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Facebook Pages: A Look at the New Timeline Design Features

Facebook Pages: A Look at the New Timeline Design Features

    As with everything it does, Facebook divided opinion recently with its controversial move to a timeline design that according to the social networking giant will ‘tell your life story through photos, friendships and personal milestones’. There are those who really like the new layout, enjoying further levels of customization on their profiles, and viewing the changes as an opportunity to completely control the way their viewed online.

    And then there those who utterly loathe Timeline, either because it reminds them too much the Myspace of ol’, suddenly brings to light ill-advised status updates and embarrassing photos from years past, or perhaps because they just can’t deal with change.

    Whether we like it or not, Timeline is here, and it’s coming to Facebook Pages too.

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    If you manage a Facebook Page, you’ve probably noticed the large box looming ominously over said page announcing that from March 30th, all pages will get a new design. Facebook have given us all a few weeks to preview the new design, which comes with the following new features:

    Cover images

    Perhaps the biggest and most noticeable difference with the new design is the cover. If you’re not already familiar with this, the cover is a large image you can place across the top of your page.

    If you use a Facebook Page to advertise your business, you’ll probably be disappointed by guidelines which insist your cover image must not include promotions, advertisements or any other kind of call to action, including:

    • Contact information including website addresses
    • Anything encouraging visitors to ‘Like’ or ‘Share’ content, including placing arrows from the cover image to those buttons on your page.
    • Any price or purchase information, so no ‘50% off from mywebsite.com’ or anything like that.

    That said, this does give you the chance to be creative with your cover image, selecting something that’s both appealing to the eye and which creates a great first impression.

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    Default Landing Tab

    There’s further bad news if you’re using your page to sell and make money, with the announcement that the Default Landing Tab, which were previously used to direct first-time visitors to a tab other than the Wall, shall be no more.

    It’s still possible to point people on Facebook to a tab of your choosing by paying for an advertisement linking to that tab, but to entice people towards that all-important ‘Like’ button without shelling out the cash, you’ll need to find creative ways to do so from within your timeline.

    Pins and highlights

    That’s not to say you’re completely doomed, as the new design does offer a couple of handy tools to make your biggest stories stand out. First, there’s the chance to ‘highlight’ a key story, placing it prominently on your page simply by hovering your mouse over the top-right corner of a post and hitting the star button.

    If you decide that a post is so important that it should be the first one people see, you can ‘pin’ that post permanently at the top of your page in much the same manner.

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    Edit your tabs

    Further customization options allow you to rearrange the order in which you display the various tabs on your page. Your Photos tab must stay first in the pecking order, but from there, you can hover over any tab, click the little edit button, and chose to swap your remaining tabs in any order you see fit.

    Admin panel

    Another major change comes in the form of the new Admin Panel. Those used to locating their admin functions (number of notifications, page insights, etc) on the left-hand side of the page, will now find them in a huge, and I mean huge, box at the top of your page.

    This has its benefits.

    Everything is laid out nice and simply, with page notifications, most recent ‘Likes’ and a handy graphical display of page insights down the left, and, most useful of all, a messages function on the right. This is a big step for Pages, meaning fans can now send a direct private message to the page, rather than to your personal account, and that you can respond in kind.

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    If you decide you don’t want this option, it can easily be turned off in your admin settings, easily found in a big drop-down menu marked ‘manage’ at the top of this panel.

    The only downer on what is otherwise a great tool is the size. Again, the thing is enormous and is quite the distraction if you’re only interested in getting at your page content. Still, flicking the ‘hide’ button at the top of your panel solves that problem, whilst accessing the panel is as easy as hitting the ‘Admin Panel’ button.

    Where to next

    Once you’re comfortable with the big changes to your page, it’s time to play around with some of the smaller features, such as adding milestones to tell your story. However you decide to use it, have fun, get creative and enjoy your timeline. After all, it’s here whether we like it or not.

    (Photo credit: past, now, future words in vintage wooden letterpress via Shutterstock)

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    Chris Skoyles

    Coach, and trainee counsellor specializing in mental health and addiction.

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

    11 Meeting Scheduler Apps to Boost Your Productivity

    Automations are key to improving efficiency. Set the system up right from the beginning and you’ll reduce the amount of no-shows and cancellations.

    Whatever your business is, with automations, meeting scheduler apps do more than just streamline appointment setting. They prime your workflow for maximum results.

    Meeting scheduler apps are awesome if you use them right. Use them wrong and you can look like an arrogant elitist.

    In this article, I will share with you 11 great meeting scheduler apps you can start using today to boost your productivity.

    1. ScheduleOnce

      ScheduleOnce is an industry leader and robust solution. Whether you work alone or have a large team, ScheduleOnce can support you.

      ScheduleOnce allows you to create multiple users and multiple calendars. I use one calendar for booking podcast guests with automations set up to prep my guests for our interview. I use another calendar for strategy sessions and coaching calls.

      ScheduleOnce also has embeddable widgets so you can keep the scheduler inside your own website.

      Starting at $7 a month and a 14 day free trial, ScheduleOnce can fit a variety of needs in business.

      Available on Web

      2. Calendly

        Calendly stands out for its clean, easy to use interface. If you like clean design, Calendly might be your choice. It too has robust automations and integrations for individuals and teams alike.

        You can try Calendly free for 14 days. Their basic plan is free while their most robust plan is only $12 a month.

