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Facebook Timeline – A Great Brand Initiative or a Social Media Nightmare?

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Following the launch of timeline for personal pages, Facebook has recently announced Timeline brand pages will become compulsory from 30th March, meaning brands have the option to opt-in now or wait for the automatic change at the end of the month. There have been many social media agencies and PR firms waiting with baited breath for this announcement, but it can mean both positives and negative outcomes for brands.

A number of brands have already embraced the changes coming into force, meaning greater interaction with fans and more controlled branding on pages.

There have been a number of key changes, the benefits for brands include:

• Aesthetics: Brands are now able to successfully add their mark onto their pages, with a large cover photo and profile photo. With posts no longer appearing in a vertical line, but instead side by side, users are able to digest more posts. This also makes the use of assets, such as video and images being previewed directly on the page for all to see.

• More emphasis on brand history: The new Timeline allows brands to highlight all of a brands history, giving a more personal history of itself.
• The ability to promote multiple pages: Brands can now promote multiple profiles and pages from a single page, highlighting the two pages to both sets of fans. This will mean a greater page visibility and encourage faster fan growth.
• ‘Pinning’ posts: Timeline now allows brands to ‘pin’ posts to the top of their pages, keeping them visible for longer. This allows greater targeting of fans and to strengthen brand and consumer relationships.

The Facebook Timeline is going to revolutionize pages on the platform for brands. Although there may be some work by brands to get their page ready for the switch on March 30, there is only one negative I can see, which is that the Timeline is compulsory. However, social media savvy brands will only see the positives and will embrace the Timeline functionality before March 30, customising their pages to better enhance consumer interaction with the brand. As a consumer and someone heavily involved in social media for brands I am looking forward to the changes, and wait with excitement for the compulsory switch over at the end of the month.

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About Kirsty Shaw

  • http://www.one1onemarketing.com.au Flynn

    Spot on!
    “However, social media savvy brands will only see the positives and will embrace the Timeline functionality before March 30, customising their pages to better enhance consumer interaction with the brand.”

    I have provided some simple steps to cover before march 31st.

  • Marcus

    Thanks Kirsty for the info, good to see it summed up so well in one place.

    I have a few pages to update, but a question, if I may –

    As a much more experienced social media expert, do you think there is any real advantage for a local building firm to have a brand page on fb?

    I’ve found that seo is ideal for getting targeted leads, but I don’t know if I’m missing something with fb – not sure how beneficial it would be since the company only services a small area and it’s not like they are a restaurant or similar business.

    Many thanks

    Marcus

  • Kirsty Shaw

    Hi Marcus,
    Thanks for your question. It can certainly be potentially beneficial. I would suggest that the point is really whether it’s a worthwhile exercise in terms of the resource required to manage such a page effectively.
    There are several possibilities, firstly, I’d look at whether Facebook is the right vehicle for any business’ target audience. With 800m global users, it’s hard to ignore Facebook, even in a business to business capacity, but even so, it may just not be right.
    A good starting point is a detailed look at the demographic of your potential customer base, in the case of some businesses a Twitter feed or indeed a Google+ presence might make more sense. Others may favour putting some resource into managing a LinkedIn page. It should ultimately be determined by the likelihood of the target demographic to interact with the page.
    In short, I would say that it’s probably a good idea to keep a page open, if only to explore a potentially interesting new avenue for business development. However I would focus on doing the basics well, keep to a strict schedule of posting interesting content and, above all, focus on the type of content that your community is likely to want to engage with and share, and not just marketing materials for your business.
    I hope that helps! Drop me a line if you’d like to talk through the options.
    Best wishes
    Kirsty