Facebook Timeline for Brands, Ready or Not, It is Here!
Facebook changed their format for brand pages to the Timeline a week ago today. What do you think of it so far? Are you using it to your brand’s advantage? Some of the updates are behind the scenes, but most are featured on your page. We’ve pulled together a list of the top five changes to brand pages:
- Timeline – By all accounts this function was designed to help brands tell the stories that have helped create their identities. It affords brands a forum to highlight milestones and achievements to give the audience a better understanding of a brand’s mission, purpose, what it represents and where it originated.
- Cover Photo – It has been called “prime real estate” by many industry experts. Sized at 850 x 315 pixels this image is featured at the top of the page, creating a grand opportunity to catch the eye of your audience. You have control of what is featured there, but there are strict regulations for what it cannot contain, including price or purchase information, contact information, calls to action (tell your friends, get it now or buy today!) or references to Facebook features (like, share, etc.).
- Direct Messages – Users now have the option of sending you a private message rather than only being able to post on your wall. This is a major improvement when it comes to sharing sensitive information or complaints with a brand.
- Admin Panel –Instead of having to open a new window as before, current data including notifications (comments and likes), new likes, insights (graph illustrating fan engagement with content), and private messages appear in an easy to read dashboard at the top of the page. This data is visible to page administrators only.
- Pin your favorite post to the top – Has a customer given you a great review? Did an industry thought leader ‘share’ your post on their wall? Perhaps someone sent in a photo of your product in action? This function allows you to ‘pin’ those positive posts to the top of your page for a week, so that they are not pushed out of sight by more recent activity. You can also choose to highlight those posts or images by enlarging them to spread across both columns on the page.
Generally the response to this format change has been overwhelmingly positive, but with all new options, there are sacrifices and challenges. Landing pages have become a thing of the past in the new layout, as brands no longer have the ability to set a specific application as a landing page. However, if you purchase Facebook advertising you can link to a specific application from that ad.
The new design will likely produce the best results for brands with rich storied histories and a generous collection of images to share with their fans. Visual creativity and detailed storytelling of your brand and its impact on the world are key to keeping your fan base interested and engaged. Select your cover image carefully and insure that it accurately represents the story behind your brand.
Opinions on this transition are abundant and widely varied. What it will mean for your brand is something that only time will tell. Diligently monitor engagement and growth to determine if you are reaching your most valued audience. Adjust and adapt according to those results.
The Caliber team conducted a well-received Facebook Timeline training session for several clients and friends this week. Please contact us at email@example.com if you are interested in learning more about how your brand can use Timeline to amplify its message.