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The Deep Focus POV: Facebook's Timeline For Pages

The Deep Focus POV: Facebook's Timeline For Pages

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Published by Deep Focus
The official Deep Focus POV on Facebook's Timeline For Pages.
The official Deep Focus POV on Facebook's Timeline For Pages.

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Published by: Deep Focus on Mar 01, 2012
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06/19/2014

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WHAT FACEBOOK’S
TIMELINE FOR PAGES
 MEANS FOR BRANDS & MARKETERS
the engagement and innovation agency
deepfocus.net | @deepfocus | facebook.com/wearedeepfocus
460 Park Ave. South, 7th FL New York, NY 10016
T
212 792 6800
E
info@deepfocus.net
© 2012 Deep Focus, Inc. All rights reserved.
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 The new timeline interface allows for a modular content fea-ture platform, giving brands more latitude on content cura-tion. With this power, brands will have to make constant
decisions about the kind of content to feature and the format
the content will take – each with a goal of yielding the great-est consumer engagement. As Facebook’s premium ads will
now be built from page content, brands running Facebook ad campaigns will also need to determine which content to
“graduate” to actual ad copy for the best results.
Facebook’s shift to the timeline layout makes the platformmore visually-oriented and stimulating. In turn, it rewardshigh-resolution videos and photos. Look to content across
various forms of media to earn more traction on the page, inusers’ News and Activity feeds, and in ads.
 Tabs, which were historically convenient landing areas for
promotional efforts, now become accessible via promotional
highlights above a brand’s Timeline – albeit with new implica-
tions on design and layout.
 A previously common tactic was having a default welcometab with a menu on a Facebook Page. Default tabs are nowgone, so how brands engage new users will become more
important.
CONTENT, TIMELINE, AND ADS
“If a story is not about the hearer he [or she] will not listen . . . A great lasting story is about everyone or it will not last. The strange and foreign is not interesting – only the deeply personaland familiar.”- John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Get ready, because brand pages are set to get the new Facebook Timeline layout. There are some striking changes that this willbring about for both brands and consumers. The new design, information architecture, and platform are geared toward helping
brands and the consumer form more meaningful relationships than ever before – and making synergy with (and the results of)Facebook ad campaigns more successful. Everything, including ads, will begin with a brand’s Page. It’s a transition from “ads
to stories.”
Notable changes include:
-Introduction of “Cover Photo”- The Timeline becomes default view- Tabs are relegated to “highlights”-Improved admin panel-Private messaging to users-Integration with ad contentGlobal brands used the idea of a hub tab, to route you to thecorrect region or division. This no longer works as a default.
When brands typically think about content strategy, they tend
to focus on what’s relevant “now”. But the new Timeline fea-
ture also allows brands to ll their page with vintage contentfrom the brand’s past, helping to add depth to any brand’sstory, and giving new life to prior content that would havehistorically been pushed off of a brand’s Facebook wall over
time.Offers are content, too, and brands will have the opportunity
to publish offers as integrated content (and distribute them
as well).
Facebook’s Reach Generator ad prodiuct will enable brandsto reach a greater number of their fans with their posts byforcing those posts into users’ news feeds (with a frequency
cap, of course).
 
the engagement and innovation agency
deepfocus.net | @deepfocus | facebook.com/wearedeepfocus
460 Park Ave. South, 7th FL New York, NY 10016
T
212 792 6800
E
info@deepfocus.net
© 2012 Deep Focus, Inc. All rights reserved.
In early 2012, an Ehrenburg-Bass Institute study found thatonly 1% of Facebook brand fans actually engaged with a
brand’s content. Brands whose Facebook strategies place a
disproportionate emphasis on acquisition rst over engage-ment, have historically been met with lower-than-expected
engagement rates – even as their fanbase grew.
Recognizing a need to make both reach (breadth) and therelationship between marketer and consumer (depth) moreeffective, Facebook has created new ways to generateearned impressions from even passive gestures like reading
an article (via Washington Post) or listening to music (via Spo-
tify). Getting content into not only users’ News Feeds, but
into the Activity Stream feed as well, will be integral to gener-
ate ongoing consumer engagement. Relevance through both
content and utility will be important, but so will new breeds
of Facebook apps.
APPS AND THE GESTURE EXPLOSION
Historically, brands have created one-off, branded, promo-tional apps as ways to engage consumers on Facebook pages. But times are changing. Brands will need to createapps that are less shiny, and more helpful. Apps that with a
one-time granting of access will not only provide added utilityto the consumer, but regular sharing of content and data withFacebook – highlights of which publish not only to user News
and Activity Feeds, but to their Timelines as well. Contentthat travels to all three places stands the greatest chance of 
generating signicant consumer engagement (“likes”, shares,
comments, etc.). Promotions are still important, but consis-
tent engagement will be driven by a communication and appstrategy that are both always-on.Brands that unlock the potential of Facebook’s APIs will also
tend to generate the greatest levels of consumer engage-
ment via Facebook.
Facebook’s Timeline for Pages is a reection of how muchimportance Facebook places on engagement. This is madeevident when we take Facebook’s proprietary algorithm,EdgeRank – which determines who sees what on the plat-form – into account. Because it weights engagement as thehighest determining factor, the less engaging the contentis (in terms of “likes”, comments, shares, views, and other
actions) the less likely it will be to reach more people.
Facebook has redesigned its ad products to be built aroundamplifying engaging content to the right people – users’
friends. The silos between page management and Facebook 
ad campaign management must be torn down. This will
require much more communication between stakeholders
ENGAGEMENT TO SCALE OR SCALE TO ENGAGEMENT?
(brand managers, page managers, and media buyers), and in
some cases, consolidation. The switch to Timeline also means that old tactics for acquir-
ing “likes” – such as “like-gating” content upon landing on a
brands page – will not work anymore. This places more of an
emphasis on integrated strategic planning across stakehold-ers.
Brands should not solely measure success on Facebook by the number of “likes” they accumulate, but (even more
importantly) by Facebook’s “talking about this” metric, which
is the most accurate measure of a page’s aggregate engage-
ment levels.
Brands must be comfortable with programming neverend-ing real-time stories with consumers. Ironically, Timeline for
Pages allows brands to tell less linear stories, making time a
less limiting factor (further differentiating Facebook from Twit-ter) and more of a piece of metadata that adds relevance and
signicance to content.
 Timeline for Pages is yet another example of how consum-ers have more connections than ever before to information,
content, brands, and each other. Brands must nd each and
every way to ensure that as many of the right people shareconnected experiences as possible, so stories can nd theirways to as many people, through as many people as pos-
sible.
CONCLUSION: FACEBOOK AND THE ART OF SOCIAL MEDIA STORYTELLING
Engagement across – and through – Facebook will demandthat all aspects work together in ways that are optimized
towards meaningful, valuable, story-advancing engagement.
 And as Facebook ads become content and engagementampliers (rather than just a message delivery mechanism),collaborative and real-time storytelling becomes even more
important.
 Timeline for Pages enables better storytelling, and this newinteraction environment and ecosystem demands a more
holistic approach. Think about how you can break silos down
across your organization and agencies to take the greatest
advantage of an increasingly more connected consumer.

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