FLUID on Facebook Timeline: What Brands Need to Know Now

by / Monday, 05 March 2012 / Published in Facebook, Social Media

Last week, Facebook announced that brand pages will be switching over to the Timeline layout on March 30. We at Fluid think that corporate pages may actually be better suited to this format than profile pages. For starters, it’s significantly less creepy to find out what Coca Cola was up to in 2001 than a casual acquaintance. It also makes the experience on brand pages much more interesting and personable for visitors.

With that said, remember the most valuable company exposure isn’t on brand pages. According to a May 2011 Comscore report, 27% of a user’s time spent on Facebook occurs in News Feed. Comscore also reported that three top brand pages saw 40 to 150 times more impressions in News Feed on their pages.

Timeline won’t affect the way these stories are shared in News Feed, but the posts that resonate on Timeline will likewise drive engagement in News Feed. That’s because the Edgerank algorithm that determines News Feed placement rewards highly engaged posts and Friend activity. Additionally, posts with images- the kind of posts you’ll want to be using regularly on your Timeline- generate twice the engagement of other posts types, according to Facebook’s internal studies.

Fluid has taken a look at the first Timeline pages to figure out what works, what doesn’t, and what we can work around.

Hence our first recommendation: convert to Timeline as soon as possible.

You’ll be required to make the switch on March 30, so why not leverage some early adopter swag? While you’re at it, use this opportunity to re-evaluate your social media strategy. A few points to consider:

Is your page easy to find? An additional feature added on Wednesday allows admin to easily change page names. Many brands have multiple pages, some unofficial fan pages, some company-run. Makes sure it’s clear that yours is the correct page.

Pick a cover photo that complements your profile picture. You can use this background to creatively interact with your profile picture. Swap it out seasonally as you would a landing page, but take note: Facebook has prohibited the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40% off” or “Download it at our website”
  • Contact information such as a website address, email, mailing address, or information that should go in your Page’s “About” section
  • References to Facebook features or actions, such as “Like” or “Share” or an arrow pointing from the cover photo to any of these features
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends”