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Like it or not, you may have noticed that your Facebook profile has been replaced with the new timeline layout. While it takes time to adapt to change, it’s important to remember that with change comes opportunity to brand your business, generate leads and also engage people on a whole new level. Here are seven Facebook timeline components that you will want to take advantage of.

1. Cover Picture – The first thing people see when they visit your page, the cover picture is prime real estate to market your services, show off your personality or build stickiness so people want to “Like” you. While it looks like a billboard opportunity, there are very specific rules and regulations regarding what can and can’t be used as a cover photo. For instance, Facebook rules say that you can’t feature contact information or a link to your website. You must also stay away from having a call to action such as “like this page” or “get free stuff here.” One of the best ways to maximize the cover is to blend your real estate with your personality while supporting your brand. A great example of this can be found at www.Facebook.com/LindaHallTeam. Be sure to keep in mind that the photo size for the cover is 851 pixels by 315 pixels.

2. Business Pages – If you created a business page prior to the new layout, it has now been moved. Prior to the new timeline format, visitors would be directed to your business page where they may have been required to “like” the page before being able to see the wall or possibly a special offer. Now, your business page is located within the thumbnail graphics right underneath your cover photo.

3. Thumbnail Graphics (apps) – Right below your cover picture are thumbnail graphics or apps that feature your photos, likes, maps, etc. This area is your prime lead generation section, as you can create calls to action that focus on providing information and capturing leads at the same time.

4. Milestone Section – This is where you can tell the story of how your business got started as well as share important moments that have been an integral part of your business. Be sure to include when you started your business, what awards and designations you’ve received in addition to community sponsorships. You can also make note of conventions you’re attending or even post information regarding a home you recently sold. When filling in your milestone section, take the time to include photos that provide a brief description of the specific milestone.

5. Highlighting a Post – With the new timeline layout, you now have the option to feature individual posts that you want to draw attention to. To feature a particular post on your timeline, roll your mouse over the post and click the star to expand it to two columns.

6. Pin a Post – Next to the star icon, you’ll see an icon that looks like a pencil, which gives you the option to “pin” posts to the top of your Facebook page. Once you pin a post, it will be featured at the top of your wall for up to seven days and it will be the first thing visitors see. Be creative with this tool! A good example is making one of your properties a featured listing of the week.

7. Post Often – Remember, your business page should focus on providing value to those who visit. While it’s great to post listings, be creative when it comes to sharing tips, market condition reports, real estate articles that are relevant to your market, fun facts and more. In addition to posting consistently, be sure to take advantage of photos, as studies show that posts including a photo album or picture can generate two times more engagement among users.

Tricia Andreassen is the CEO/founder of Pro Step Marketing. She is a leading industry Web-strategy expert, a nationally recognized speaker with Broker Agent Speakers Bureau and one of RISMedia’s Real Estate magazine’s monthly columnists. For more information, please visit www.ProStepMarketing.com or call (866) 799-9888.

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