The biggest news right now has to be #fMC’s announcement of Facebook timeline for pages.This being the first Facebook Marketing Conference has unquestionably hit social media industry with force.
Today Facebook began its roll out of the new Timeline design for Pages. Brands and businesses now have access to a host of new features which promise to leverage their Facebook platform to boost their engagement better than ever before.
But what’s all the fuss about? Timeline already been rolled out to over 800 million users?
Last month, Facebook started rolling out Timeline to all its users and today announced the launch of the extension of the new platform to brand pages.
But how does that help? Well for starters this offers a whole new bag of tricks for online marketers. These are just some of the most notable new features Facebook timeline for pages has to offer:
- Cover Photo: Businesses and organizations can now add a cover photo to the top of their Page.
- Friend Activity: When someone first visits a Page, they may see friends’ recent posts spotlighted as friend activity. People will also see how many of their friends are connected to a Page.
- Larger Stories, Milestones, and Page Timeline: The new Page design allows Page owners to tell stories through bigger photos and milestones that can include a date and other content.
- Pinned Posts: Organizations can pin a post to keep a story at the top of a Page for up to seven days.
- Admin Panel: The Admin panel is a new way for Page administrators to track their performance and to respond to private messages from people (Facebook started testing Private Messages for Pages two months ago).
- Activity Log: Page administrators have access to a log of their Page activity, including tools to easily highlight, hide or delete posts and change the date of a post
New features = new opportunities
For me the greatest new feature has to be the ‘pin it’ option. With the ability now ‘pin posts’ to the top of your brands Timeline which will allow brands to prioritise their content. This will in boosting reach and frequency if running a competition or specific campaign where the objective is to drive interaction.
How? Well this will expose fans to specific pieces of communication at their first interaction or visit to your page and gives the brand the opportunity to “highlight what matters” and immediately draw their attention to it.
The “star” feature also enables brands to expand on certain content and provide more info where and when required. It also gives the user the opportunity to choose whether or not they want to be exposed to that content and how much they want to engage with it.
The admin panel offers a great ‘under one roof’ solution thus enabling marketers to view at a glance, recent activity and interactions with the brand. Although not ground breaking stuff, I like the new design and how it’s configured to give you a snapshot of a number of different statistics at once. In this day and age convenience is king. From the looks of things Facebook is dominating the kingdom.
Focus on what matters – not day to day drivel
Last but not least the private message addition. It actually blows my mind as to why this has not been integrated before now. So many times have I wanted to send a message to a specific brand but haven’t necessarily wanted to post it on their fan page wall for the world to see.
It’s my belief that this will do wonders for customer service and consumer engagement and really take things to the next level.
It will also remove all the annoying comments that seem to flood many brand pages with frustrated, angry and unhappy customers posting their grievances on the brands wall.
Fans go to the page to interact with the brand, and yes also with fellow fans, but not to have to scroll through reams of complaints or queries that are quite irrelevant to the individual. The fact that the PE Woolies is out of stock of free range eggs really has little subsequence to someone sitting in Cape Town who doesn’t eggs.
Not to say that this feedback isn’t important – it is, in fact crucial, but with the implementation of the direct message option messages like these will be filtered to the correct people and open the page space for real content of value and substance.
Time for a change
With over 800 million users already using timeline on a personal level it’s unquestionable that within the next few days brands will be jumping left right and center to get in on the action. Besides the fact that going to be mandatory. Not sure I like that so much, but I see little point in sticking with the old version quite frankly.
Why stay in the slow lane when you could be in the fast lane right? It’s like saying you’d rather use a beeper than a smart phone. I mean that’s just plain madness! Get with the times. Get Facebook timeline.