Businesses on Facebook have been made to feel like second-class citizens. Their less-than-special pages have never functioned like personal pages. Couldn’t like your friends, tag them in photos, or send them a message.

That changes March 30 when all pages will automatically transition to the new Timeline design. If, like us, you’re now updating your page for the new format, here are some tips you might find helpful. If you have others, please share. But quickly.

1. Cover Photo

  • Upload a large image (850 pixels by 315 pixels) as your cover photo. This photo can not be an ad, include price, purchase information, contact information or calls-to-action such as “like” or “share.” But you still have lots of leeway to do something cool and brand-building.

2. Fan Page Messages

  • Users can now contact pages via messages. Messages will appear in the admin panel. The downside to this real plus: you need to monitor and respond to these messages. Yes, it’s more work. But think of the gains in engagement. Define your process and include it in your overall social-media plan. And, be sure to tell your boss so she knows why you’re spending even more time on Facebook. It’s where your customers – your fans – are.

3. Admin Panel

  • Administrators have a way cool new tool. The admin panel at the top of the page provides management features and insights directly within the page view.

4. Backdating

  • With the launch of Timeline, you can now backdate milestones. Showcase your business’s history with photos and anecdotes. Everyone loves a good story. Especially ones that show a trajectory of success.

5. Pinning Posts

  • Pin your favorite post to the top of others on your wall. This lets you keep your most important information front and center. Well, for a week. Then new posts will take its place.

 6. Facebook Offers and Sponsored Stories

  • Facebook changes to its advertising offerings means you can now provide offers and sponsored stories directly within users’ newsfeeds – where most all Facebook activity occurs. This is big, people.

7. Reach Generator

  • Facebook has upped its advertising game even more with Reach Generator. This tool lets you pay a fixed fee to guarantee that your content is seen by 75% of your fans. Typically a page post reaches less than 20% of a page’s fans, so this creates a simple way to ensure additional distribution. But buyer beware. It comes at a hefty cost and is only available through Facebook’s premium managed-spend account teams. Facebook says the product has delivered up to three times ROI and reach as high as 98% of fans.

To learn more, and to switch to Timeline visit