Timeline: A Roundup of Facebook’s Big Day…

IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! IT’S HERE! 

Digital marketers the world over got a little overexcited today, as the world’s biggest social network changed their brand pages over to Timeline.

The move, which has been implemented on profile pages for a while now, was put in place at around lunchtime (GMT), and sparked a huge online conversation about what was different, what was better, and what was worse (along with frenzied action in many agency offices!). The guys on the Simply Zesty blog were one of the first to break the news, ahead of Mashable and other salubrious sites like All Facebook!

Of course, the big plus of Timeline for brands is the ability to re-brand your profile with a large banner, in other words, unpaid advertising space without the click-through. Brands to be signed up from the start included some of the biggest users of Facebook; Coca Cola, Red Bull, Starbucks Ben and Jerry’s and Ford.

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If you’re interested, or work in the sphere, like myself, you’ll probably have spent the afternoon tinkering with pages, and gathering info from colleagues and online, so there’s probably no point in me going through a full overview of the updates. However, here are a few tidbits which you may have missed:

  • -Pages have the option to change over to Timeline today, but all brand pages will be moved across on 30th March, so the best advice is to get moving.
  • -Consumers can now message brands directly. This a customer service tool more than a comp. management tool, as brands are forbidden to use native Facebook features to contact comp. winers. Brands cannot actively send users messages, they must be in reply.
  • -Facebook have updated their pages guidance page, so have a look for a brief overview of Timeline for Brands.
  • -You can highlight any post on your Page by starring it, this expands and highlights the specific post.
  • -The admin panel has been altered to make it easier place to espond to people and quickly see how your Page is performing.
  • -Apps now appear at the top right of a page (under the Timeline photo). These provide another opportunity for branding, as can be seen from the brilliant Livestrong page, and can also be easily changed and deleted.
  • -You can now pin a specific post to the top of your page for a period of time. Pinned posts are Page posts that admins have chosen to display prominently at the top of their Page. This could prove very handy for promoting competitions, tabs, or big news, as previously content fell and was replaced by fresher posts, which may not have been as important.

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Here are five of the best posts about Timeline for the day:

[Mashable] Timeline for Brands: How to Prepare

[Simply Zesty] New Facebook Timeline for brands

[Facebook] Facebook Pages Guide

[Techcrunch] How to use Facebook Timeline for brand pages

[Inside Facebook] Timeline: A Complete Overview

In an Irish context, check out the Sony Ireland page (client page which was one of the first Irish pages to switch), and the Bord Gais U21 hurling page for good examples of cover photos. As an aside, the GAA also joined the social networking ranks today too (launching with a live Twitter Q and A for some reason)!

Laren and the blog team were also quick off the mark with this excellent instructional video:

With a Facebook Marketing Conference ongoing as I type, there’s bound to be more small functions that are to come out, and Facebook are set to announce new ad. options this evening too, so stay tuned. There’s bound to be some donwnsides, and without having had a huge amount of time to inspect the pages, the ability to choose a landing page and likegate, seem, at worst, to be more difficult.

Anyway, the whole reason we’re all interested in this area is because it’s fast moving and interesting, isn’t it!

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