Oh Facebook, as soon as we think we are getting to know you, you go and change again! Marketers have begun to expect the changes, but are never quite sure of exactly what to expect. Most recently, Facebook announced that it would be rolling out changes to fan pages and layout. Brands will be moved over to the new Timeline format at the end of March. What’s top of mind for marketers is how to capitalize on these changes and maintain their Facebook brand pages as an effective vehicle for communication with their fans. Facebook is, and always will be, an important tool for marketers, as it allows brands to have personalities and engage in two-way conversations with their fans. At Extole, we see these Facebook changes as way to stay at the forefront of their fans attention, and encourage even more consumer-to-consumer (C2C) dialogues.
What marketers’ should keep in mind as they build out their strategies for the new Timeline for Brands:
• The way content is shared and viewed:
- Increased app visibility, as apps will now appear on the views and apps section of the Timeline, which is more prominent than the tabs were before. Photos always appear first on this section but the other three views and apps can be selected based on what brands want to appear by default on their pages. Sweepstakes and other promotional apps for instance should be selected to appear within this section throughout their durations.
- Brands can use pinned posts to promote their sweepstakes and other like-gated promotional apps. Pinned posts are anchored posts that stay on the top of the Timeline for seven consecutive days. Another way to highlight posts is by using the star/highlight option on the posts, which expands across columns and takes the full width of the page. Pinned posts cannot be both highlighted and take the full width of the page.
- Brands can customize the images and names of their apps on a per page basis, i.e. an app that lives on two different pages of the brand can now have a different name or image per page.
• Conversations, dialogue and support: Brands have more control over the feed and their interactions with fans. They can promote and encourage conversations and update the feed with user-friendly dialogues.
• Increasing Likes: Like-gating continues to be supported in the Timeline for Brands.
• Real time insights: Brands have access to real time metrics, which will help them gain social insights into their fans and their interaction preferences to optimize their posts.
Extole’s suite of C2C social marketing apps help brands tap into their fans to create successful campaigns that can be customized, optimized and promote C2C dialogues within their Timelines. Some examples include social promotions, social coupons, sweepstakes and group buying. Through these apps, brands can amplify participation with sharing, incentives, and gamification via the Extole platform.
While Timeline for Brands is definitely shaking things up for marketers, it will be to their benefit, as they will have more control over the way their content is being shared and viewed. Brands that constantly create engaging content and updates and encourage their fans to do the same will stay at the forefront of fans’ attention. Extole’s suite of social marketing applications allow marketers to do just that and continue to make an impact on Facebook.