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Navigating the new Facebook

Just when you felt comfortable marketing your business on Facebook, here comes Facebook Timeline.

A Facebook posting from Dave’s Ace Hardware of Milton, Wis., had this to say about the new twist in social media: “The Dave’s Ace Hardware page has been automatically converted to Timeline. What used to be my comfortable and familiar refuge has now been reduced to a foreign and stressful exercise. This is going to take me some time to get used to.”

For small businesses wondering how to make the most of the new format, Seth Lieberman, CEO of Pangea Media, offered some tips.

“Cover and profile photos, tabs and favorite apps, milestones and more must all be considered in order to maximize all that Facebook’s new Timeline layout offers,” he said. Two keys: Brush up on private messaging and interaction skills.

Some things haven’t changed, Lieberman added: “News, humor, entertainment and insider insights grab your audience’s attention and motivate them to return for more. Simply pouring out post after post of advertising copy will mean losing fans and readership — people want to be engaged with the material, not spammed.”

After some initial frustration, Dave’s Ace Hardware has turned its Facebook page (Facebook.com/davesace) into a tour de force. His customers weigh in on everything from when he should put away his ice melt (29 responses) to the wisdom of taking back a DeWalt 18V NiCad battery from 2002. (The customer still had the receipt.)

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