Everything you need to know about Facebook Timeline for brands

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Facebook’s announcement of Facebook Timelines for pages is pretty big news. Brands and businesses now have access to a host of new features which promise to leverage their Facebook platform and boost their engagement to higher levels than ever before.

What’s all the fuss about? Timeline has already been rolled out to more than 800-million users?

Last month, Facebook started rolling out Timeline to all its users and yesterday it announced the launch of an extension of the new platform to brand pages. But how does that help? Well, for starters, this offers a whole new bag of tricks for online marketers. These are just some of the most notable new features Facebook Timeline for pages has to offer:

  • Cover Photo: Businesses and organisations can now add a cover photo to the top of their Page.
  • Friend Activity: When someone first visits a Page, they may see friends’ recent posts spotlighted as friend activity. People will also see how many of their friends are connected to a Page.
  • Larger Stories, Milestones and Page Timeline: The new Page design allows Page owners to tell stories through bigger photos and milestones that can include a date and other content.
  • Pinned Posts: Organizations can pin a post to keep a story at the top of a Page for up to seven days.
  • Admin Panel: The Admin panel is a new way for Page administrators to track their performance and to respond to private messages from people (Facebook started testing Private Messages for Pages two months ago).
  • Activity Log: Page administrators have access to a log of their Page activity, including tools to easily highlight, hide or delete posts and change the date of a post.

New features = new opportunities

For me, the greatest new feature has to be the “pin it” option. The ability to “pin posts” to the top of your brand’s Timeline will allow you to prioritise content. This will aid in boosting reach and frequency if you’re running a competition or specific campaign where the objective is to drive interaction.

How? Well, it will expose fans to that specific piece of communication when they first visit your page, and it gives you the opportunity to “Highlight what matters” and immediately draw their attention to it.

The “star” feature also enables you to expand on certain content and provide more info where and when required. It also gives the user the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to be exposed to that content.

The admin panel offers a great “all under one roof” solution, thus enabling marketers to view recent activity and interactions with the brand at a glance. Although not ground-breaking stuff, I like the new design and how it’s configured to give you a snapshot of a number of different statistics at once. In this day and age, convenience is king. From the looks of things Facebook is dominating the kingdom.


Focus on what matters — not day-to-day drivel

Last but not least, the private message addition. It actually blows my mind as to why this has not been integrated before now. So many times have I wanted to send a message to a specific brand but haven’t necessarily wanted to post it on its fan page wall for the world to see.

It’s my belief that this will do wonders for customer service and consumer engagement and really take things to the next level.

It will also hopefully limit all the annoying comments that seem to flood many brand pages with frustrated, angry and unhappy customers who post their grievances on the brand’s wall.

Fans go to the page to interact with the brand and fellow fans, but don’t want to have to scroll through reams of complaints or queries that are quite irrelevant to them.

That’s not to say that this feedback isn’t important. It is, in fact, crucial, but with the implementation of the direct message option, messages like these can be filtered to the correct people and make the page’s wall a space for content of value and substance.

Time for a change

With over 800-million users already using timeline on a personal level, it’s unquestionable that within the next few days brands will be jumping left right and center to get in on the action. Of course, it’s eventually going to be mandatory. Not sure I like that so much, but there’s not much point in sticking with the old system anyway.

Why stay in the slow lane when you could be in the fast lane right? It’s like saying you’d rather use a beeper than a smartphone. I mean that’s just plain madness! Get with the times. Get Timeline.

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  • http://twitter.com/leachgular Brent Coetzee

    Thanks for the break down, but there are few fans that actually visit a fan page once they have liked it. Timeline will have an effect on that initial impression (which is vital to attract interest), but after that most interaction will be through a user’s the news feed. I love the new features that you have highlighted though. This is definitely a great strategic step forward for any brand on Facebook if used properly. 

    I hope that the private message functionality does not take away the complaints on a Page’s wall. Conflict is a great source of content, as long as it is handled well. And if it is handled well, the only winner is the brand at the end of the day. 

    Thanks for the insights

  • jessello

    Yes, agree with Brent, but also, the new setup does not allow for you to lead someone onto a specific Page Tab. I hope Facebook will sort this out before the end of March.

    @Brent – don’t agree 100% – fans do come back if they really like something. But not if they were coerced into liking in the first place.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doveybrett Brett Dovey

    To be honest I have previewed the new timeline option and in essence some features are ok, other features are not. What sets you above the huge other brands out there like Coco Cola, Red Bull etc They planning field that was once levelled is now taken away. It’s going back to the old adage that a brand page looks like a personal profile page.Your can’t drive your visitors to specific like an opt in form or a reveal tab. So yes its “new” but how is it really going to be different to other brand pages. 

  • Pingback: Facebook’s Brand Timeline – Google Privacy Changes – Foursquare | The ODM Group

  • Pingback: DigiVOX’s Weekly Round-Up! (05-03-2012) | digiVOX

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