Earlier this year Facebook announced that on March 30, 2012 all brand pages will be automatically transitioned to Timeline. This is the most significant announcement Facebook has made regarding brand pages. Timeline represents a new way to position your brand, using a vertical display with scrolling chronology of events, status updates, applications and events. The concept revolves around telling a brand’s story using a mini site within Facebook, which is highly visual, elegant and fluid. Here, we have identified 5 keys to Facebook’s Timeline for brands.
1. New look and feel – Similar to the individual user’s Timeline layout, Timeline for brands features a cover image at the top of the Page. There is a dividing line which separates the Page into two columns and provides for a chronological history of the brand or products. This allows brands to list interesting events in their history (think events, product launches, grand openings etc). The goal should be to tell the story of the company using important and creative milestones within the Page.
2. Default Landing Page and App Changes – With the launch of Timeline, there will no longer be Tabs along the left side of the Page. Instead, Apps will be featured under the cover image along with native apps like Photos. For now, brands are allowed to have 12 total apps. However, since there are no more Tabs, brands can not select a default landing page. All traffic from campaigns and other sources must be sent to the brand Timeline Page.
3. Pinning stories feature – A new feature that marketers will like is the ability to pin stories to the top of the update section. Pinned stories are identified with a yellow flag at the top right and can remain at the top of the page for 7 days. Marketers will have the ability to utilize this feature for calls to action, current offers or events, and to drive traffic to the Apps featured on the Timeline. When a new story is pinned, past stories will become unpinned and will be added to the chronology on the right.
4. Timeline for brands coming to a mobile device near you soon! Facebook recently revealed that 450 million people access Facebook mobile on a monthly basis and that mobile use is outpacing desktop at the rate of 2:1. Thus, it is critical for brands to adopt the Timeline format quickly and smoothly. The Timeline format will provide brands with a much more effective technical solution, delivering a more engaging experience for mobile users.
5. It’s all about me – an interesting new feature with Timelines for brands is the section in the right hand column showing the activity of my Friends pertaining to the brand. For instance, when I am on Coke’s Timeline, I can see recent mentions from my Friends about Coke. This will become even more effective with the integration of Sponsored Stories and video posts.