Everything You Need To Know About New Facebook Timeline For Brands And Ads


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On February 29, 2012 Facebook announced a significant platform change that will alter the way that brands communicate with consumers across paid, owned and earned media. With over 150MM consumer to brand daily interactions, brands are in a position to offer more effective and targeted communications, content and experiences. Now, there is an even greater need for a wholly integrated Facebook marketing approach.

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Everything You Need To Know About New Facebook Timeline For Brands And Ads

  1. 1. FMC 2012 Conference     ATTENTION  POINT-­‐OF-­‐VIEW  (POV)       I.  Executive  Summary/Overview:     On  February  29,  2012  Facebook  announced  a  significant  platform  change  that  will  alter  the  way  that   brands  communicate  with  consumers  across  paid,  owned  and  earned  media.  With  over  150MM  consumer   to  brand  daily  interactions,  brands  are  in  a  position  to  offer  more  effective  and  targeted  communications,   content  and  experiences.  Now,  there  is  an  even  greater  need  for  a  wholly  integrated  Facebook  marketing   approach.           Overview   Two  significant  changes  to  the  Facebook  platform  were  unveiled  at  the  2012  FMC  Marketers  Conference.   As  Facebook’s  COO  Sheryl  Sandberg  notes,  these  changes  will  result  in  “a  shift  from  the  wisdom  of  crowds   to  the  wisdom  of  friends.”  The  purpose  of  this  document  is  to  make  further  sense  of  these  changes,   analyze  what  they  may  mean  within  a  broader  context,  and  identify  specific  opportunities  for  us  to  take   advantage  of  these  developments  from  a  practical  marketing  perspective.     Two  major  functionality  changes  were  announced  at  the  conference:     1) Timeline,  the  customizable  “lifestream,”  has  migrated  to  brand  Pages  and  will  turn  the  Page   format  into  a  true  storytelling  canvas     2) Admin  Panel  and  Activity  Log  allow  brands  to  manage  their  Page  in  one  place,  by  responding  to   users,  assessing  Page  insights,  and  editing  all  Page  posts     3) Premium  on  Facebook  and  Reach  Generator  allow  brands  to  ensure  that  the  right  people  see   their  stories  in  the  right  places  via  paid  media     II.  Breakdown:     Through  these  changes,  brands  can:   • Brand  their  Page   • Highlight  what  matters   • Manage  content,  applications  and  media  in  one  centralized  location   • Amplify  compelling  content       In  the  section  below,  we  will  outline  the  details  of  each  update  and  what  they  mean  for  brands.                                   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  2. 2. FMC 2012 Conference         Brand  Your  Page         Cover  Photo     The  cover  photo  should  highlight  the  essence  of  the  brand,  showcase  the  product  or  service,  or  call  out  a   current  campaign:   • Brand  can  change  their  cover  photo  as  often  as  they  like   • Size:  851x315  pixels   • Cover  Photo  policies  stipulate  that  Page  images  cannot  include:     o Price  or  purchase  information  (e.g.  “40%  off”  or  “Download  it  at  our  website.”)   o Contact  information  for  the  brand  such  as  website,  email.  