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The Pros and Cons of Facebook’s New Timeline for Brands

I’ve been telling you for a few weeks or so now that Facebook planned on announcing Timeline for Pages soon and Wednesday at their f8 Conference they finally announced it. All Facebook Fan pages will get the new Timeline as of March 30, 2012, however, most brand pages can upgrade to it now if they want.

I took it for a test drive for my nonprofit’s site and for my namesake fan page. Although you can’t yet wrap your page in your logo, as alluded to by Mashable in a previous post, I have to say, from a brand perspective it has pros and cons.

Pros

  • It allows people to get a more holistic view of your company.
  • You can highlight a post (where it appears wider across both columns) or pin it to the top of your page (where it appears on the top left corner with an orange ribbon).
  • It has a cover image where you can highlight a product or service. (Although I wish this was more than just an image, I wish you could get fancy with it and integrate code here, like a video. But it’s definitely an area where you can showcase a particular product or promotion.
  • With the new Timeline, brands can input data back to when the brand was founded. For example, Red Bull with their 27M+ fans added stuff to their Timeline all the way back to 1988. Coca-Cola added content all the way back to 1892!
  • Custom tabs still seem to work and a bonus is that the pages are wider now – something to consider for future landing page development.

Cons

  • If your brand didn’t get a lot of activity before and posts went unnoticed, you have the opportunity to highlight certain posts, however, it requires people coming to your page – which 90% of people don’t return to a brand’s page after they’ve liked it. So, I’m not sure how valuable this is. It seems like a good idea in theory, but at the end of the day, it doesn’t really do much for getting your content in the news feed of your fans.
  • The layout of the new Timeline requires fans to know to read your fan page like a newspaper, from left and down to right and down. It’s not intuitive.
  • Fans can now message brands directly. This is going to be a nightmare when dealing with complaints. Because if the brand doesn’t have someone manning this and getting back to people in a timely manner, I can foresee disgruntled customers taking to their Facebook wall and other social media outlets expressing their frustrations.

What do you think? Thumbs up? Thumbs down? Let’s do a vote.

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.

Trackbacks

  1. […] the new Timeline is taking place on March 30th for all brands. I’ve already written about the pros and cons of the Facebook Timeline for brands on Monday. But I stumbled upon a new feature today which apparently also exists on the regular […]

  2. […] MUST DO on Facebook Timeline March 12, 2012 By Tracy Sestili Leave a Comment According to the poll I posted earlier this week, 58% of people hate the new Timeline, 23% love it, 12% like it for now […]

  3. […] for social media brand awareness and networking, but beware of the new Timeline feature. There are pros and cons to this thing, but it’s still a bit early in the game to see how things will fare out. We […]