Since Timeline for Pages smashed its way into the news last week, the number of articles and videos I've seen about how to effectively use the new functionality is insane. Now, while I've done my own research into it and still reserve wholehearted judgement over the new 'improvements' I thought it sensible to consider what this actually means for brands who have spent the past few years perfecting engagement levels and growing their audiences.
Aesthetically, it is undeniable that the cover image on the Timeline, along with the logo is both visually striking and can be used to the advantage of a page. Now the logo can be complemented with an engaging image to spark the interest of fans and prospects. What brands need to do before rushing into the changeover on March 30th is to consider, in depth, what cover picture to use; there is an opportunity for those brands that get this right to acquire new fans through current fans 'sharing' the page.
From a customer service perspective, I think the introduction of 'messages' is an inspired addition. Anyone working at a PR company or social media agency will understand how important it is to avert crises; messages now allows for issues to be handled privately and away from the rest of that page's community. It is my belief that brands should really focus on this as an avenue for driving online customer service enquires.
One of the most important aspects of maintaining strong engagement and acquisition levels on Facebook has always been the storytelling element. To successfully engage with fans, a page has to do just that - firstly, be a compelling read containing interesting narrative and exclusive content and secondly, a platform to listen and discuss. The introduction of Timeline hasn't changed the importance of this; it has perhaps though made the format a little more user-friendly for sharing a story. In essence, adding 'time' to the story gives the brand heritage and context, which can be easily found through a simple date search. The milestones functionality also means key dates in any brands history can be highlighted so fans become aware of anniversaries and launch dates.
The grand unveiling of Timeline for Pages is 30 March and while it is clear that there are some advantageous new developments, I think it is vital that brands carefully consider how best to implement the new design and functionality changes.