February 24, 2012
Facebook Timelines for Businesses
Facebook began to roll out its new Timeline style profiles for personal pages towards the end of last year, and it was recently announced that in the coming weeks, remaining old-style profiles will become timelines, regardless of whether users opt-in or not.
In the last few days, much speculation has surfaced over the possibility of Facebook launching timelines for brand pages (as well as shortening the maximum length of ad copy) and what this will mean for social media marketing strategy. As noted in our previous blog, we were at a social media panel event last week at which a Facebook representative mentioned that business timelines would be launched in New York later this month. With a major Facebook media event lined up in the form of their Marketing Conference on the 29th February in New York, it’s a fair bet that they will at least announce the US beta launch for these profiles then.
UK users may well have a little while to wait, but in the meantime let’s take a look at what Facebook changes your business need to think about?
It’s likely that before the changes reach us we’ll be able to see their impact on US profiles, and even if/when timelines for businesses are not an opt-in feature, the good news is that like personal profiles, it is most likely that you’ll be given 7 days to edit and adjust your timeline before you publish it to the world. However, it is still worthwhile to think ahead and even make a few preparations…
The timeline makes it much easier for users to view old posts, so if there are any skeletons in your Facebook closet (or more likely comments that no longer align with your business or mentions of products you no longer offer), now may be a good opportunity to review these.
Assuming they largely mirror personal profile timelines, business page timelines will also have a cover picture that shows as a banner across the top of your profile. This will provide an excellent new opportunity to be creative, grab viewers’ attention and enhance your page’s branding. So, it’s worth spending some time thinking about what you’ll put there nice and early.
Also, you may have the opportunity to add in past ‘life events’ and related photos and comments for your brand. Rather than the weddings, holidays and christenings that adorn personal profiles, you may want to add occasions such as award wins, Christmas parties (unless that’s likely to produce more skeletons!), the opening of a new shop/office or a product launch. This could be the opportunity to portray even more of your brand’s culture and personality to your fans and help boost engagement and the visibility of particular products or promotions.
One concern, however, is what will happen to the custom tabs and page designs that many businesses utilise on their profiles. Several suggestions have been made about how these will appear, where they’ll be moved to and if they’ll require any re-working, but that’s just another thing we’ll have to wait and see about!
Keep your eyes peeled on the 29th February for some early snapshots of what might be in store for your profile, and check back for our updates and guides for usage!