3 rules for your new Facebook business page

(MoneyWatch) While you may have avoided April Fools jokes because April 1 fell on a Sunday this year, one thing you cannot get out of is the migration of your Facebook business page to the new Timeline format, which kicked in on Friday. Now, whether you like it or not, your business's Facebook page is in Timeline format, just like personal pages.

If you haven't re-evaluated your page since the update, now is the time. There are a number of changes you should know about. Social media expert Mari Smith recently blogged about the business page conversion and has provided an awesome visual summary you definitely need to check out.

Many of Facebook's updates to your business page aren't urgent, but here are three essentials you need to know about right away:

There's no default landing tab anymore. This might have a big impact on your social media strategy. Previously, you might have had a custom default tab that acted as a landing environment for non-fans of your business, but all that is gone now. Instead, the default is the timeline. You can still create custom tabs, but they can't be set as the default landing experience.

Optimize your cover image. The timeline's signature feature is the huge image at the top of the page. It measures 851x315 pixels (for some reason), and you can use any image that's at least 299 pixels wide, which Facebook will stretch for you automatically.

Don't violate the Terms of Service. You must be careful about the content you place in that cover image. You can't put any call to action or contact information in there. In other words, the cover image might be sized like a billboard, but you are expressly forbidden from using it like one.

Want to learn more about how Facebook's changes have affected your business page, and what you can do to optimize the experience for your customers? Check out Mari Smith's blog for more details.

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