That  should  go  in  the  “About”   section   o Reference  to  Facebook  features  or  actions,  such  as  “Like”  or  “Share”  or  any  visual  cues   directing  users  from  the  cover  photo  to  any  of  these  features     o Calls  to  action,  such  as  “Get  it  now”  or  “Tell  your  friends”     • The  Profile  Picture  still  exists,  but  it  is  now  a  square  image     o Size:  while  there  are  not  specific  requirements  for  this  asset,  the  quality  should  scale   well  from  180x180  pixels  to  32x32   o This  image  is  used  as  a  thumbnail  image  in  the  news  feed  stories,  ads  and  Sponsored   Stories       Views  and  Apps     Instead  of  being  pushed  out  to  the  brand  Page’s  side  gutter,  photos  and  custom  apps  will  now  appear  at   the  top  of  the  Page:   • Brands  can  customize  their  application  images/icons,  and  change  the  order  of  all  of  these  icons   apart  from  the  Photos,  which  will  always  remain  in  the  far  left  position   o Icon  size:  111x74  pixels   • The  timeline  is  now  the  default  landing  place  for  all  users,  fans  and  non-­‐fans  alike.  This  means   that  brands  can  no  longer  set  a  tab  or  application  as  their  default  landing  page  for  non-­‐fans     o Users  will  no  longer  be  under  the  assumption  that  they  cannot  engage  with  a  brand   without  Liking  them,  first.  Now,  their  first  interaction  with  the  brand  will  be  seeing  its   organic  content  and  what  their  friends  are  saying.  Ultimately,  this  will  be  better  for   consumers  and  will  keep  them  on  the  site,  and  the  brand  Page,  longer     o Tabs  will  still  have  unique  URLs  so  brands  can  promote  them  in  Posts  and  ads   o Tabs  can  still  be  like-­‐gated  if  brands  would  like  to  share  exclusive  content  with  users   that  are  only  fans  of  the  brand’s  Page.  Please  note,  the  Like  button  has  changed,  so  if  a   brand’s  non-­‐fan  tab  image  contains  a  “Like”  call-­‐to-­‐action,  it  will  need  to  be  updated   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  3. 3. FMC 2012 Conference     o An  underutilized  resource  is  the  Object  within  tabs.  As  a  Page  admin,  brands  can  require   users  to  Like  an  individual  object  within  a  tab  to  access  a  special  asset  or  deal       Highlight  What  Matters   Through  Timeline,  when  a  user  visits  a  brand’s  Page,  they’ll  see  a  mix  of  stories  published  by  the  brand,  by   their  friends,  and  stories  from  other  users  that  have  received  considerable  engagement  (e.g.  Likes,   comments,  and  shares).  This  is  markedly  different  from  the  dedicated  Page-­‐only  and  other  users-­‐only   feeds  prior  to  the  launch  of  Timeline.  However,  users  can  opt  to  visit  those  dedicated  feeds  through  filter   settings  on  the  Timeline.       Friend  Activity   Users  can  see  how  their  friends  are  engaging  with  a  Page  through  the  Page  Timeline.  This  information  is   featured  at  the  top  of  the  Timeline,  as  it  is  most  important  to  users.  They  can  see:     • How  many  of  their  friends  Like  the  Page   • What  their  friends  are  saying  about  the  brand   Pinned  Post   Brands  can  anchor  the  most  important  story  to  the  top  of  their  Page  for  up  to  7  days.  This  is  another  great   way  to  guarantee  that  fans  see  the  brand’s  most  important  and  engaging  content.   • This  is  a  great  way  to  call  out  a  current  campaign  or  drive  traffic  to  an  important  tab  or   application     ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  4. 4. FMC 2012 Conference     • These  posts  are  featured  at  the  top  left  of  the  timeline  and  are  denoted  by  a  small  yellow  flag  at   the  top  of  the  post       Star  and  Hide  Content   Administrators  have  the  ability  to  highlight  important  stories  and  make  them  more  prominent  as  well  as   hide  stories  that  are  no  longer  relevant.   • This  can  be  done  for  both  brand  posts  and  user  posts     Larger  Stories   The  new  Timeline  features  larger  photos,  which  will  ultimately  drive  increased  engagement  with  a  brand’s   Page:   • Including  a  photo  album  or  picture  could  generate  2x  more  engagement  than  other  posts     • As  these  images  are  larger,  the  photos  will  have  better  quality       Milestones   Define  a  brands’  key  moments  in  time  through  this  tool  (e.g.  launch,  certain  number  of  fans,  winning  and   award)   • These  updates  are  likely  favored  by  the  EdgeRank  news  feed  visibility  algorithm,  and  may  receive   more  impressions  in  the  newsfeed  and  more  prominence  on  the  width  of  the  brand  Page     • They  are  denoted  by  a  special  flag  icon  at  the  top  of  the  post     • Dimensions  for  milestone  images  are  843x403  pixels       Date  Selector   Users  can  select  which  portion  of  a  brand’s  Timeline  they  would  like  to  see.  The  default  setting  is  to  view   the  most  current  content,  but  users  can  choose  to  select  a  certain  year  or  month  to  expand     • This  is  featured  along  the  far  right  gutter  of  the  Page   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  5. 5. FMC 2012 Conference       Offers   Offers  are  a  free  method  for  brands  to  share  special  deals  or  promotions  with  their  fans  directly  through   their  Facebook  Page:   • Deals  can  be  distributed  through  the  newsfeed  or  promoted  as  an  ad  unit   • Users  can  redeem  Offers  via  email  or  on  a  mobile  device       Private  Messages   A  new  solution  for  CRM,  users  can  now  communicate  directly  with  a  brand  without  posting  on  the   Timeline     • Page  Timelines  allow  users  to  send  direct  private  messages  ,  creating  a  new  customer  service   channel  where  brands  can  address  users’  concerns  without  having  to  discuss  issues  in  a  public   forum  on  the  Page’s  wall/Timeline   • Pages  cannot  proactively  send  messages,  brands  can  only  respond  to  users  inquiries     Centralized  Management   All  Pages  feature  an  Admin  Panel  at  the  top  of  the  Page.  Rather  than  sending  admins  to  a  separate   interface,  the  new  Admin  Panel  drops  down  and  appears  overlaid  over  Timeline  on  click.  It  displays   notifications  of  recent  activity  such  as  posts  to  Timeline  by  fans,  a  list  of  a  brand’s  most  recent  Page   Message  conversations,  new  Likes,  and  a  snapshot  of  a  brand’s  Insights  data,  including  the  volume  of   brand-­‐  posts,  total  reach,  and  the  number  of  “people  talking  about  this”.  Each  section  offers  detailed   analytics  via  dropdown.     Notifications   This  section  offers  a  quick  snapshot  of  users  to  whom  brands  need  to  respond,  both  users  who  have   posted  on  the  Page,  and  users  who  have  sent  a  private  message  directly  to  the  brand.   • Brands  can  respond  to  both  formats  within  the  Admin  Panel     Insights     This  gives  brands  easy  access  to  Page  performance.   • View  new  Likes,  top  performing  posts,  and  other  important  metrics       Build  Audience   Through  this  feature,  Page  admins  can  share  the  Page,  invite  friends  to  join  and  create  ads  to  broaden   reach.       ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  6. 6. FMC 2012 Conference     Activity  Log   Here,  Page  admins  can  see  every  published  post,  including  hidden  posts,  as  well  as  those  posted  by  users   mentioning  the  brand.   • The  Activity  Log  makes  it  easier  for  brands  to  curate  their  Timeline     • View  posts  by  year   • Star,  delete  and  hide  stories  or  change  the  date  of  a  post   • Highlight  a  user’s  post  to  be  visible  on  the  Page’s  Timeline  to  all  visitors  by  setting  that  post  to  be   “Allowed  to  Timeline”     o As  it  stands  now,  only  posts  that  are  very  popular  or  posted  by  a  user’s  friends  will  be   visible  to  users  on  the  timeline   o Admins  can  also  control  the  general  visibility  of  users’  posts  on  the  page         Amplify  Compelling  Content   Facebook  has  launched  two  new  promotional  tools:  Reach  Generator  and  Premium  on  Facebook.  Both   tools  empower  brands  to  ensure  that  the  right  people  see  their  stories  in  the  right  places.  