 

Use Facebook To The Fullest
My guess is that you are going to love the new personal profiles so much that it will motivate you to get the right content up on your company page so you can easily make the switch when Facebook allows the timeline change to take place for your business' page.

It is projected that there will be one billion Facebook users by August 2012. Take advantage of the potential this free social network has to offer.

Note: As always, check with your compliance department for its specific guidelines on what your organization will allow you to do with social networks. It is strongly recommended you hire an archiving service to capture all social media communications.

Mike Byrnes founded Byrnes Consulting to provide consulting services to help advisors become even more successful. His expertise is in business planning, marketing strategy, business development, client service and management effectiveness, along with several other areas. Read more at www.byrnesconsulting.com.