As a marketing person, you probably know that Facebook has revamped its page format to Timeline. Tomorrow, all commercial "pages" will be transformed to the new timeline format. Facebook is basically saying, convert it yourself or we'll do it for you.
There are a fair number of complaints about Timeline including Facebook pages and blogs dedicated to hating Timeline, but we like it. It's not perfect, but Timeline provides some useful features along with a better design. Here are our thoughts on Timeline that might help you make the transition. Even if you let Facebook conform you to Timeline, you should go in and modify it for your needs.
- The top banner allows for a web page-like look to your page. With the expanded banner, Facebook is becoming more of a self-contained web site for brands. They do have some rules, however, and I have no doubt that they will not hesitate to remove the more egregious violators. The top 851 x 315 banner is basically a pretty picture, and on it, Facebook allows no sales pitches, promotions for Likes or contests, or even contact info.
- You now have some flexibility in your placement of content. You can highlight posts to make them more prevalent, and you can "Pin" posts so that they stick to the top for a week. After the week, they become a regular post, forcing fresh content to take its place.
- Timeline really shines at allowing you to tell your brand or company story. Add milestones using a headline, location, date and photo to tell your story. The Ford Mustang page does an excellent job with Timeline. How could they fail given the rich history they've made?
- Tabs are now called apps, and you get 12, but only 4 show up on the main page. One complaint I have is that the "Photo" app is first. For commercial pages, why must it be first? We've put up some nice photos, but I don't know that it benefits our readers.
Want some inspiration? Here are some good examples of Facebook timeline:
- Ford Mustang – great not just for their rich history, but you can create your own mustang. Smart: It gets people immersed in the Mustang experience, maybe they print it out, maybe they take the printout to a dealer, maybe they buy a mustang.
- Threadless – The total t-shirt experience. A design contest, and other nice brand experiences all within Facebook.
- Starbucks – Great use of the main banner.
- Farmers Insurance – As of this posting, they just updated their banner photo. Very creative.
- The Green Lantern movie. Yes, the Green Lantern. Take a look at the way they integrate video that allows the viewer to download and get support for a dedicated movie player. We shouldn't be surprised that the entertainment industry makes good use of this new Facebook layout and functionality.
- American Express. Lots of functionality here. They even have a place to look up the Facebook pages of small business by zip code.
Looking at just a few cutting edge examples of Facebook timeline should get your juices flowing on how best to use it for your brand or organization.
And, of course, no discussion of Facebook would be complete without the ubiquitous "like us" graphic. As a fan of Evergreen-Partners, you'll see updates on great marketing and advertising resources, as well as news on corporate trade and related topics that can benefit your organization.