When   combined,  these  new  solutions  demonstrate  immense  opportunities  for  brands  to  connect  with   consumers  and  drive  measureable  business  results.  Through  these  tools,  a  brand’s  content  can  convert  to   ad  content,  promoting  a  brand’s  most  engaging  content.  Brands  have  the  ability  to  reach  200x  the   number  of  fans  they  have  through  socially  aware  ads.       Currently,  Marketplace  ads  are  the  only  self-­‐serve  ad  unit.  Premium  on  Facebook  and  Reach  Generator   must  be  purchased  directly  through  Facebook.       Ads:  Marketplace  and  Premium   • Conventional  Facebook  ads  as  they  were  once  known  are  now  obsolete.  There  are  no  longer  ads   with  pre-­‐determined  copy  and  image   • Through  these  new  tools,  the  content  a  brand  publishes  to  Facebook  and  the  metrics  associated   with  those  posts  are  the  front-­‐end  of  the  ad  system.  The  posts  that  receive  the  most  engagement   are  those  that,  through  paid  amplification,  will  be  distributed  further   • Marketplace  ads  appear  on  the  right-­‐hand  side  of  Facebook.  These  are  bought  directly  through   Facebook’s  self-­‐serve  portal   o Brands  can  still  run  self-­‐serve  Marketplace  ads  that  drive  off  the  Facebook  platform   • Premium  on  Facebook  highlights  the  most  important  or  compelling  stories  in  the  best  places  on   Facebook  to  engage  and  influence  people   o Maximize  the  number  of  users  interacting  with,  and  talking  about,  a  brand     o Placed  in  the  most  influential  spaces  on  Facebook,  these  ads  have  5-­‐10x  more   engagement  than  other  places  on  the  site.  They  are  featured  in:    Right-­‐hand  side  of  the  homepage  (served  to  non-­‐fans  and  fans)   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  7. 7. FMC 2012 Conference      News  feed  on  the  homepage  (served  to  fans)    News  feed  on  MOBILE  (served  to  fans)      Log-­‐out  experience  (optional)   • Note:  37M  users  logout  each  day.  105M  logout  each  month       o The  possible  ad  formats  are:      Like  Page  Post  (up  to  90  characters  of  text  and  an  image)      Video  Page  Post  (90  characters  of  text  and  a  video  thumbnail)      Question  with  for  answers  or  three  with  a  “see  more”  link    Status  Page  Post  (up  to  150  characters  of  text)    Event  Page  Post:  Event  details  with  up  to  90  characters  of  text  and  an  image  or   video.  This  has  the  ability  to  drive  RSVPs   o Premium  ads  offer  automatic  social  context  and  engagement  options    When  the  friend  of  a  brand’s  fan  sees  this  sort  of  ad,  the  ad  unit  will   automatically  expand  to  provide  enhanced  social  context  about  those  friends   who  are  fans.      As  with  past  ad  formats,  users  will  have  the  ability  to  Like  a  brand  directly   through  an  ad  unit.  However,  they  will  now  also  have  the  ability  to  like  the   content  or  post  directly  through  the  ad   o Premium  ads  and  sponsored  stories  on  the  right-­‐hand  side  are  typically  40%  more   engaging  and  80%  more  likely  to  be  remembered  than  all  previous  offerings   o Like  everything  else  on  Facebook,  these  ads  start  with  publishing  engaging  content   o Any  post  can  be  converted  into  a  premium  ad.  This  has  two  larger  implications:      The  content  on  a  Page  needs  to  be  compelling    Fans  will  ultimately  tell  brands  what  content  they  should  use  for  ads  by  voting   with  their  clicks,  Likes,  comments  and  shares     Reach  Generator   Currently,  Pages  reach  about  16%  of  their  fans  on  average,  due  to  factors  like  time  and  EdgeRank.  Reach   Generator  ensures  that  a  brand’s  Page  content  reaches  75%  of  their  fans  each  month,  and  50%  of  their   fans  each  week  in  a  simple,  “always-­‐on”  way:   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  8. 