People are grousing about the new timeline for pages, however, it provides yet another amazing opportunity for you to brand yourself on Facebook.

Beside the new timeline for business pages there are a few other big opportunities for branding on facebook… we’re going to dig into them today.

1. TIMELINE FOR PAGES

I’m not going to go into all the benefits of this change, there are great benefits, and there are some cons to the change. Since the change is inevitable I thought it would be time well spent to show you how to use the timeline to help build your brand.

Now… let’s be clear here… I want you to build YOUR brand ~ not show case your company on your page. You do have a page that’s about a relevant topic, but not specific to your company right?

Now, you have a LARGE image at the top of your timeline. This is an incredible place to build your brand. It’s up front, right up top, and eye catching. You want to make the MOST of this space. You want to create an image that tells a story here. What is your brand? Who is your target market? Who are you trying to attract? Who are you talking to? You want to engage these people with this image.

For example… on my MomStrong page I am talking to strong women who want to get healthy, and raise strong, vibrant families. Part of the emphasis of this page is on health and fitness, the other is about mindset ~ and being not only strong in body but in mind as well. Part of my brand for this page (and the website that goes with it) is the words MomStrong.

I created an image that I felt incorporated, not only the “ideas” of my brand, but the feeling as well. Here’s what I came up with.

When you’re creating your timeline cover image you’ll want to create an image that is around 800 X 300 in dimension. This will give you an image that fits nicely in the space provided.

HOW TO CREATE A TIMELINE COVER IMAGE.

I use a couple different programs for this process (because I’m no graphics genius, I just Frankenstein things together to make them work)

I use this program to create the initial size and add any images I want. Once I’ve got the size and images in there I save it to my computer and go to…

2. Picnik.com ~ another free program that is ending soon.

I upload the image I just created into picnik and then add the words I need.

I like the choices they have for fonts. If you wanted to download the fonts you like you could do all of this in xheader. I upload the image I created in xheader and add the words in picnik. They have wider selection of fonts than the ones I’ve got downloaded on my computer.

3. Save to your computer.

4. Upload your image.

Go to your fanpage and hover over the cover image. It will give you some options to add a new image, either upload from your computer or choose one from your Facebook images. Choose upload, then find your image on your computer and upload it.

5. Position the image.

Depending on the size of your image you may have the option to move it around a little to get it right where you want it. With this size though, it should fit perfectly.

TIP: Keep in mind your profile pic will be in the left hand bottom corner ~ so make sure you keep that space clear so you don’t obscure your message.

2. FACEBOOK GROUPS

Facebook has added a new element to groups ~ a top of the group image. If you are running a group you should definitely take advantage of this new element.

You want to think about the same things you thought about for your timeline image ~ your brand, who you’re talking to, the purpose of the group, and create an image that supports those things.

I recently created a group for another of my sites. It is a “mastermind” group. While it goes with one of my sites, it isn’t exactly the same brand… so I created the image using the same colors, and font as the header on my site (so it was easily identified as a part of the brand) but added the unique elements that make it different as well.

The image I created for this group was just words ~ that’s all I felt it really needed. You can add images, words, etc. Just don’t be “salesy”. The purpose of your groups shouldn’t be to “make sales” it should be to connect, and help, and support people who are interested in the things you have to offer. Just keep that in mind. This is another opportunity to build Brand You… so take advantage of that.

I use the same process to create this image as the timeline image. However, the dimensions are a little different. This one is about 800 X 200.

Once you’ve got your image, just hover over the image at the top of your group and it will give you the same options for adding a new image. Choose upload and then find your image on your computer.

3. YOUR PROFILE TIMELINE

Cover Image:

Nowhere on facebook do you have a better opportunity than on your own timeline to build Brand You. Seriously! The timeline gives you an amazing opportunity to share yourself, in such a visual, professional and appealing way. If you haven’t switched over yet… you should!!

The first chance you have to build your brand on your timeline is of course your cover image. Again the dimension are the same as the page cover image: 800 X 300.

When you’re thinking about this image, consider again, who you are… what you want to be “known” for, the “feeling” you want to portray to others, the kind of people you’d like to connect with (because you have to BE that kind of person for them to be attracted to you). Find, or create, an image that shares this with people as soon as they hit your page.

This is “one chance at a first impression” at its BEST! This is YOUR chance… that image needs to pull people in, it needs to make them go “OH… I want to know THIS person”, and when done right it absolutely does.

If you’re at a loss for what to use, do a little looking. Go to a busy group or page and click on the people in the conversation. Look at their cover pics. You’ll get some great ideas.

Profile Pic:

After the cover image, you’ve got your profile pic. Make sure you have a picture of YOU, smiling. This is important… people connect with people. People connect even MORE with smiling people. Who wants to hang out and be friends with Mr. Cranky Pants ~ especially on Facebook. Make sure the image is clear and you can see your face, and the back ground isn’t too distracting.

Apps:

Next you’ve got apps. You can share your music, your pins, miles you’ve ridden your bike via dailymile.com. All of these things allow people to get to know YOU, and that’s what it’s all about. When you sign up for different services it will ask if you want to share on FB. If you hit yes, it will give you an app on your timeline, and it will automagically post when you post to that site. (Just be aware that what you post on another site WILL show up on FB).

Your Content:

The things you post are truly key to letting people get to know you. Make sure you are following the 80/20 rule. Post at least 80% of the time about NON business things ~ about YOU, and 20% of the time about business. Think about it, when you go to someone’s profile and the only thing on there is stuff about their company ~ are you excited to be friends with them, OR do you think… “sheesh… this person’s going to talk my ear off about their company”. Yeah, you know it’s the latter. Don’t be that guy. Let people get to know YOU in your content. Share images, and status updates, and links that show your interests, and the things you care about. Then people will know right away whether you’re someone who they would like to know.

Running your timeline like this increases your friend requests and the type of connection you make with people. They already have a good sense of you. They already can tell if you’re the type of person they would like to know. As they are drawn to you (and they WILL be) they’ll friend you and the connection will be easily made.

So… there you go. 3 big ways to build your personal brand on Facebook. I’ve still got a couple fanpages to switch over to the timeline… how about you? I’d love to see your pages when you get them done. Feel free to stop by and leave a link for the community to come check you out.