Getting Started with the New Facebook Brand Timeline Pages
This morning Facebook began rolling out the new Timeline for brand pages. So far, we have seen several high profile brands with new Facebook pages this morning including Coca Cola, Red Bull, Starbucks, Xbox and Ford. This is going to be an exciting yet challenging change for brands large and small. While a small amount of brands have changed over today, Facebook has given the ability for all brand pages to move to the new Timeline whenever they see fit, but all brand pages that have not made the change will automatically be updated on March 30, 2012.
We are going to learn a great deal of information from the fMC conference today in NYC where we have several Ignite Social Media folks attending. But in the meantime, from our initial impressions of these new brand pages, here are few things you can start thinking about right now.
The heart of Facebook’s new brand timeline will show a business’s heritage and history. Very easily, a Facebook user will be able to quickly span your brands history and decide whether they want to engage with your brand or not. It will be essential for all brands to make sure your history is well established in the timeline. These should include:
- Company founded
- First product launch
- Major milestones
- Significant news
Messaging Through Multimedia
Very similar to the individual Timelines that have been live for some time, Facebook is providing brands significant real estate with a cover image. The 852 pixels wide and 315 pixels high cover image has the opportunity to communicate a great deal about your brand to your target markets. This is prime real estate that needs to be used effectively by brands. This is something that you don’t need to wait for the conference this afternoon or anything else. Get in a room with your designers, copywriters and creative teams and begin discussing and developing imagery for this cover image. But be careful: Facebook has already documented that these photos shouldn't include any calls to actions or arrows to like your page.
One of the more interesting additions that have grabbed our attention this morning is the “Recent Posts by Others” section on the new brand Timeline pages. From what we have gathered so far, this is pulling comments about the brand that users have posted on their Facebook wall. For example, on Coca-Cola’s new Timeline we discovered a post that included the line, “coke snorting spell suggestion” but I have a feeling the user was referring to a different kind of "Coke". This is an interesting feature as it will allow users to see how other Facebook users are talking about and interacting with a brand, but at the same time, this could create challenges for brands and how they are going to effectively manage and monitor their pages.
Default Landing Page
A heavy discussion piece this morning here at Ignite Social Media has been how the new brand Timeline page will always be the default landing page for pages in this new design. Previously brands had the ability to change which tab was the default landing page, and this was an effective way to convert non fans to fans, and help promote specific campaigns or events. Brands will now have to consider using the new functionality to "Pin" a post, and create visual updates that effectively call out these promotion or event tabs in their updates. This could dramatically change the number of "Likes" received by a brand, as well as engagement with applications.
To learn more about Facebook Pages, here are several great Facebook resources. In the meantime, stay tuned to our blog because we'll be sharing more thoughts on the announcements made from the fMC conference.
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