Beginner’s Guide – Converting to Facebook Timeline

Posted by Graham Henry | Posted in Advice, Facebook, Freemium, Opinion, Small Business, Social Media, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 29, 2012

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Facebook Timeline Evolution

On March 30, 2012, Facebook will be switching all Business Pages to their new Timeline Profile format. While this move has several long-term implications, the first and most important concern of any Page manager should be preparing for the transition. Fortunately, Facebook has made this fairly simple for existing Pages.

Step 1: Preview

Viewing your Page as an Admin should give you the option of previewing the new Timeline format. From the Preview mode, you will be able to see what your Timeline will look like and alter new features without changing the content of your original layout.

Timeline Preview

You will notice that some of the components of your old Page have transferred to Timeline, namely, your Profile Picture and business information. Both of these sections are editable. However, it should be noted that any change made before switching to Timeline will alter your original format.

New Timeline


Step 2: Design Your Cover Photo

As the centerpiece of your landing page, the Cover Photo will have a large impact on your final layout as well as a visitor’s initial impression of your business. You’ll want to create something engaging that both reflects your company’s interests and conveys the principles behind products/services that you sell.* An excellent Cover Photo customization tool can be found at www.timelineimagecreator.com.

To post your Cover Photo, look for the small box at the top right of the page labeled “Add a Cover” and click it. This will open a dropdown menu that will allow you to choose from the photos you have on your page or upload an image from your computer. The Cover Photo displays at 851×315 pixels, so you must pick a large image to use. Images under 399 pixels wide cannot be used.

Adding a Cover

Once you have selected your Cover Photo, it will be placed in the Cover Photo socket where, depending on the size of the image, you will be able to adjust the crop. After you’ve cropped your image, click “Save Changes” to publish to your Timeline.

*While designing your image, keep in mind that Facebook has placed several restrictions on Cover Photo content. You can read more about Facebook’s Terms of Use here.

Step 3: Modify Your Applications

Applications allow you to engage your customers directly and develop a relationship through Facebook. It is therefore important that they be as enticing and eye-catching as possible. Your first step is to find a third-party Application creator, such as Social Page Builder, and design Apps that will attract viewers to your business. Secondly, you must choose Application Images to display under your Cover Photo. Each Page will display a maximum of 12 Apps, though it is possible to publish and stage an unlimited number. You can edit your Apps by opening the App area and clicking the Pencil icon.

Editing and App

Step 4: Profile Picture
Your Profile Picture is the image that will precede every post that you make. Measuring 125×125 pixels, your new image should have a clear and definitive connection to your business, i.e. a logo or headshot.

Step 5: Publish
Your Page is complete and you can now publish it to Facebook. Once you’re live, be sure to follow Facebook Timeline’s best practices.

Pre-Timeline

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Finished Timline

*All Cover Photo and Application Images seen in this post were developed using Timeline Image Creator, a Free timeline customization tool from High Impact Designer.

The Freemium Model

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Advice, Freemium | Posted on Jan 16, 2012

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What’s Your Take on the Freemium Pricing Model

Pricing Chart

When we released our web based application High Impact Designer, we implemented a freemium pricing model for the first time in TemplateZone‘s history. Our other product lines had utilized a 30 Day Free Trial, but when we made the shift to SaaS saw a need to change our trial policies as well.

In the Facebook Page creation tool market, most tools all have implemented some variation of the freemium model. In an article by Tyler Nichols, he accurately points out that ‘I have come to the realization that most people who want something for free will never, ever think of paying you, no matter how valuable they find your service.’

If I believe this is an accurate statement you might be asking, ‘Why would you EVER utilize a freemium pricing model?!’

To which I would reply, freemium models need restriction. If you had an unrestricted free application, obviously people will more often than not opt out of paying. This is where a delicate balancing act begins. On the one hand you need to limit the application enough so that people see the value in purchasing the paid product. On the other hand you need to keep it open enough to show how your application functions.

There are plenty of benefits to using the freemium model. The first, and most apparent reason is how easy it is to increase your marketable leads. Giving something away is the best way to get a name and an email address, and everyone loves to see the word ‘Free’. By using the freemium model, you will have plenty of people to market to, however this puts a lot of pressure on your marketing team to convert the trial users into paid users.

Even though you get a lot of marketable users, freemium models have a notoriously low conversion rate. Though the ‘average’ conversion rate can be misleading, anywhere between 2-4% conversion of free to paid users is a big win for company’s utilizing the freemium model. However, it is important that you do not get too hung up on industry averages, every application has its own set of unique variables. Make sure to pay attention to the cost to serve, cost to acquire a customer and your retention rate. Checkout a presentation from Evernote discussing the metrics they follow for their freemium model.

All in all the freemium model has been very beneficial for our product lines, and if you are looking to implement a freemium model here are a few tips:

Have multiple touch points with your users

Using a well written drip email campaign will keep your users engage with your company. I can’t tell you how many times I have signed up for a free product on a Friday and never signed in again on Monday. It is important to remind a person that they actually have access to your product. While reminding them, make sure your messages generally add value to your reader an unsubscribe from these messages could be the nail in the coffin of that particular sale.

Make Upgrading Easy

You already have an account created, at this point you just need their billing information. Make it incredibly easy for a person to get the paid version, remember they have a variation of the tool currently and increased friction may make them think the free version is good enough.

Limit Your Application

This is much easier to say than it is to do, but you need to limit your application. If you give some one full reign to your product, they will not likely convert.

Place Teasers

Throughout our application we let our users see all of our templates, but they can only use the 10 we have provided for the free tier. By having little teasers and previews of the exclusive content or functionality reserved for paid users, people will be able to juxtapose the benefits of the paid and free applications while using the tool.

Do you utilize a freemium model? Why or why not?