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getting your page ready for march 30th and beyond
The New Facebook Timeline
at the inaugural facebook marketing conference in new york city on feb. 29, Facebook announced the most fundamental reimaginings of the way brands participate with the Facebook community since Brand Pages were first introduced. From the new Timeline design, to new content considerations, to apps, to community management to how media can be used as an amplifier—everything has been given a new veneer. These changes not only affect the look of a brand’s page, but also how a brand’s fans interact with and experience the content on that page. With all brand pages automatically being switched to the Timeline design on March 30, Proximity’s SocialWork team has created the following list of immediate considerations to ensure your page is ready for the Timeline Era.
facebook’s launch of timeline for brands will significantly change the way your Facebook Page looks and feels to visitors. While it will be in line with where Facebook has taken personal profiles, there will be significant creative opportunities to tell your story visually at the top of the Timeline through the following components: Cover Photo A An 851x315 px image that tells your brand’s story. There can be no overt marketing or calls-to-action in the image. Profile Picture B The familiar 180x180 px image that also acts as the page’s avatar in posts on the page and other pages App Icons C 111x74 px icons for the four apps displayed prominently. You can’t put a custom image on a stock Facebook app (photos, likes, etc.), but you can on many third party apps or apps you design yourself. Photos is always the first app by default. (It is still be determined whether a particular image can be selected as the photo app’s “album cover,” or if it will default to the most recent photo posted.) The order of the next three apps is up to the Page to determine, with a remaining maximum of 8 more apps hidden, but still accessible. App size The size of the custom app canvas has expanded to 810 px wide from 520 px wide. Existing apps will continue to function and will stay their current size and float in the centre of the page. App functionality Apps with embedded video or animations can now play automatically without requiring a user interaction About section d The “about” section features prominently under the cover photo and is a chance to tell a quick story about the brand in approximately 120 characters and includes the ability to post a hyperlinked URL.
B C d
By March 30 Select/design a dramatic cover photo that captures the essence of your brand. Select/design a profile picture that quickly identifies your brand. Simple logos are recommended. Design app icons for your three visible applications outside of photos. Consider a unified design, where each of the above elements work together to tell a story and intersect/interact. Apps currently in development will need to be evaluated to determine if creative changes need to be made to accommodate sizing them up to 810 px or to incorporate auto-play functionality Review existing apps to determine whether creative refresh or rebuild required, or if they will operate satisfactorily at 520 px. Draft new about section and determine what URL will be used. By April 30 Create Facebook graphic standards manual Determine your cover photo refresh protocol. With an odd-sized image, it will be difficult to insert images in an ad hoc manner, so some planning will help ensure this valuable real-estate is maximized. Will you keep the same image forever? Switch monthly? Highlight seasonality? Profile particular products in the portfolio? Design app icons for buried apps, if required. Complete/update entire basic information section of Page.
timeline for brands has introduced new ways to post content to the wall that can draw attention to what you really want to highlight by allowing greater control over what can be seen and how prominently it is placed on the wall. The familiar “Composer” panel is still at the top left of the page, but now includes only four options (“link” and “video” have been removed and “milestone” has been added): Status, Photo, Ask Question and Milestone. Status A A 403 px-wide post that includes any text-only update (maximum 60,000 characters). If a URL is included, it will be hyperlinked and a thumbnail and a non-editable description will be included from the site’s meta data. Photo B A 403 px-wide post (approximately 260 characters) that includes a 403x403 px photo or video uploaded from the current PC, a photo or video chosen from an existing Facebook album, or a photo or video captured via the current PC’s webcam (maximum 20 minutes). Another graphically interesting feature is the ability to upload a photo album that will display multiple photos in one post (maximum of 4 in normal post; 8 in a highlighted post).
