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Facebook Timeline executive briefing [Whitepaper]


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Facebook Timeline for brands has three very clear themes for companies to consider:

1. Brand your page
2. Highlight what matters
3. Manage everything in one place

There are elements of change to the Timeline that roll up to these higher level themes that are covered in this Point-of-View including: apps, cover, pinned posts, administration, milestones and more.

Timeline increases the opportunity for companies to dramatically and visually brand themselves on Facebook in ways they never could before with the addition of features such as cover photos and expanded story layouts.

The level of engagement brands will be able to have with their consumers on Facebook now is nearly limitless with the addition of admin features like Activity Log and the addition of private messaging functionality.

Overall – the change to Timeline for brands is one directed at increasing engagement between brands and their fans and consumers while allowing companies the freedom and power of visual branding and expression.
This brie!ng attempts to outline some of the highlights and most important points of consideration for brands.

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Facebook Timeline executive briefing [Whitepaper]

  1. 1. pogub baeme iCN r d lrPExecutive Briefing Series:Facebook timelinefor brandsPrepared by:Kristy BolsingerSenior consultant, Ant’s Eye View
  2. 2. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsAn overview of changesFacebook Timeline for brands has three veryclear themes for companies to consider:1.  Brand your page2.  Highlight what matters3.  Manage everything in one placeThere are elements of change to the Timelinethat roll up to these higher level themes thatare covered in this Point-of-View including:apps, cover, pinned posts, administration,milestones and more.Timeline increases the opportunity forcompanies to dramatically and visually brandthemselves on Facebook in ways they nevercould before with the addition of features suchas cover photos and expanded story layouts.The level of engagement brands will be able tohave with their consumers on Facebook now is pogub baeme iCN r d lrPnearly limitless with the addition of adminfeatures like Activity Log and the addition ofprivate messaging functionality.Overall – the change to Timeline for brands isone directed at increasing engagementbetween brands and their fans and consumerswhile allowing companies the freedom andpower of visual branding and expression.This briefing attempts to outline some of thehighlights and most important points ofconsideration for brands©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 2
  3. 3. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsVisual branding considerations pogub baeme iCN r d lrPOne of the most obvious and dramatic visual Facebook covers cannot include:changes to Facebook brand pages within the •  Calls to action, including arrows pointing to a Like button or appsTimeline feature set is the addition of a “cover •  Suggestions to Like, Share, or reference other Facebookimage.” actions  •  Pricing, sales, discountsThe image used for your cover image is designed to be “an •  Contact information of any kindaesthetically pleasing photo, not a billboard foradvertisements.” This is an opportunity to showcase your Facebook covers should:brand values, personality, and even culture. To promote this •  Work in concert with the profile images, which must nowbehavior, Facebook has placed rules around what can and be squarecannot be embedded here. •  Ideally be 851 x 351 pixels©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 3
  4. 4. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsContent considerationsPinningBrands can now pin a piece of content to thetop of their wall so regardless of interactions itwill remain at the top of the page.You can see here in this Starbucks examplethat this has been “pinned” by their admin asdenoted by the little orange/yellow flag on thetop right.A pinned post will remain there for 7 days, afterwhich it will return to the date it was posted onthe Timeline.Unfortunately, user posts are not eligible forpinning – only content shared by the brandpage itself.Use this functionality to showcase importantnews from you, or specific promotions you pogub baeme iCN r d lrPwant to highlight.At this time you cannot geo-target (orotherwise) this content, but stay tuned. Thisseems a logical next iteration to this feature.Friend activityOne of the most exciting changes Facebookhas made to the brand pages via Timeline isthe Friend activity section. This lives on the topright hand side of Timeline and is designed toincrease the relevancy of the page for eachvisitor.The Friends module showcases how many of ausers friends have also liked that page and aselection of those avatars in addition to arecent posting from a friend.©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 4
