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FACEBOOK /BRAND TIMELINES Briefing INTRODUCING FACEBOOK BRAND TIMELINES Although they have hinted at it in the past, Facebook today surprised many by launching Facebook brand timelines for all brand Pages. The new design was initially being used by only a handful of partner brands who helped launch the updated page design, including the likes of Coca Cola, Nike, and Starbucks. But just as Facebook timelines were quickly picked up by users for their profiles, many brands are immediately implementing the new design. Dove, the skincare brand, quickly upgraded, for instance. While brands have the option of keeping their page as it is for now, all th Pages will be upgraded to the new design on 30 March 2012. We must therefore study Facebook brand timelines to see how its implementation will affect the consumer’s interaction with your brand. FACEBOOK TIMELINES: NEW FEATURES Design template: With Facebook seemingly intent on making the social platform more visual, it is unsurprising that the primary changes to the design of your brand page will be the introduction of a cover photo and the timeline itself. The cover photo (as displayed by the Coca Cola screenshot above) will be the first thing visitors will see upon entering your Page, whether or not they’ve Liked the Page. It can be changed as often as you like, but should be a unique image that represents your brand values. It must also abide by Facebook’s rules; it must be 399 pixels wide, and may not contain: 1. Prices, purchase information, or promotions 2. Contact information, including web addresses (this content is intended for the About section) 3. References to user interface elements, such as Likes, Shares, or other Facebook site features 4. Calls to action Neither can we incentivise users to upload this brand cover image to their personal timelines. Outside of the brand Page, the profile picture will continue to represent your page on other parts of Facebook as a thumbnail – in the news feed, for instance. The timeline will give us greater control over posts on the brand wall. Hovering over a story, administrators will be able to star it (widening it so that it stretches across the entire page), pin it to the top of AnalogFolk LLP • 2nd Floor • 10-18 Vestry St • London N1 7RE • tel: +44 (0) 20 7684 8444 • www.analogfolk.com
FACEBOOK /BRAND TIMELINES Briefing the page (if it’s an important campaign post, for instance), hide it, or delete it entirely. Only one post can be pinned to the top at a time, and it will stay there for seven days. Starring posts, meanwhile, can be dangerous; widening too many posts to cover the page will push other posts down, making them difficult for the visitor to quickly see. We should therefore be strategic when starring posts, doing it fairly infrequently in order to keep the Page dynamic. Therefore, if used correctly, the timeline will enable us to create a hierarchy of relevance for visual content. Top bar: Promoted to the top of the page, just below the cover photo, photos, apps, and the number of Page Likes will be made much more prominent to visitors. By default, photos appear first in this list, followed by Page Likes and then apps, which were once called tabs. (We will be writing a blog post about why this is significant in the coming days). Although you can decide the order of the rest, photos are cemented at the front of this list. Up to twelve apps can be placed on the list, but only four (including photos) will be visible to the visitor. To view the rest, users must select the dropdown box, demonstrated on Starbucks’ Page to the right. Deciding on a hierarchical ranking of apps and which ones we want visible to brand fans is therefore very important. When clicking on an app, the user is taken to a new page, where the brand logo is minimized and the page can be navigated via a drop-down box. Milestones: One of the most exciting opportunities the Facebook brand timeline gives us is the ability to tell a brand story. We can create a rich history behind brands by posting milestones on the brand timeline – media or text posted retroactively to certain years. As with user profiles, visitors can click these years (displayed down the right-hand-side of the brand Page) to see what brand developments occurred then. New admin panel: An upgraded admin panel will enable us to view the Page’s latest insights in real time (including graphs for the ‘Talking About This’ and ‘Reach’ metrics), as well as to keep track of Page activity (notifications, messages, and new Likes will all be displayed here). Private messaging: Having previously made it strictly against regulations to contact fans privately, Facebook have made a (albeit small) step towards consumer targeting and relented, making it possible for brands to conduct private conversations with fans as long as the fan contacts the brand page first. This will be a huge help for much of our Facebook activity where we need to request the personal information of one of our fans privately. AnalogFolk LLP • 2nd Floor • 10-18 Vestry St • London N1 7RE • tel: +44 (0) 20 7684 8444 • www.analogfolk.com
FACEBOOK /BRAND TIMELINES Briefing Open data sharing: The new brand timelines will also display more data about the brand’s activity to non- admins. A one-month historical graph of ‘People Talking About’ and ‘New Likes Per Week’ (a brand new metric) are available for any visitor to view. Landing pages & fan gates: Unfortunately, brands will no longer be able to specify landing pages. All fans will arrive at the timeline, regardless of where they’ve come from or whether they have Liked the page or not. This will make Landing Pages and Fan Gates redundant. However, Like Gates can still be added to apps (tabs), as shown on the Tiffany & Co timeline Page. Wall posts: Posts to the brand wall are now grouped together, and few are visible unless the visitor clicks to see more and scrolls down the list. Comments on brand posts are also hidden. However, the visitor’s friends’ interactions with that brand are pinned to the top of the brand timeline by default, thereby giving them far more prominence. This, of course, lets users very easily view which of their friends are advocating certain brands, and how they are interacting with them. AnalogFolk LLP • 2nd Floor • 10-18 Vestry St • London N1 7RE • tel: +44 (0) 20 7684 8444 • www.analogfolk.com