As most people know, Facebook Timeline for Brands was released to page admins yesterday. If you’re like me, you’ve been planning and scheming based on the rumors of what Timeline could have possibly looked like. Picking out cover images, thinking about how the changes will effect your content strategy, how will you decide what to pin to the top of your timeline and what to highlight, in addition to keeping all the new terms straight in your head! But now it’s here!
So, how do all these upgrades change the game?
The first noticeable change is of course the general look of the page. You have more real estate! This is a definite win. With the cover images, you can prominently display the beauty of your campus, or create a graphic that plays directly into a campaign you are running. There are almost endless possibilities. The only limitation, is that your cover image can’t be a majority of text. Facebook doesn’t want you dipping into their advertising revenues. However, as someone who doesn’t have a social media advertising budget because of the type of funding that my office receives, this is a huge improvement.
I would argue that this is even better than having a landing page, although I know many will disagree. Only people who haven’t liked your page automatically see your landing page, but once you have a committed user, they see your wall upon visiting your page. The cover image is always the first thing any one will see, no matter what their like status is.
When I first saw the messages button on my page, I was ecstatic! Did Facebook read my mind and find one of my biggest wants for a brand page? No, in fact, they didn’t. Profile users can now message page admins, and they can respond back, however, pages can not initiate the conversation. The reasoning being that spam in user’s inboxes would be out of control. I agree with this reason, however, can’t just the good admins who understand spamming is bad have the ability to reach out?
I know, I kind of seem obsessed with this, but I have good reason. On the Texas Tech page, we do not allow profanity (as most admins don’t), and if we remove a comment because of a curse word or two, I message them and ask them to repost without the curse words. That sounds fantastic, and most of the time, it works out fine. But sometimes, people are very angry, and I don’t always want my full name and everything about myself attached to the message I am sending. That is where being able to send messages as the page would be a huge improvement. Alas, it has not been added, so I will continue on.
Highlighting and Pinning Posts
These might be the two things I am the most excited about! Who doesn’t want to give their content more staying power? I don’t know anyone who doesn’t. Some things you post are more evergreen, or are more important than others, that’s just fact. Now page admins have the ability to make those things that are more important than others look more important, and stick around longer. Can’t get much better than that! I think this is even more important when you factor in how often higher ed pages can post and get the engagement they are looking for. (By the way: If you haven’t checked out these two articles by Blue Fuego, How much is too much on Facebook? and 2011 State of Higher Ed Facebook Pages you’re missing out on some good research!)
Here are also some good resources on Timeline for Brands that might help you get up and running!