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Making the Most of Facebook Timeline for Your Brand

Barkley's Facebook Timeline

All of us in social media are due for a stiff drink. Facebook has once again given us a shiny new toy and now we all must become fluent in its use. Luckily for you, Barkley loves toys. And stiff drinks, but that’s a different blog post.

In case you haven’t heard, Facebook Timeline for brand pages is coming. The good news (besides the fact that the new Timeline features are awesome for marketers!) is that this time we had a heads up. Until all brand pages are required to switch to the new layout on March 30th, we can still preview and opt-in to publish the new layout to see how it will affect design, apps and content.

If your brand or business is already using Facebook strategically, then the new layout will reward creativity, content and innovation. Here are five quick tips to help your brand make the most of Timeline’s new features and offer a starting point for revamping your social media strategy accordingly. (You have one, right?)

Don’t just migrate your old strategy
The initial Timeline for Facebook Brand Pages announcement probably @$*#^!% your social media world up. That’s a good thing. Take this opportunity to dissect Timeline’s capabilities and restructure your social media strategy to take advantage of the benefits (well helloooo real-time insights for better social monitoring) and discard now-irrelevant tactics (buh bye landing pages!)

Multimedia is now at the core of your Facebook experience
As I just mentioned, with the demise of default landing tabs and the obscure placement of tabs (just to mention a few of the changes), there will be a lot less investment by brands into custom built tabs and applications and a lot more in the quality depth, frequency and variety of content. Keep your content interesting by leveraging and integrating your brand’s other social media platforms into your Timeline (e.g., YouTube and Instagram) and encouraging multimedia user-generated content.

Distribution vs. Destination
While still highly engaging, Timeline is meant to act as a distribution point, a channel for sharing content. Treat Timeline as a digital bridge to reach a wider demographic and to ultimately spread your message. As you create content, consider how it will be received when not viewed directly on the brand’s Facebook “wall”. Content should be valuable, relevant and resonate with consumers beyond your page and, ideally, far beyond the Facebook platform.

Be a storyteller
For those of you who have been struggling to find your brand’s narrative – BOOM, Facebook just became your greatest storytelling medium. Just make sure your brand story is quick to understand, easy to remember, emotional and encourages participation. Some brands have already taken the lead – you can check out examples of the most visually impressive early-adopters of Timeline brand pages here.

Don’t try to hide the past
Everyone and everything has a past (yes, even brands have their own season of “The College Years” that they’re still trying to forget). If you weren’t doing it already, now is the time to be authentic, honest and transparent with your audience. With the transition to a virtual life story, brands can now interact in a way that is inherently authentic to the brand and its history, on a medium that’s second nature to a generation. Despite having more than 800 million users, Facebook remains a platform created by Millennials, for Millennials. Take it from this Millennial: don’t try to trick us. It won’t work.


March 5, 2012

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