Ask Question A 403 px-wide post that includes a poll. The number of poll answers is unlimited, but only 3 are displayed in the post when it is displayed on Timeline. Milestone C A 843 px-wide post that features a key moment in the organization’s history displayed across the two columns of Timeline. The name of the event, an 843x403 image and a 140 character story, including a URL can be customized and placed on the Timeline on the date that it happened. These Milestones can be hidden from the newsfeed should the brand not wish to broadcast them to its fans. Once posted, new content can be made more prominent in three new ways: • Highlights • Pinned Posts • Other pages can be tagged in posts, but not individuals
Highlights d Any post can be selected as a Highlight, which will expand the post to cover the full width of Timeline at 843 px. Any photos will expand to the full width as well, so the original square image will be cropped significantly. However, the option is there to reposition the image to ensure it looks acceptable. Pinned Post E Any post can be selected and pinned to the top left of the Timeline for seven days. Pinned Posts are always 403 px wide even if they started as Highlights or Milestones. By the same token, content can be de-emphasized by either being hidden or deleted from Timeline or full-width milestones or previous highlights can be reduced to single column 403 px wide if preferred. default Landing pages Facebook has removed the ability to select any tab as the default landing page for non-fans to see when they first visit the page. This had been a useful shortcut for brands who were driving people to their Facebook URL (facebook.com/brand). With that functionality gone, and restrictions on overt calls-to-action in the cover photo, the Pinned Post will now act as the pointer to richer experiences within custom apps.
By March 30 Draft company milestones and source/create supporting images Review Timeline to hide/remove old posts that are no longer relevant Review Timeline to highlight worthy posts Replace default landing tab with pinned post By April 30 Develop weekly pinned post calendar Create protocol for highlighting, un-highlighting, hiding posts Project list of milestones for the future and plan supporting copy/ images
the community manager is the glue that holds the facebook page together by keeping fans interested and engaged with proactive content, while also dealing with issues, questions and concerns on a daily basis. Timeline for Brands includes several new features that can both help and complicate the community manager’s role. Admin Permissions While not launching with Timeline, Facebook will be soon adding different levels of administrative access to Pages to recognize that different people or agencies have different needs to access the back end of a Facebook Page. These roles may include everything from full administrative access, to publishing-only permission to insights-only permission.
A Messages Pages now have the option to accept direct, incoming messages from people who visit the page. This direct dialogue, however, must be intiated by the the user. The Page cannot direct message any individual person without first being contacted through the messaging functionality. These messages can be retrieved and responded to from the admin panel, or the admin can be notified by e-mail when new messages appear. B Pre-moderation Community managers now have the ability to hold posts from Page visitors in moderation until they are approved for posting. This will help reduce spam and the need to watch the page round-the-clock for those rare occasions where someone attacks your brand at 2:30 a.m. Comments left on posts from the Page can not be pre-moderated, so setting a blocklist is still required C Activity Log The activity log shows a record of posts that are hidden or marked as spam and allows the community manager to change the visibility status of certain posts quickly and easily.
Recent Posts Pages have the option to display a listing of the five most recent posts or comments that people have left on your page. If enabled, this would show in a 403 px box on the top right of the page. Friend Activity d Actions taken by friends of people who visit a page will be prominently displayed in top right of the Timeline. Page Likes E Five of the Pages your Page likes will be featured in a 403 px box on the right side of the Timeline. These five can be selected by the community manager. Spam Filter Facebook has added an automated spam filter that will hide and flag posts and comments as spam. Community manager can reinstate posts that aren’t spam and delete comments that are. Posting as Page F Community managers have the option to post as themselves or as the name of the Page. This option can be selected under the Admin Panel.
Community Management Checklist
By March 30 Create and publish a list of “house rules” for the Page that details what’s acceptible content and language from visitors, response times for direct Messages, other ways to contact the organization, etc. Decide whether the Page will disable the Messages feature. It is enabled by default. Decide whether Recent Posts will be enabled on the Timeline Decide whether posts from Page visitors will be held in moderation and approved before posting Decide on which five pages will be featured in the Like box on Timeline By April 30 Determine admin access levels for those with administrative access to the Page Re-evaluate decisions on messages, recent posts and moderation based on usage and community feedback.
facebook has launched two new approaches to media: Premium and Reach Generator. These are large-scale buys for big brands best discussed with your media buyer to determine their suitability for your brand’s needs. Marketplace “like” ads still exist and can be used tactically to drive awareness to a page or custom app on your page. By March 30 Determine where current Facebook media buy is driving visitors to and modify if required By April 30 Determine role of Facebook media within Page strategy related to acquisition of likes and amplification of content and community interactions.
