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Finetune Your Online Image with New Facebook Changes

July 25 2012

imsd facebookAnother season, another round of Facebook changes. This summer's updates are the site's latest attempt at managing the ever-widening stream of information flowing into users' newsfeeds.

While some of the updates have been baffling--like changing everyone's default email to a new "Facebook email"--others give page administrators powerful tools to finetune their online image.

Use New 'Timeline Card' as Your Digital Business Card

As a real estate agent, you know the value of networking. You've probably friended hundreds of people and followed more pages than you can count. The constant stream of status updates, pictures, and more can make it difficult to keep every person and page straight.

Facebook's new "Timeline Card" gives you a brief glimpse of a person without having to visit their profile. Now, when you hover over someone's name, you'll see a composite of their profile photo, cover image, work, school or location info, and any mutual friends you may have in common.

It purposely resembles a business card, and agents can use this to their advantage. Be sure you have a friendly profile picture that cleanly scales down to 32x32 pixels. Your cover image should convey the personality of you and your business and, if possible, contain colors that complement your profile picture. This makes the look of your "digital business card" more cohesive and more likely to attract click-throughs to your profile.

Increase Page Engagement with Promoted Posts

So just how overwhelming is that stream of information? In February, Facebook announced that only 16 percent of an average page's fans see its posts. Those most likely to see your posts are your most loyal fans--those consistently liking, sharing, and commenting on your updates.

Actions like that indicate to Facebook that a user is clearly "engaged" with your page and so they are shown it more often. Other fans may only occasionally see your most popular posts, while still others may never see anything at all.

So how do you increase engagement among fans who may not be seeing your updates? Enter Facebook's new "Promoted Posts" feature. This new advertising strategy lets you pay anywhere from five to 300 dollars--depending on your number of fans--to ensure that your posts are seen by those following you.

Simply click on the "Promote" dropdown menu in the bottom right-hand corner of the post that you want to promote. Choose the amount you're willing to spend, and Facebook will start displaying that update as a "sponsored" story in the newsfeeds of your fans. As long as your update is interesting and useful, this is a great way to bring wayward followers back into the fold.

Other Changes to Know About

Facebook has instituted other, subtler changes alongside the larger ones we've just discussed. When used thoughtfully, they can help polish your online image.

  • Post-level Insights: Rolled out with Facebook's Promoted Posts feature, these post-level statistics help you determine which type of updates inspire the most engagement and which are your weakest links.
  • Reposition photos: Take control of how your photos display on your Timeline with this update. Don't like how Facebook awkwardly cropped the picture of that fantastic new house you've just listed? Just hover your cursor in the top right corner of your post, click the pencil, and select "Reposition Photo." You'll then be able to move your photo until it's cropped just right.
  • Edit comments: If you've ever responded to a client comment and left an embarrassing typo behind, you'll appreciate this update. No longer do you have to delete or laugh it off--simply click "Edit" in the top, right corner of your comment and say what you really meant to say.