In September, Facebook announced a new feature to be rolled out on users’ profile pages. Dubbed Timeline, Facebook users can now change the way people view their profiles, with their entire Facebook history laid out in chronological order like a “timeline” of their lives. The new profile layout consists of a Cover, Stories and Apps. The profile Cover consists of the large, customized image you set at the top of your page. It’s the first thing viewers see. Stories are where you can highlight your most memorable photos, posts and events. The new social Apps let you share your interests with your network, such as music, movies and activities.
So what does this mean for your brand’s social strategy? Although Timeline is currently only available for personal profiles, it could have a big effect on brand pages if/when it becomes available, as discussed on mashable. One of the bigger draws of Timeline is purely visual – important because humans, in general, remember things they’ve seen more than those they’ve read or heard. The new layout allows for more pictures, particularly the Cover image at the top. Brands could potentially use that space to highlight a product/service or as an additional way to push an online promotion. More space for pictures not only provides more branding opportunities, but allows companies to really highlight their creativity. Plus, using the Stories section, it’s possible to put your best face forward, starring those pictures customers find most engaging so they appear more prominent on your page.
In addition to the visual appeal, there is the paid advertising aspect. When marketing a brand through Facebook advertising, there is the option to drive clicks to either the brand’s website or its Facebook page. Traffic to a website gives the advertiser the ability to provide the viewer with more relevant information and a better user experience, having more control over the content and how it is laid out. While driving traffic to the Facebook page helps grow a brand’s community, the text only Info tab does little to really promote the brand. Making the Info section, photos, apps and map available at the top of the page in an easy-to-use navigation makes it easier for visitors to find interesting and engaging information about the brand.
The new features included in Facebook Timeline could provide brands with untold opportunities to connect with consumers, allowing them to humanize their brand by telling stories and customizing their pages for more visual appeal.