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        Available on Web | Google Chrome Extension

        3. Assistant.to

          For those who use gmail, Assistant.to is a super simple solution.

          From inside an email, you click on the Assistant.to icon and pick times your free. Assistant.to embeds the times directly into the email so the recipient can quickly pick a time that works for them.

          While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of apps like Calendly or ScheduleOnce, Assistant.to is completely free.

          Available on Web

          4. Acuityscheduling

            Acuity is a robust meeting scheduler very similar to ScheduleOnce. It integrates with CRMs, Email Marketing platforms, Analytics tools and accounting software.

            It comes with a 14 day free trial. They have a free solo account but if you want the benefit of the integrations, you’ll start as low as $15 a month and can cost up to $50 a month.

            Available on Web | iOS | Android

            5. Pick

              Built for simplicity, Pick is direct and easy to use. You can create your own url extension like pick.co/yournamehere and it integrates with Google calendar and Office 365.

              At $3 a month, this is a great tool for quick scheduling.

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              Available on Web

              6. X.ai

                For those who are early adopters of AI, this may be the solution for you. X.ai created two AI assistants they call Amy and Andrew Ingram. After setting up your account you simply CC them on your emails with the person you’re wanting to schedule and the AI assistants will email your guests from there until your appointment is set.

                This type of scheduler feels more personal because of the dialogue. There are stories on their site of people thinking Amy and Andrew are real people. X.ai integrates with Google, Office 365 and Outlook.

                Starting at $29 a month for an Individual account and $39 a month per user for a Team account, Amy and Andrew are ready to schedule meetings for you. Want to try it out first? They do have a free trial.

                Available on Web

                7. YouCanBook.me

                  is another competitive solution for scheduling meetings online. You can manage the calendars of your entire team, configure booking forms, and integrate with your calendar.

                  They have a free account branded with their company name or you can have some control over your branding and appearance at $10 a month for all their features. Either way, this company is worth a look.

                  Available on Web

                  8. Doodle

                    Doodle is unique in the space of meeting schedulers because it helps groups of people find a time to meet that works for everyone.

                    It integrates with your calendar and allows you to send a poll to all invited. Once people vote on the poll you can see which time works best for everyone.

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                    You can also run polls for food preferences if you’re scheduling a lunch meeting or a section of town if people are coming from all over.

                    While there is a free account, you’ll unlock it’s potential starting at $39 per year.

                    Available on Web | iOS | Android

                    9. WhenAvailable

                      WhenAvailable is another scheduler that works for groups of people. You can use it to schedule a pickup game of basketball, decide on your next book club or book your family reunion.

                      Their free account allows up to 20 guests, unlimited events and one contact group. For $15 a year you unlock all the goodies including reminders and chat messages.

                      Available on Web

                      10. Rally

                        Like Doodle and WhenAvailable, Rallly is helpful for scheduling meetings and events with multiple people involved. You create a poll and everyone votes. It’s quick and easy.

                        Unlike Doodle, it doesn’t have as many features, but it’s entirely free.

                        Available on Web

                        11. NeedtoMeet

                          Finishing strong, NeedtoMeet is our last app that allows you to schedule meetings or events for multiple people. It has mobile apps, custom urls, easy polling, notifications and commenting.

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                          NeedtoMeet also allows 1:1 Meetings for things like performance reviews for your whole team. You send out the your calendar slots to your team and they can only pick 1 slot, minimizing the amount of emails and scheduling you have to coordinate.

                          While they have a free account, you can unlock all features for only $19 a year.

                          Available on Web

                          Bonus: Don’t Make These Common Mistakes When Using Meeting Schedulers

                          In the excitement of streamlining your scheduling process, it can be easy to forget the feelings of those you’re inviting to meet. I know. I’ve done this.

                          To say “Hey, schedule time on my calendar” feels colder than “Hey, here’s my calendar. To avoid all the back and forth, pick a time that works best for you.”

                          Always make sure to frame your invite with your scheduler app with the benefit to them and why we’re doing it this way rather than the old fashioned, personal way.

                          A little finesse goes a long way. Without it, you risk seeming transactional and cold.

                          Some meeting scheduler widgets you can embed in your site can take a couple seconds to load. If you go this route, make sure there’s text just above the widget that lets your guest know the calendar will appear below and to wait for it to load.

                          If you use an online meeting tool like Zoom, it’s also important to explicitly let them know the meeting will take place on Zoom and include the Zoom link in the email reminder. Many make the mistake of not clarifying where the meeting will actually take place which can create last minute chaos at the time of the meeting.

                          Should you require special settings, like ethernet, external mics or lighting, let your guests know that on your thank you page and reminder emails so they are prepared for the meeting and you end up with the best meeting possible.

                          With clear communication in your automation, your meeting scheduler tools can almost perform like a virtual assistant for a fraction of the cost, or free, depending on the app you choose.

                          The Bottom Line

                          Meeting scheduler apps are diverse in features and unique in design. Before committing to one and realizing it’s not a fit, I recommend exploring which 3 might best fit you and then doing a trial with each of them at the same time so that you can see how they feel as you use them side by side.

                          Scheduling meetings the old fashioned way can be tedious. Conversely, finding a scheduling app that works seamlessly in the background is heavenly.

                          Like cell phones, meeting scheduler apps are moving from a nice-to-have luxury to must-have necessity in the lives of productive people. As you explore your options, stay true to your brand and the tools that have worked well for you to this point and simply find a meeting scheduler app that plays well with what you have created.

                          Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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