Switching Your Brand Over to the Facebook Timeline
Like it or not, changes are coming to Facebook’s business and brand pages. Timeline has finally rolled out for Brands, which means that a whole new strategy is needed to keep your current audience satisfied, as well as gaining new LIKE’s from your potential audience. As of Wednesday, February 29th, Brand pages can opt in for the new Timeline features. The first obvious change is the new Cover Photo on Facebook Timeline, this gives the ability for a brand to edit and update without navigating to a separate page. It also allows the company to highlight milestones, such as important status updates that you may want sticking around for a bit longer than the other posts.
Facebook Timeline Features
Timeline definitely makes pages more social with many new features that make pages more user friendly. When you visit a page you instantly see the amount of your friends who have liked the company, along with posts from your friends that are public. Another new feature is the virtual map that appears for the company below the cover photo.
“Starring” an important message allows you to highlight a post that is important to the user, making the post twice as large from the rest, as well as more visually appealing so eyeballs not only view but also actually read or watch your message. Timeline has given us a much more colorful and cleaner way to navigate and make use of all of the admin features with an insightful panel, which is much simpler to use. Here you will have features such as notifications, analytics, messages and even a HELP menu that really makes this transition a whole lot more comfortable.
Timeline’s new features really enable brands to tell a more engaging and transparent story to their current and potential audience. Viewers have a much easier job of finding a companies information by simply clicking the Info section, photos, apps and map of visited places, all right below the cover photo making them “impossible to miss”. Looks like President Barack Obama didn’t wait long to get his Timeline page set up, embracing this change to the new online presence.
Facebook Timeline Flaws
As with any change (on and offline) there will be a great amount of individuals that believe the new Timeline to be a potential flaw for the company, especially when it comes to brands that have yet to figure out how to provide engaging content for their audience. Although we are only able to tell our brands story from as far as the year 1000, some believe that the Timeline limits their complete story and history. I mean, is your brand really that old? If so Congratulations, you’ve beat the odds. With all of this being said, brands now have a great opportunity to get very creative with their Facebook presence. Remember, first impressions are everything!
Here’s the killing point in all of this though, pages no longer have the ability to welcome new viewers with its most widely used and loved default “landing tab” which was how non-fans were welcomed with when they visited a page before actually LIKE’ing it. Businesses and brands used this powerful marketing feature which gave incentive to viewers on how, where and why one should click the LIKE button, with special content/features such as coupons, contests, eBooks and much more. Requiring the consumer or viewer to LIKE your Facebook fan page for these special promotions and incentives.
Now that we aren’t told what to do and where to do it, we have to hope that the consumer actually knows where to find the application tab for these special incentives which will of course cost brands LIKE’s, email signups, entries to contest’s and various other key indicators. That influential “Landing Tab” was really a great marketing tactic. We had a big influence on the behavior of the consumer or viewer, which we no longer have other than effectively putting out great and engaging content.
Using your Timeline Effectively
Timeline’s Cover Photo does allow us to enhance the branding process with out relying on third party apps but this cover photo comes with big restrictions.
What A Cover Photo Can’t Display:
1) Calls To Action (C2A) “Like Our Page”
2) Purchase & Pricing information such as “20% off” or “Download at www.StudyBreaksCollegeMedia.com
Facebook is clearly cleaning up the way brands and consumers interact with one another. Social Business has changed the way we engage with our current and potential audience, the art of story telling is now the future of keeping your consumers engaged. A man by the name of Scott Cook once said, “A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.” When we learn to realize that this is absolutely correct, we will then as marketers learn to put ourselves in the consumer’s shoes and step away from spam.
Timeline Changes Things Up a Bit
A few things to keep in mind that have changed
1) Default landing tabs are long gone
2) Tabs are still there & wider than ever at 810px
3) Consumers can now message brand pages directly. “Talk about customer satisfaction.”
4) TimeLine will be in full effect come March 30th 2012. “How ya like them apples.”
5) You get a maximum of 12 apps so strategically place your important ones first
6) Cover Photo specs are 850px W x 315px L
I included as much necessary information on the introduction to “Facebook’s Timeline for Brand Pages” however, I will be following up in the week to come with a “Users Guide to Facebook’s Timeline Features for Brand Pages.”