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Timeline. Like it or not, the social media giant’s much anticipated design overhaul for individual users early this year has now been applied to all business pages as well. Here are some things to consider about Facebook Timeline and the value it could add to your business’ social networking presence.
Social engagement analytics firm, Simply Measured, put out a recent study comparing fan engagement levels both before and after the Timeline update for 15 large brands. These brands experienced a 14 percent improvement in fan engagement and a 46 percent increase in content engagement after the Timeline redesign was put into effect. Here’s why: Timeline encourages fresh and active content and conversation.
Timeline now makes business pages look and feel more like personal pages. Instead of just acting as a landing page with default tabs, Timeline highlights active content, which is the most effective way to drive new traffic to a store and to a company site.
Three major opportunities to take advantage of:
1. Photo Display
Timeline gives businesses more space to showcase its brand and products. Photos and videos are now displayed much more prominently, encouraging fan response. The most obvious example of this is the cover photo (851px by 315px). This is a great opportunity to draw new customers and engage current fans. Also, the old default tabs have been replaced with photos, which is more visually appealing to viewers.
Top Shelf Marketing Tip: Use as much visual content, pictures and videos on your pages as possible and try to link posts in some way to visual aides to make the most of the benefits Timeline has to offer. Consider changing your Cover Photo monthly to ensure your page feels fresh to return visitors.
Timeline now allows companies to give a graphical representation of its company history — when the company began, significant events over the years, photos, and videos. While providing improved navigation, allowing users to easily browse via months or years. Large fashion/lifestyle brands, for instance, are going to benefit from every person who uploads 10- year-old photos and goes on a thorough tagging/dating mission.
Top Shelf Marketing Tip: Icons in the upper-right-hand corner of each post allow you to star or pin it. Starring indicates the post is important on your brand page, doubling its size across the entire width of your timeline. Pinning a post places a duplicate copy of it directly at the top of your timeline, to ensure all those visiting your page see it.
Perhaps the most exciting of the new Timeline features is the ability to message your fans directly, allowing for deeper interaction. The old version of Facebook insights did not deliver users with real-time data. With Timeline’s new insights, users can now track how a post is doing within five to ten minutes after posting. Other new tools include: people talking about engagements, friends of fans, reach, and virality. These insights provide users with more tracking tools and instant gratification from posts. the “Photos” app will always be resident in the first spot, the others are up for grabs. One or more of these could take users to a promotional page in lieu of auto-routing new users like you could before.
Gone are the days where a default tab could be set up for users to be taken to when first visiting your Facebook page. Now it’s more important than ever that the top few posts on your page are interesting enough to compel new page visitors to “Like” your page. Finally, the new Facebook Timeline may take businesses a little getting used to, but the new features promises a better experience for its users and improved interaction between a company and its customers.