8. FMC 2012 Conference       • Fans  will  see  a  brand’s  message  as  a  Sponsored  Story  on  the  right-­‐hand  side  of  their  homepage   or  in  their  newsfeed  on  desktop  or  mobile   o Posts  that  are  to  be  amplified  in  this  manner  should  be  90  characters  or  less  to  avoid   being  cut  off   • This  will  greatly  increase  the  volume  of  engagement  with  your  brand  (Likes,  shares,  comments)   by  2x           As  mentioned  earlier,  these  tools  allow  a  brand  to  not  only  better  tell  the  story  of  their  business,  but  also   allow  them  to  connect  with  users  through  more  powerful  and  more  meaningful  ways.       Timeline:  What  We  Think   Through  the  new  Timeline  for  Pages  and  its  added  functionalities,  brands  are  given  more  tools  to  share   their  story,  engage  with  fans,  and  control  the  content  on  their  page:   • Additions  like  the  cover  photo,  milestones  and  pinned  content  will  allow  brands  to  highlight  their   most  important  moments  and  will  ultimately  increase  a  Page’s  EdgeRank  and  drive  fan   engagement     • The  additions  of  the  Admin  Panel  and  Activity  Log  will  make  the  lives  of  community  managers   and  customer  service  representatives  much  easier,  as  all  messages  and  metrics  will  be   concentrated  in  one  centralized  hub   • Customer  Service  issues  will  no  longer  clutter  the  wall  of  the  Page  but  can  be  addressed  through   one-­‐on-­‐one  communication  between  the  consumer  and  the  brand.  Furthermore,  this  will   heighten  a  brand’s  image  in  the  eye  of  the  user  as  they  will  not  see  a  litany  of  complaints  on  the   wall  when  they  first  arrive  on  the  Page     Premium  on  Facebook  and  Reach  Generator   Thus  far,  brands  have  invested  in  fans.  And  brands  have  invested  in  content  to  engage  them.  Now,  by   investing  in  Reach  Generator  and  Premium  on  Facebook,  brands  have  the  ability  to  guarantee  that  fans   see  this  content.  While  brands  are  paying  for  distribution,  brands  are  receiving  significantly  more   engagement.  This  will  greatly  increase  a  Page’s  EdgeRank  score,  which  will,  in  turn,  grant  a  greater  ROI  as   more  of  a  brand  Page’s  content  will  be  viewed  over  time.       IV.  Conclusions  +  Next  Steps:     These  changes  are  ushering  in  a  new  era  of  consumer  engagement  on  the  Facebook  platform.  Users  are   put  in  the  driver’s  seat  to  determine  which  content  is  most  important  to  them,  thus  allowing  it  to  rise   ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013  
  9. 9. FMC 2012 Conference     through  the  ranks  along  the  brand’s  Timeline.  But  brands  are  also  granted  new  special  powers  to  tell  their   own  story  and  control  their  image  on  Facebook.       Potential  Action  Items   Below  is  a  list  of  simple  updates  to  a  brand  Page  and  additional  options     • Design  a  cover  and  profile  photo   • Create  a  list  of  important  brand  moments  throughout  time  to  retroactively  post  in  the  timeline  as   Milestones     • Outline  a  schedule  of  important  content  to  be  pinned  on  the  Page’s  timeline  in  the  coming  weeks     • Check  your  settings  on  the  activity  log  to  see  what  sort  of  user  content  is  being  featured  on  your   Page     • Evaluate  any  upcoming  specials  your  brand  is  running  and  asses  if  they  would  be  good  Facebook   Offers     • Assess  the  current  reach  of  a  brand’s  Page  to  determine  if  Premium  on  Facebook  and/or  Reach   Generator  are  appropriate  solutions  for  the  brand     • Continue  to  tell  the  brand  story  through  compelling  content  for  your  fans!     ATTENTION  160  Varick  Street,  5th  Floor,  New  York,  NY  10013