How Facebook Timelines Will Affect Your Brands
by Editorial Staff -
Image courtesy of Facebook / Screenshot
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Facebook timelines for brands have the same format as timelines for personal profiles. The content is split into two columns and there is space for a cover photo at the top of the page. Like individuals, brands can craft a narrative for existing and potential customers that humanizes the company and engages visitors.
The best way to use this feature is to post content that offers behind-the-scenes looks at the company’s activities, provide exclusive access to promotions, and updates that promote user interaction with the brand and each other. The milestones feature is an excellent way to create a story that focus on and promotes discussion about the company’s major achievements.
Tabs Take a Back Seat with Facebook Timelines
The left-hand tabs that visitors could use to visit different pages within the company’s Facebook page have been relocated to sit beneath the cover photo. The way the timeline is setup only allows for three custom tabs to be shown at any one time. Although you can still have multiple custom tabs, visitors will need to click a drop-down box to expand the panel and see the rest of the pages.
This change poses a challenge for marketers. A good way to get around this is to change which tabs are visible according to the company’s objectives. For example, if you are having a contest, then the page with information about the contest should be visible for as long as the contest is active. An analytics tool can assist with determining how users are interacting with the timeline and help you decide which tabs to promote.
Default Landing Pages Go Away in Facebook Timelines
There is no way to set a default landing page with the new Facebook timelines, so you can no longer control where your visitors go when they land on your Facebook page. The loss of this marketing tactic means you must be savvy about the type of information displayed in your timeline. Focus on making sure the topmost spots on the page conveys the company’s message as this will be the first thing visitors see. Whether by accident or on purpose, Facebook ads will now be a prominent part of your Facebook marketing because this is the only way to guide visitors to the places you want them to go.
Sticky Content is the Consolation Prize
To make up for the loss of default tabs, you now have the ability to pin posts to the top of your Facebook timeline. This is the same as making a blog post stick to the top of the site for a period of time. Pinned posts are demarcated by an orange flag and show up in two places: at the top of the page and within the timeline. You can only pin one thing at a time and the item will automatically fall away after seven days or when something else is pinned.
Needless to say, this is a good way to highlight content you want your visitors to pay attention to. You can pin anything in this space including images, call to actions, company statements, and current promotions.
Changes in Layout
The layout size is different. All pages are now 810 pixels wide and content on existing pages will be centered in the middle. The size of the application icons has also changed to 111×74 pixels and will need to be updated. Your company’s primary task, however, will be to optimize the information found above the fold such as the visible tabs and the header photo.
On-Site Private Messaging
Users have always been able to message each other, but now brands can message people in their community. This provides the ability to make deeper connections with visitors as well as avoid cluttering your timeline with customer inquiries and other items that may not be relevant to the conversation.
Despite all newcomers, Facebook still dominates the social media scene. Although it will take time to get used to the changes, Facebook timelines provides a unique way to share the company’s story and engage users. What do you think of Facebook timelines, and what changes will you make to your company’s Facebook page?