Facebook has recently rolled out their updated Timeline profile pages for all personal Facebook users, the changes see content presented in a timeline fashion, chronologically presenting your information all the way from birth to present day.
With this in mind, Facebook has today launched its Timeline profiles for brand and fan pages, this has been featured across key brands including The Today Show, Starbucks, Coldplay and The New York Times, which you can see here – http://www.facebook.com/nytimes
The update sees a number of changes to your brands profile page and ahead of today, there has been a lot of speculation on what this might mean for your brand page. So with all of this in mind, we thought we would take a look at how the new Timeline could affect your brand.
Timeline allows users to go back in time and look over key moments of your life, for brand pages this means that even if your Facebook page was set up in 2010 and your business launched in 1990 you can add significant events and moments to your Timeline. This could be anything that you feel is important to your company such as moving locations, your first big client or a member of staff who has had a significant impact on your brand. The new layout is also very image centric, so adding photos to key moments will make them stand out more.
The Timeline layout, as previously mentioned, is very image focused with images appearing larger than before and a new feature that Facebook has integrated is the Cover Photo – this is a static image that appears at the top of your profile, and so it would be good to be prepared with an image that really promotes and defines your brand. The image is the first thing that visitors to your page will see, so look for something that stands out and be creative! This can also be embedded with a link to your sites homepage and double up as a shareable advert for your brand.
Plan your first update in advance, you will have a small amount of time to arrange your profile before it goes live, but it would be good to launch with something to draw engagement based on the new profile layout and to discuss and focus on the changes. Perhaps start with a question as your initial post, asking fans when your company was launched to give them an incentive to scroll through your timeline and have a look over all of your key events.
Aesthetics for brands
Another important factor to consider is how big brands might be able to change the aesthetics for the page altogether, one example that has been posted recently is what Coca-Cola might be able to do with their red branding, making the standard blue and white Facebook account visually look completely different and definitely make it stand out in a crowded market. The physical appearance of the page is vital to grabbing attention and also in keeping visitors engaged enough that they come back for a return visit.
Tabs and apps
One key development for brands is that tabs and apps are available on brand pages to offer special features to Timelines and can be found at the top of your profile as (See the Starbucks example below.) Another key change is that if your brand is mentioned in a Facebook users post then that post will be visible to their friends that visit your page.
All activity on your page is now managed from the admin panel, which means you can respond when people write on your page or timeline and you can also view your latest insights and review all your posts and activity. You can also now be contacted privately by Facebook users, with notifications appearing in your admin panel.
The biggest change to come from the update is that brands can no longer implement landing pages, which have been used to introduce your brand to new visitors through offering free giveaways and encouraging visitors to ‘like’ your page before viewing your profile. This will make how you use your cover photo even more relevant in attracting new ‘likes’ to your page.
We have mocked up what our Prodo Facebook page might look like once we implement the changes and you can see this below!