By Janette Speyer and Alison Brown
The new Facebook timeline is now available for business pages and it is turning the business world upside down. Facebook is now a major player in the online marketing world and the new clean design offers companies the opportunity to create a new branded look for their pages. There are some new features such as the cover photo that is customizable and a lot more engaging. But not all will be pleased to embrace these new changes.
Here are a few pros and cons that will affect your business:
Unlike: Timeline Pages
Timeline pages do not display the “like” this page, limiting the ability to engage visitors with a call to action and to view the page.
Like: Facebook Cover Photos
One feature of the new layout that has the most branding potential is the cover photo. The design offers companies the opportunity to have not just one, but two profile pictures. The cover photo acts as more of a headlining banner, and takes up about a third of the profile, so choosing the right one is important. Instead of having to resort to content based call-to–actions, the cover photo can act as one of these as well. Sparking engagement as soon as someone looks at your page is an important step in developing a relationship online with fans and potential clients. The cover photo is something that can also be changed often, and an entire branding strategy can be created just around the use of cover photos.
Unlike: New Tabs
Tabs are now confusing and hard to find and they only allow you to display a couple of words. They have also eliminated the default landing tab so you can no longer assign your “offer” page as an entrance page. All this makes it harder for visitors to find you’re their way around and it will lower visitor engagement.
Like: Using the Brand Offers as “Pins”
You now have the ability to “pin” posts at the top of the timeline, giving companies the abilities to post offers of the day, calls to action or featured coupons. Brands can make use of this new feature to push visitors to click the tabs under the cover photo.
Unlike: Apps Positioning Confusing
Apps are no longer displayed on the left side. Now they are displayed the right hand side of the page and they are disappear under the cover photo. This is very confusing for visitors that only a few months ago saw the FBML tabs being replaced by the apps listed on the left in minute icons.
Like: New Apps photo Inserts
The new apps relocation now allows for photo inserts, which means further branding and additional opportunities to add more relevant information to the Facebook page
Wrapping Up with Take-A-Ways:
1. Adding to the Timeline
In addition to the cover photos, the timeline feature is another great way to add to your brand’s online profile. Some companies have been entering information all the way back to the company’s inception, even if it was over 100 years ago. Some companies like Coca Cola have even been offering prizes for people who can help add important events to the timeline. It’s a great visual way to teach people about your company’s history and share facts that may not be well known to the public.
2. Visual Appeal Sells
With the new aesthetically pleasing page layout, branding and engagement opportunities appear to be endless. Cover photos and timeline events can attract new business while also fostering relationships with those who you’ve already engaged. The enhanced design really offers companies the chance to get creative with marketing because of increased flexibility and visual appeal. As we’ve seen with the overnight success of Pinterest, visual marketing speaks volumes in terms of branding potential. The more visually appealing your Facebook page is, the more engaged your audience will be.
3. Opportunities for Branding
Beautiful branded pages sell. There are lots of opportunities to promote your product and activities with the new timeline. Facebook seems to moving in the direction of corporate branding.
If you liked this article you may also like:
- Facebook’s Going Public! How Does That Affect You
- Job Search: Facebook vs. LinkedIn
- The New Wave to Engagement in Social Media: Relationship Marketing