Imperatives of the Timeline Era
Fully embracing the entire Facebook ecosystem is key to connecting with your fans and advocates. From Open Graph on your site, to a robust and interactive page, to compelling and useful apps, to notifications and smart use of Facebook media, creating the right recipe for your brand is crucial to social success that drives business results. Timeline has created an inflection point that provides an interesting opportunity for brands to rethink how they are participating with their communities, while on the flipside, brands who haven’t fully realized their Facebook presence have an opportunity to catch up with what is, arguably, a leveled playing field.
For a brand in the social space, the value of the relationship is obvious; loyalty, advocacy, and revenue. For the consumer, the reason to be “friends” with a brand is less obvious. Let’s face it, people know what your product costs and where to buy it (or can easily find out) and they probably aren’t interested in discussing last night’s game with you (unless your brand is last night’s game). And that is why the content of your conversation is so crucial in creating a connection that your consumer also regards as having value. It requires that you know who you are as a brand, and more importantly, that you listen and learn and adapt to what your “friends” are telling you, sharing with you, and asking of you. Easier said than done, but well worth the effort.
Activate your fans to take some sort of business action that helps drive your business forward. Create unique experiences that makes fans feel valuable: provide VIP access for fans only, give them first crack at sampling a new flavor, recruit a focus group from your community, crowd source ideas. Start thinking about unlocking the power of the motivated brand champions on your Page. Nothing shows the power of a brand than the strength of its community to carry the brand on their collective shoulders to help promote and/or defend with the situation calls for it.
Simply put, the need for brands to offer utility cannot be understated. As a brand, you want to be part of your consumers’ actual life—not just their virtual one. Offering utility that starts in—or extends out into—the real world and then uses the Timeline canvas to record and amplify whatever they are participating with through your brand will be the quickest and most powerful way in. What brand or product extensions can you create that will add value to their story as well as yours? How or where do they already use your product, is there a story to tell, and what are you doing to facilitate the frictionless sharing of that story? This is the sweetspot.
social isn’t a channel, medium, skill or content strategy; it’s a behavior. not a new behavior, but a new way of instantly connecting and collaborating with communities of shared interest. how we connect to this world will define our ability to make brands more valuable to people and people more valuable to brands. this real-time environment requires a careful alchemy of insights, creative, conversation and amplification, which is exactly what socialwork guides us to deliver through the strategic planning, creative development, execution, paid media community management and insights phases of our work.
SocialWork comprises three equally important trains of thought that contribute to success in the social spaces: 1 2 3 Getting to social-ready work The role of paid media Executing in the social spaces trigger truth Listen, analyze and understand the online conversations around a brand or topic; use these insights to design the social experience recruitment Use media and other amplification opportunities to efficiently attract people to your social experience interaction You’re always on and must be in constant contact with those who have honored you with the time they spend in your social presences give value Provide ongoing opportunities and experiences that make it worthwhile for your community to stay engaged get value Activate the community to take a win-win business action enrich Reward a loyal community with exclusive, medium-specific opportunities return Extract insights from the space that help the brand’s business and informs its future decisions getting to social-ready work Understanding how social fits into people’s lives as part of our insights and strategic planning ensures that the social layer is properly considered throughout the ideation phase of our work. It’s more than simply coming up with an idea for a TV ad and convincing a brand that the more outrageous ones would make a great viral video. Sometimes social is THE idea, sometimes it supports an idea and sometimes social is not involved at all. the role of paid media It’s naive to believe that social media and social networks are the end of advertising and the advent of a new era of technology-driven word-of-mouth marketing. Paid media has a tremendous role to play in the success of many social media programs. Contextually relevant, strategically placed advertising within social platforms can go a long way to driving awareness, grabbing attention and bringing the right people to the social presence that has been carefully crafted for them. executing in the social spaces At the heart of SocialWork is a framework for how we approach social media planning, execution and evaluation. It’s a real-time acronym for the real-time social media world and lays out the steps to follow for a winning end-to-end social strategy. We call it TRIGGER.
blogs SocialWork blog: www.thesocialworkblog.com Digital Lab blog: www.digitallabblog.com whitepapers Facebook Commerce Social Shopping The Social Stage All BBDO Proximity whitepapers can be found here: http://digitallabblog.com twitter Proximity WorldWide: @ProximityWW BBDO: @BBDOWorldWide Digital Lab: @TheDigitalLab
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