Well, it finally happened. Facebook has made the new profile layout changes permanent.
For weeks now, I’ve been saying that we (entrepreneurs, business owners, etc.), who use Facebook for personal AND business reasons should have been using the new layout from jump street.
Now, we don’t have the option to use the old profile design. And, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, the changes have been dramatic.
Facebook has made things more streamlined and uniformed. In an effort to clear out the crap and clutter, they’ve also made it harder to differentiate your profile from the millions of others out there. You’ll soon find that most of the applications you were once so fond of using have now been relegated to a lonely tab known as “boxes.”
This is where our apps now go to die. But Facebook has being flooded with a ton of crap apps anyway… so this new application graveyard might not be such a bad idea after all.
So, what do all these changes mean to you — the business owner, the solopreneur, the young executive who has been using the site to connect with leaders and clients? In short, it means that it will be harder for you to attract the attention and eyeballs of those you wish to network and do business with.
That is, if you continue to do things the same way.
Although, it might not look like it initially, there are quite a few things we can do to take advantage of these new changes. I’ll go over five of these things below:
1. Fill out the “About Me” Bio Box
Nothing flashy and fancy here about this one. Just take a few minutes to fill out the brief bio box that can be found underneath your profile picture.
Like I said, it’s not much — but it goes a long way in helping you (and your profile) stand out. There are not a lot of people doing this now so the sooner you include your bio blurb, the better.
2. Add “Notes” as an Application Tab
Now, that Facebook has made the profile layouts more uniform and similar in appearance, maximizing the visual real estate on them has become even more important.
One way to do this is by taking advantage of the Application Tab list. If you have a blog, I highly recommend importing your posts to Facebook using your RSS feed. Once you’ve done that, move the Notes Application tab to the top of the tab list.
Now, when Facebook first added this feature, you were able to change the name of the Notes tab to whatever you desired (e.g. My Business Blog). However, it seems like Facebook has removed this option.
But, I still recommend adding your Notes app to the tab list. Hopefully, we’ll be able to edit the tab’s name again in the future.
3. Hyperlink, Hyperlink, Hyperlink!
Another feature that a lot of business owners and solopreneurs are not taking advantage of is the ability to add hyperlinks throughout our profiles.
There are three places where you should be actively linking to your blog, website, Twitter account, et cetera: 1) your status updates, 2) your about me bio box, and 3) your basic information section (which is edited under the Info tab and displayed in the Basic Information box on the wall).
4. Import using Facebook’s Publisher feature
One of the basic concepts of Facebook rests in their goal to make the sharing of information (notes, photos, videos, etc.) easier and more effective. Basically, Facebook wants you — its members — to use the site for this purpose.
The more you use the site, the more your message gets carried across and throughout the network… and the more visibility and exposure you gain. It’s the classic win-win situation.
In order to maximize Facebook’s viral nature, use their tools that allow you to import your “stories” from your other digitial presences. If you have a Youtube account, link it to your Facebook profile.
This way, when you create a new video, your friends (and even the friends of your friends will know about it). The same holds true for other services as well. Currently, I’m importing stories from my accounts at Flickr, Digg, Delicious, Youtube, and my blog.
5. Segment Your List
I can’t stress this enough. Segment your list! Technically, this feature has been a part of Facebook for a few months. However, new changes at Facebook allow you use your friends list in much more innovative and strategic ways.
At the very least, separate your personal friends from your business contacts. If you really want to get into it, start to drill down and segment your business contacts even further.
Do you have a lot of Twitter friends on Facebook? Create a list for them as well. How much you decide to segment your list is really up to you. Just make sure you’re at least doing it.
So, tell me… What are some of the things you’re doing to take advantage of the new changes at Facebook?