Don’t panic. It might not be as bad as it sounds.
Last year, David Fischer, Facebook VP of Marketing and Business Partnerships, told AdAge that Timelines for brands wouldn’t be a carbon copy of Timelines for people. The word he used was “consistent”, meaning it would have the same general layout, graphics heavy with an emphasis on activity boxes.
For individuals, these activity boxes highlight app use such as music on Spotify, additions to Pinterest, movies watched. . . oh, and status updates, too!
For brands, those boxes will likely hold information from the tabs on their brand page. This is a good thing.
My own, unscientific study says that people don’t browse the tabs on Facebook pages. They land on whichever tab the brand sets as number one and if it’s not the wall, they might click there to see the updates. But when was the last time you came in on a brand wall page and clicked over to check out all the tabs in the sidebar?
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With Timeline, those tabs will become boxes on the front page so every visitor will get an overview of your current contests, coupons, featured items, location maps and ecommerce options. Basically, it will make your Facebook page look more like a website. Funny, that.
AdAge points out that the Timeline date function could be helpful for companies with an interesting history. I can see bands using the function to create a discography. Fashion designers can show the history of their collections.
The date function isn’t going to be a boon for every brand, but for some, it will help pull together the full story.
If all of this comes true, the switch to Timelines should force companies to become more creative with their social media. Imagine a counter app that tracks a company’s contributions to charity, a Customer of the Day app that taps into Facebook profiles, a download of the week app, that automatically delivers a song, an ebook, a recipe or coupon.
Timelines for brands is coming folks, so it’s time to start thinking inside the box.