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5 Facebook Timeline opportunities for brands

Posted by Danny Whatmough on 30th March 2012

Earlier this month, Facebook sent marketers everywhere into a frenzy by announcing Facebook Timeline for brands. Since then, we’ve been working hard with clients to equip their pages for the transformation and I’ve spoken to many in the tech PR industry that are doing the same.

But in the rush to get everything sorted, it is easy to lose sight of the significant benefits that Facebook Timeline can bring to companies that are on Facebook.

Here are the five areas where I think the new features have significant advantages over what went before. We’ve picked out some good examples of Pages that have been transformed so far. These are all relatively consumer focused at the moment, but we’d expect more and more brands to make the switch soon.

1. Pictures are everything

The idea that images and visual media are becoming more important online is a trend I’m seeing across the web and it is one that PR agencies and content marketers need to be very aware of.

You only have to look at something like Pinterest to see that this is true. And the new Facebook Timeline takes this one step further.

By highlighting posts, brands can make full use of larger screen sizes and really make a splash with images that engage.

Who is doing it well? Check out Burberry and Dior for some great examples of using pictures.

2. Milestones

If PR is all about telling a story about your business, then the milestones feature in the new Facebook Timeline is a great way to bring the history of your business to life.

While there are a number of obvious things to include – such as the date the business started or new product developments – you should also think about other key aspects to include. This could be new members of staff, notable achievements (such as awards or customer landmarks).

Just remember to bear in mind how each update adds value for your fans.

Who is doing it well? Check out Manchester United and the New York Times for some great examples of using milestones.

3. Cover photo

This is an area where individual users have had the run on brands for quite some time. And there are some really great examples of what can be done here, for example.

With landing pages disappearing, it is more important that ever that your cover photo makes a splash. As ever with Facebook though, there are a number of rules you have to comply with.

Who is doing it well? Check out Subway and Armani for some great cover photo examples.

4. Featured content

It’s easy for updates to get lost in the content that you upload to Facebook. So the featured content option in Timelines is particularly welcome, allowing you to pin a certain post to the top of your page for a week. Use this feature wisely to draw attention to your most important content.

Who is doing it well? Check out Liverpool FC and Lexus who are both using featured content.

5. Personal messages

Finally, but perhaps most interestingly, Facebook now includes the ability for your fans to get in touch with you directly through Facebook Messages. Brands can only use this to contact fans after they have made initial contact but it could be a great way to take those slightly awkward comments you receive on your page into a more private setting.

Who is doing it well? Well, hard to tell at the moment, but expect this to become an issue or a benefit for brands in the future.

Danny Whatmough