Making Sense of Social: It’s about Timeline
There are varying opinions on Facebook Timeline, running the gamut from love to hate. But Facebook didn’t wait on a majority of positive user feedback before switching every account on March 30.
From a user experience and design standpoint, I think they’ve made a leap forward that makes interaction easier. The cover photo is a nice way to make a quick impression for people and brands. But there are other pros and cons, especially for companies managing their brand page.
According to Mashable, there is good news for brands in the post-Timeline era. Preliminary results from a relatively small sample of brand pages saw engagement rise over 40 percent on posts after the Timeline launch, compared to engagement before. The bad news: landing pages aren’t an option within Timeline anymore, so companies make sure your wall is interesting, dynamic and that you understand the new functions available, including “milestone.” Don’t panic, users can still head to landing pages from outside the Facebook platform, just not from within it.
As if Timeline’s not enough to deal with, Facebook also expanded its advertising opportunities. One of the biggest changes is price. Existing Facebook ads were affordable for small businesses, but many of the new ads seem aimed at larger companies with deeper pockets. Check prices before you get too excited about them. But Facebook advertisers can now take advantage of these premium services: mobile ads, offers, reach generator, news feed ads and logout page ads – all with the same sophisticated targeting. Your goal should be to engage current fans, not just to increase your existing fanbase.
I think a common misunderstanding of most corporate pages is that fan quantity is more important than fan quality, but that’s not often the reality. Give existing customers something new they can get excited about. Afterall, that’s what Facebook just did with Timeline and its new ad platform.
If you manage a brand page and are looking for additional assistance with Facebook Timeline, here are two resources I recommend: Mashable (mashable.com) offers Facebook Timeline for Brands: The Complete Guide and local agency Cookerly PR offers The Brave New World of Marketing: Facebook Timeline and the Advance of Brand Storytelling (searching their site at cookerly.com).
You can find me on Twitter @brigflood and at makingsenseofsocial.com.