Facebook Timeline Enforced March 30, 2012 – Your Time Is Up!
March 29, 2012 by Sandra Burciaga
Although many brands have already taken a walk on the wild side and made the switch to the new Facebook Timeline, there are still thousands of brands who cringe at the idea of such an unwarranted change. As David Bowie sang, “Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes, turn and face the strain,” now big name brands are doing jus that—as their grace period is now up, they face the strain of the Facebook Timeline going into full effect, worldwide on March 30, 2012.
This past February, Facebook offered its new Timeline feature to brands, organizations and businesses. While many jumped on the opportunity to feature a large cover image of their brand on their new profile page, numerous other brands were skeptical of the change.
But, is the new Timeline enforcement really all that bad? Or are brands having trouble adjusting to the rapid growth of social media technology and having to learn a new app., software or Web interface just about every week? I personally welcomed this change and was eager to discover and put to action what this new Timeline could do for our clients’ brands.
Underneath all those fancy new boxes and sleek image designs, there are a lot of useful new functions just waiting to be put to use. Aside from the new cover photo that I mentioned earlier, you also get to keep a smaller profile picture that lays aesthetically on your cover image. Additionally, you also have these new engaging features:
- Fans can now send you a private Facebook message. Instead of posting an email for them to contact you, you can now direct fans to send you a Facebook message. This fends off spamming of your company’s email and eliminates any other misuse.
- You can highlight important posts where they will get a full horizontal spread, instead of a regular box. This is great for posting high quality photo updates.
- If you feel an update needs to be visible at all times, you can “pin” any post to sit nicely at the top of your Timeline for an entire week.
- A handy new Admin Panel is now placed at the top of your profile where page stats, notifications and messages are displayed. You can also hide or delete posts.
- Brands with an exciting long history can feature Milestones of their company’s growth. For example, ESPN displayed a photo from its first broadcast in 1979.
- With a visual history easily navigated by month and year, brands can quickly locate an archived post for research purposes or to highlight as a past featured post.
- The new pages are now more friend-based engaging to every user. Now, when you visit a brand’s page, you will see any stories your friends have liked as well as any posts they posted regarding that brand. For example, when I go to SHAPE Magazine’s page, I now see that 20 of my friends liked it and my friend Skylar, recently shared a story post from SHAPE.
The only pitfall with the new Facebook Timeline for brands is the absence of choosing your default landing tab, which is a crucial marketing feature. Now, when prospective fans visit your page, they will have to work their way through your profile page to find that not-so-easy-to-locate “like” button. You can no longer make your welcome page a custom like-gate/app. This can decrease engagement with new likes, contests, surveys, email sign-ups, and more. However, through paid Facebook’s ads and sponsored stories, you can still have prospective fans land on a specific like gate/app.
The new Facebook Timeline will be enforced worldwide on March 30, 2012, whether you like it or not. Don’t wait until the last minute and jeopardize your brand’s Faceook presence. Get familiar with the new Timeline now. It’s really not that bad.
If you have yet to make the switch, you can check out Facebook’s video for an introduction to Timeline for brands. Click here to watch the video.
~ Written by Sandra Burciaga - Digital Marketing Manager at Pomegranate