  5. 5. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsContent considerationsAppsIn the past brands could create rich applicationlike tabs (a.k.a., custom tabs, iFrame apps, canvasaps, pages, and landing pages) and directvisiting traffic accordingly as if it were a landingpage. However, with the addition of Timeline,Facebook has changed how these tabs arerepresented and accessed.Brands will not be able to direct traffic to thetabs (now known and treated as apps). Visitorswill access the apps only by first visiting thebrands page. Brands can highlight up to fourapps using the modules just below the coverimage. This includes Photos. This space canexpand to showcase more apps (up to 12) butonly four will be visible by default. You can seehere where the Starbucks apps are expanded,you can see eight rather than the first imagewhere there were only four. pogub baeme iCN r d lrPBrands can control which apps show up and inwhat order with the exception of photos(photos will always be the first ‘app’). The newapps and thumbnail images are now larger andwider. The thumbnail that visually representseach app needs to be custom developed to fitthe new specifications: 111 x 74 pixelsStory layoutsWhere content could some times go misseddue to Edge Rank, the new updated StoryLayout helps give some added visibility tocontent. As pictures and content are uploadedthey are splashed across the width of thetimeline and displayed beautifully.It is more important than ever to ensure that asoften as is appropriate your content containscaptivating imagery and/or video. This will helpto ensure your visitors will be drawn in andultimately engage with your content.©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 5
  6. 6. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsContent considerations pogub baeme iCN r d lrPMilestones Important milestone detailsIf you are familiar with how the Timeline works for personal •  You must use the Timeline “as a page” in order to seepages then the concept of a Milestone should be the Milestone update optionsomewhat familiar. A milestone is just that. A point along •  Milestone content is marked with a blue flag imagethe brand’s journey that is important or pivotal. •  Milestone content can include a date, location, imageJust as individuals can, brands can now also designate and story (or caption)points in time that were important or pivotal by •  Milestone content is full width, similar to highlighteddesignating it as a Milestone. content •  Milestone content will create a date link in the right-While there are things that may be obvious for brands to hand sidebar of the Timelinedesignate as milestones (i.e., when the company wasfounded, change in brand name, first international release,etc) there may be other relevant uses. Facebook has not putany hard and fast rules around this feature – ultimatelygiving brands a fair amount of flexibility in adoption.  ©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 6
  7. 7. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsAdministration considerations pogub baeme iCN r d lrPAdmin panel MessagesWith this new iteration of Facebook, the administrative This new feature is one of the few Facebook has madefunctions continue to improve. All of the page admin optional. Brands can choose to hide this feature if they like,features have been centralized, and some functionality has but when enabled it is displayed directly above the ‘Like’been moved all together. button. It will allow users of a page to privately message,  directly, a brand page. The customer service opportunitiesYou can find the new updated admin panel at the top right with this feature are fairly remarkable.of your page above the actual timeline. The admin panelprovides snapshots of page notifications, new messages, Activity lognew likes and insights. Because of the way in which Timeline is set up, administrators cannot scroll through a page and see all user activity in chronological order. Some of that content may not show up at all in fact. The Activity Log is the tool Facebook has added to help solve this problem, and likely many more. The tool is designed to aid in engagement and moderation.©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 7
  8. 8. Executive Briefing: Facebook Timeline for BrandsSummary of changesIt seems that Timeline has opened up a number of doors for brands to Sourcesengage with their consumers as well as visually brand themselves and express their unique value proposition. There is also a lot of workto be done to ready your brand page for this transition. photoA cover photo must be chosen in the dimensions given. This is an More informationopportunity to extend a brand’s visual impact. This can, and should berotated on a regular basis to keep the content fresh and the visitors interestpiqued.AppsAll rich-tabs will be/must be converted to apps by the deadline imposed byFacebook (March 30, 2012). Thumbnails will also need to be developed torepresent the apps below the Timeline.MeasurementAll reporting and measurement dashboards should be revisited to ensurethe data source and data destination are still in alignment. (Real-time data ispurportedly coming to the admin panel soon!) pogub baeme iCN r d lrP Kristy Bolsinger Senior consultantEngagement kristy@antseyeview.comConsideration must be given to engagement and moderation operationalwork flows. The addition of the activity log and the private messages bothincrease the level of engagement potential, but also change the work flowfor individual employees who are involved in day-to-day operations.Content strategyBecause so much of the new Timeline is around story telling with a highlevel of importance being placed on visual imagery, thought needs to begiven to current content strategy and how to best leverage this newpotential.Overall, the new Facebook timeline has opened up incredible opportunitiesfor story telling and consumer engagement. The ability to communicatedirectly with customers combined with increased access to data, enablebrands to grow and deepen the relationships with new and existing fans.©2012  Ant’s Eye View | | Austin + Seattle + Mountain View 8