Since the recent Facebook switch to the timeline structure many brands and social media marketers are trying to leverage the new layout in the most creative and engaging way possible. The goal of brand pages remains the same: to increase customer engagement while providing their loyal fan base with excellent content. However, with the new layout brands need to approach this goal differently. Keeping in mind the new features and opportunities introduced by timeline, brands should start to think about how they can uniquely leverage these features and stand out.
Timeline pushes brands to revamp their brand pages in order to align with the new purpose of the layout. Timeline adds new features such as cover photos, and new opportunities for promotion including selective pinning and selective app showcasing. Brands now need to create strategies to integrate these new features and re-create their brand pages in the most effective way possible.
A cover photo is the single most noticeable feature on a timeline brand page. It eats up the majority of the real estate above the fold. In this way, cover photos assume importance which requires a marketer to invest thought and effort in selecting one. The cover photo represents the brand, its image and reputation. Here are two examples of cover photos that both attract attention and remain relevant to the brand image and page goals.
The Nike cover photo showcases a product, in this case the company’s newest shoe (as shown in a screenshot taken from Nike’s Facebook page). The Livestrong cover photo is a unique and attractive graphic design that communicates the spirit of the brand.
Some brands also take advantage of the word “timeline” in its literal sense. Burberry, for example, has done a great job of creating its brand page from a chronological perspective.
The tab on the right of a brand’s page is an actual timeline that traces all the way back to the start of the brand. The date of foundation can be altered to reflect the actual foundation date of the organization or brand. Burberry has also posted pictures and announcements which reflect events throughout the brand’s history.
Timeline has eliminated the luxury of a custom landing page for brands. Now, the default page for all brands is the timeline. However, a new feature called pinning lets you showcase things that you want your customers to spend more time on. Items that you pin take up the entire width of the page and stay on top for 7 days, irrespective of new items that you post after the pinned items. These pinned items could be videos or images which make brand pages more interactive.
The above screen shot taken from Coke’s brand page is an example of what a pinned item looks like. These items are things that you want your customers to pay special attention to and they should be both graphically interesting as well as meaningful to your brand message.
Timeline provides brands with a more enhanced and more interactive story telling capabilities. It enables brands and organizations to think creatively, stand out against other brands.
Brands that adopted Timeline early tend to have high brand recognition and high user engagement. That is, they see more likes on their page now, more people talking per post and an overall increase in traffic. Some brands that comply with the above conclusion are Livestrong, Red Bull, Macy’s, Sears and Toyota.