Facebook Announcements: Timeline for Pages and More
Facebook made about a zillion and one announcements today at the fmc (Facebook Marketing Conference) in New York. The biggest buzz is around the official word that all brand pages will be updated to the Timeline on March 30th.
If you didn't catch the live feed the first time around, Facebook has some of the highlights online or you can catch up with the plethora of news converage:
- Page Timelines: http://mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-brand-timelines-changes-marketing/
- PageTimelines: http://mashable.com/2012/02/29/facebook-timeline-brands-prepare/
- PageTimelines: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-pages-timeline-7-2012-02
- Offers: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-offers-deals-2012-02
- Industry Reaction (I like Buddy Media's commentary): http://www.allfacebook.com/timeline-reax-2012-02
- (Some) Public Insights Data: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-timeline-page-metrics-2012-02
- Ad Changes: http://www.allfacebook.com/premium-ads-facebook-2012-02
- Ad Changes: http://www.allfacebook.com/facebook-officially-debuts-offers-premium-ad-placement-2012-02
- Ad Changes: http://marketingland.com/facebook-finally-brings-ads-to-mobile-devices-7058
For those of you who don't feel like sorting through all those words, I've pulled some highlights:
- Every page will be upgraded on March 30th but you can preview the Timeline right now.
- There won't be anymore landing pages. From now on, all visitors will go to the Timeline by default.
- Only two "tabs" will be visible in addition to the Friends and Like tabs.
- You can pin a post to the top of the page. A pin expires after 7 days or until something new is pinned.
- Tab and app sizes are changing.
- Users will now be able to send private messagesto brands.
- You'll be able to schedule posts from Facebook.
- New ad changes mean it could be less cost effective to "buy" fans, they're moving from traditional ads to stories
- Offers are replacing check-ins. Offers for local businesses will be self serve on the page with an option to pay to promote them beyond the page.
- The Reach Generator is probably the most intriguing announcement. Most pages reach only 10-15% of their audience. You can now pay to reach at least 75% of your audience.
What to Do to Get Ready
Create a cover photo. With cover photos, your brand has a chance to make a great first impression. Use a high quality cover photo that promotes your business. Change things up regularly with new messaging or exclusive specials.
Choose visible tabs. With the new layout, you only get two tabs. Rather than being able to create dozens of tabs, you'll need to be selective with what tabs are most important to your goals. While you're there, reformat your tabs to fit the new width specs.
Create milestones and curate your timeline. Milestones are unqiue to the Timeline layout. You can now denote when certain things have happened like when your business opened or when you page hit 10,000 fans. Get creative. A portion of your connections will take the time to scroll through your Timeline, so make it worth their while.
And After That?
Timeline and the other announcements represent a significant change in the way marketers need to approach Facebook. Rather than using Facebook as a promotion channel, brands need to look at the platform as a place to really engage their customers (something that they should have done all along).
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