Some time back we published a post about changes that facebook is doing to its layout. From then many other design updates have been done but the latest is the new facebook timeline cover. Timeline was launched in December 2011 and we must agree facebook has really made large strides since then. Number of users has grown to above 900 million. It is estimated that by the end of the year facebook will hit 1 billion active users. This is a big feat by any standards no wonder facebook is envied by many. Facebook also got listed on the stock exchange with investors jostling to get a piece of the leading social media site. Though the IPO did not go as anticipated, the future of facebook looks so bright. Enough with the statistics and let us get back to the reason of writing this blog post. Facebook timeline has several features that online entrepreneurs can use to promote their businesses. Ideally, when you look at the cover of the facebook timeline, posts are arranged in a historical format. Your recent activities which include updates, pictures and videos are streamed at the top of your timeline. The streaming can be applied to both your personal page and fan page. This makes it easier for your target audience to track your activities thus help you market your business on facebook. If you have not activated your facebook timeline you better do it right away. Click here to learn how to get facebook timeline. Before timeline was launched, facebook implemented several changes to their layout. It became difficult to keep track of all these changes. Later, facebook settled for timeline which offered new and better marketing and optimization opportunities. Note: Facebook has just updated timeline where you can schedule your updates. According to some internet marketing pundits this will offer stiff competition to sites like Hoot Suite, and Tweet Deck. This also spells doom to applications such as Post Planner. To find out more about this new feature watch the video below On this post we shall discuss some of the advantages that the facebook timeline cover offers internet marketers. Whether you have a big or small web business you need to read this post to the very end to see how you can increase traffic to your site through facebook. How business people can benefit from using timeline: The element of user friendliness: You do not need to have any technical skills in order to operate timeline. The interface is so straight forward for both the admin and visitors. In the facebook timeline admin area, you can be able to track activities such as comments, likes and sharing of your updates. Timeline comes with a section that shows your page analytics in terms of visitor engagement. This is inform of a graph that displays your page reach, likes and more importantly it shows the number of people talking about your page. You also get a more detailed report on other activities that bring people to your page such as pictures, mentions or message posts and so on. How you benefit from the Cover photo: The top of your facebook timeline cover is definitely the most important when it comes to marketing on facebook. This is because it is the first thing people see when they land on your facebook page. This area is dedicated for adding an image and it has a measurement of 851 x 315 pixels. It therefore goes without saying that the image you use has to be very captivating. Generally, people are drawn to images than they are to text. And this must have been the reason for facebook to allocate this area to facebook users. As a business person you need to fully take advantage of your cover photo to catch the attention of your target audience. The image will determine if visitors will remain on your page or exit immediately without reading what you have to offer. It is good to note that facebook timeline has some limitation when it comes to adding a cover photo. You are not allowed to upload promotional images. This includes images that have information about offers or discounts to your services. You are also not to add contact information such as your telephone number or email. According to facebook guidelines, you are not to include call to action messages to your cover image on timeline. Here we are talking of messages that tell visitors to like or share your page. This leaves web marketers with only one option, have a cover image that gets the attention of viewers. The facebook timeline cover image is an opportunity to brand your business or yourself. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. facebook timeline page Highlighting important information on your timeline: You can now be able to highlight important information appearing on your facebook timeline page. This is by stretching an update across your page. A post that has been stretched out will be easy to locate thus help you promote your business. You can also take an old post and pin it on the top left side of your page. This feature helps you to give new life to your old updates that had long been forgotten. Easy interaction with your audience: One of the reasons of marketing on social sites is to interact with your customers. As you communicate with your clients, you build relationships which help boost your business profile. The new facebook timeline has a feature that allows easy communication between you and your target audience. Now people can send you direct messages which you can respond to in real time. This element of communication has helped businesses offer quality customer service. In addition, you will be able to build relationships with clients and network with other people in your niche. In case you do not need to receive messages using this feature, timeline enables you to deactivate it. Making use of Apps in your timeline: There are many apps that you can use on your facebook timeline cover to promote your business. Some of the apps you can use include NetworkedBlogs that updates your blog posts onto your wall. Another great and free app to use for optimizing your facebook timeline cover is Shortstacks. With this app you will easily integrate your website or blog into your facebook fan page. An important attribute of shortstack is the ability to add links pointing back to your blog from facebook. Apart from optimization, it helps you generate direct referral traffic to your blog or website. The stockstack application widget will appear right below your cover images thus offering you an opportunity to promote your business. Updates are viewable by all people: This is yet another powerful element of facebook timeline. If your business is mentioned in a post or comment it will appear on your timeline where all people coming to your page can see. Though this feature can be disabled, it is recommended that you enable it to help boost social proof. This way you will gain trust from your audience thus boost conversion rate. Elimination of landing pages: The one thing that facebook timeline did away with was creation of landing pages. Gone are the days when online marketers created fan pages that elicited “Like” button clicks, sharing and other call to action messages. The new facebook design and layout allows you to take people to your timeline directly. The reason for facebook to do away with landing pages was to give people an opportunity to explore a business before visiting the website. This gives more reason for you to make sure your timeline is interesting and eye catching. You also have to include insightful content that will leave viewers with no option but to visit your site for more. Summary: Facebook has for sure cemented their dominance in social media and other sites like twitter, linkedin, Google Plus and Pinterest are left to do catch up. If you ask me, facebook timeline has a very appealing look. Any business person who is not using facebook to market their business is for sure leaving money on the table. I also like the element that facebook brings to online marketing. Rather than focusing on marketing, facebook is putting more emphasis to improving user experience. What are your views about timeline in relation to business promotion, post your comments in the section provided below. If you think this post will help someone out there kindly share, +1, pin or tweet using the buttons on the left of this post.