Storytelling has been the greatest form of entertainment and engagement for longer than any of us cares to
remember. It is the most effective way of interacting and connecting with an audience, building a relationship of trust and respect between the author and the reader.
As of today, all brand pages on Facebook will now transition over to the new Timeline page. The updated features available have truly encapsulated the essence of great storytelling. The Timeline allows you, as a brand, to tell your story; from where you started, the milestones that got you to where you are today and the people that helped you get there. You can tell the stories you want to tell and engage with the people who want to hear them.
“Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin”
The new elements of the Timeline page allow for much more creativity, showcasing your brand in the way you want to be seen. Visually, the reverse-chronologically ordered Timeline is much more stimulating and enjoyable for your audience. Think of it as a cross between a great, insightful blog and a personalised
online scrapbook; the best story you have read but now with pictures!
Never judge a book by its cover? Now you can.
Timeline pages have much more space devoted to expressing your brand through images, photos and showcasing your work. Bringing your story to life is the Cover Photo; the most eye catching part of the page. Here you can let your creativity shine and capture the personality and essence of your brand. And don’t be afraid to change this as often as you like to fit in with what you’ve got going on to really catch people’s eye. The smaller profile image tends to be reserved for your brands logo. Fans will start to identify your logo with the personal interaction and the virtual human aspect you have created through Facebook.
This free reign on creativity has inspired some well-known brands to really use this feature to its full potential.Time Out London’s cover photo, which is a great shot of Tower Bridge by a London photographer, is great for creating a good impression of London as a city people want to explore.
But be aware, there are restrictions to this creative revolution (all stories have to have a villain). The cover photo cannot be used as a promotional billboard. Facebook rules clearly restrict any sales, calls to action or contact information.
You cannot highlight any Facebook features, such as arrows pointing to the ‘Like’ button. The focus is well and truly on you and your brand’s image.
Once upon a time…”
Every story starts somewhere and the essence of the Facebook Timeline is to document key milestones in your brands history by adding in events by date, which helped shaped who you are today. The benefit of this feature is that fans can interact with your posts past the time it appears in their news feed.
British Airways have used their Timeline to go as far back as 1919, allowing fans to learn more about the company’s history and how flying has evolved since Winston Churchill took the first transatlantic flight in 1942
The Cliff Hanger
Where would a story be without a good cliff hanger? As a brand on Facebook, you have the perfect platform to create a ‘buzz’ around an upcoming product or event. You can keep your most important posts at the top of the page for up to seven days, so fans don’t miss out on your news.
And if that wasn’t enough intrigue, the star button on your post will actually increase the size of your post, dominating the page as the first thing you see. So the tension has been built and your followers will be eagerly awaiting the next instalment (think Harry Potter sequels excitement!)
Not forgetting the supporting characters
A great story is nothing with a great supporting cast. What are the little yet brilliant features that make you stand out from the crowd? Timeline lets you create apps that appear underneath the cover photo, highlighting products, promotions or services you provide.
These are smaller than the previous Facebook page, but that just means you can be all the more creative to direct people to that particular information. A Brand who have really utilised this feature are O2 UK. They have included O2 Just Ask and O2 Gurus within the panel for customers to easily use and find the information they need.
As a Director of a story, you oversee and influence everything that is being shown. Having your own Branded Facebook page allows you to do just the same. As an administrator, you can easily manage your content, track activity and respond directly to your followers as well as view helpful statistics and graphs about your page, all through the Admin Panel.
And they all lived happily ever after?”
A story is only as good as the reviews it receives. Luckily for Facebook Timeline, the feedback so far is very positive. A study from Simply Measured (LINK) shows that Timeline has already increased fan, content and photo engagement for brands that have made the change. On average, all content saw 56% more engagement with Timeline; a great sign of things to come.