As we estimated in yesterday’s blog post, Facebook has formally announced the arrival of Timelines for brand pages. Mashable posted a great overview of the Timeline functionality, including photo examples, on their site this morning, as did The Next Web, but below are some of the key highlights:
- Timeline is live and can be enacted by most pages now; the switch will officially flip on March 30, when Timeline will go live for all brand pages—so we suggest taking the time now to make changes and learn the new layouts so that you are not scrambling to fix things on March 30
- One of the biggest benefits is the visual aspect of Timeline, which allows brands to showcase unique stories and identities. You can also add content to the timeline to celebrate a brand’s milestones, even those that occurred before Facebook existed.
- There are some nifty new admin capabilities on the new pages – you’ll want to take the “tour” offered on your page to see how this works
- You have the ability to customize which of your tabs is highlighted on the page, and it’s easy to move them around to customize anytime
- The timeline itself offers some new functionality in terms of prioritizing or even hiding some stories from your page
We made initial updates to GFM’s Facebook page this morning and are already working with a number of clients to talk through strategies to update their pages, as well. Some other brands that have already implemented the new Timeline include Tiffany & Co., Old Spice and Coca-Cola, to name a few.
While the impulse to move quickly is hard to resist, our Senior Director of Digital Strategy, Stu Swineford, has some smart suggestions for the long term:
Q: When updating images on the new Timeline, what is more important, logos or lifestyle images?
A: In regard to using logos vs. lifestyle images, I think that a creative approach to graphics will produce the best effect. Sometimes using a simple logo with lots of white space might make this item stand out more within a sea of full-frame imagery. Embedding brand elements in a full-frame graphic might be ideal in other situations.
Q. There are some obvious visual benefits to the Timeline, but from a content perspective, what should brands be focused on?
A. It appears that interactions on a brand page can now become part of a user’s timeline, which then makes the interaction more apt to trickle out to other areas within the Facebook interface. Brands need to really ENGAGE audiences with creative calls to action will help their brands to spill out to other areas within Facebook and extend their virtual reach.
As always, we’ll keep our eyes and ears open for any new developments – and learnings along the way – and share them here when we have them.
– Carissa McCabe