Timeline for Brands: Quick Guide to the New Facebook Pages

Facebook launched new Facebook brand pages this morning – not on Facebook – but on the Today Show. The new pages take on the same look and similar features as individuals’ Timeline profiles. For instance, now on the social media site, brands can set milestones, star stories to highlight them within the timeline and upload a cover photo (but be sure to follow the rules).

The new format allows brands to not only pin important items at the top of their page, but to “rewind” and share details and photos from throughout their history.  This allows businesses and organizations to really tell their story. Journalists know storytelling is effective in capturing audiences, so if you haven’t already, follow their lead and personalize your brand.

One of the intriguing features is that your friend activity is highlighted on the new brand pages. For example, I went to the Coca-Cola page and my friend’s October 2011 status update, which included “Coke,” showed up near the top of Coca-Cola’s timeline. I left the page, went back, and a December status update from one of my other friends was highlighted. This sounds great in theory – but what if my friend had said something negative about Coke? Can Facebook weed those out? It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out on different pages.

The friend activity is one example of how Facebook is placing more prominence on engaging activity, such as conversation and community building, rather than simple “Likes” of a brand page. Along the same lines, the simple “like” buttons for status updates, photos, etc. are changing. Now, users can have the option to “read,” “watch,” and “listen to,” something.

One feature lacking from the new pages is the ability to set a landing tab, which has ruffled feathers for some businesses and organizations who feel landing tabs are effective. We at DVL are looking into ways for businesses to best utilize the new pages and will virtually attend Facebook’s first ever Marketing Conference, “FMC,” today to learn more.

Facebook says all pages will be forced to change to the Timeline format on March 30, 2012. Will you be ready? Below is a list of some brands who have switched to the new Facebook page Timeline format.

List of Brands Using the New Facebook Pages for Timeline

Products:

Stores/Retail:

Entertainment/Media:

Other:

Facebook – More Social Than You Think

How do you use Facebook, the most popular social media site?  Are you simply sharing links to cat videos on YouTube or posting pictures of your friends, kids and self?

Or are you part of a growing audience that treats Facebook as a personal focus group?

Many of my “friends” now use Facebook as a resource for finding skilled professionals, new restaurants or physicians who are reliable and provide great outcomes.

I’ve watched this happen frequently. Recently, a friend was seeking a good GYN, so she turned to her friends who she trusted. Her Facebook friends, that is. Dozens of responses, both negative and positive, were posted within minutes.

In the old days, we might have asked our neighbor or someone in the office for advice. But today, we have the power of social media and easy access to friends around the world. And there’s nothing more social than helping a friend solve a problem.

I decided to give it a try. When my roof leaked, I turned to Facebook. After previously finding, AND hiring, every horrible, over-priced, unreliable contractor in the area, I was determined to find someone who was honest, qualified and reasonably priced.

Guess what, it worked!  Minutes after I typed in my request to my Facebook status, numerous friends posted on my wall and even called me to talk about the awesome – and not-so-awesome – roof repair professionals.  A Facebook friend, who I never would’ve thought of calling, recommended a company she hired after weeks of researching and interviewing several firms. The one she chose restored her belief in talented, honest and reliable craftsmen.

I hear talk about how social media is making us “less social” – but in some ways, I think it’s connecting us with more people and on more levels than we ever imagined. We all have our own ways of using Facebook. Seeking opinions of others through social media could open doors you didn’t realize were there to open. Maybe the next time you’re looking for a yoga instructor, dog sitter or a new contractor, you should ask Facebook.

On the flip side, if you’re a business owner, keep your eyes peeled to friends’ updates in your online networks. Your next customer could very well be behind the latest social media post.