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.