Facebook To Release Timeline For Brands Later This Month

Facebook Timeline for brandsBig news out of Facebook headquarters: Timeline pages for brands will arrive later this month. As with other Facebook features, Timeline brand pages will be released as a beta to a select group of users, and then will be more widely distributed in the coming weeks.

Since Facebook unveiled Timeline for personal pages, we’ve been waiting for the same capability and layout to be available for brands—in fact, we have a number of clients for whom we’ve held off on developing custom pages for this very reason.

According to AdAge, Timeline for brands won’t be an exact copy of what you already see on personal pages. Tabs or apps that currently appear on a page’s sidebar may instead show as boxes on a brand’s timeline. Plus, brands will likely be able to add past events that don’t necessarily tie into the date on which the brand joined Facebook, i.e. a company’s founding or other historic milestone.

Aside from aesthetic changes, Timeline is expected to change the way brands approach their Facebook marketing strategies. The new format will likely act as a catalyst for brands to create custom apps that build on Facebook’s new slew of social applications. After all, since Timeline is a sophisticated evolution of the Facebook experience, it’s only natural that user actions move past the simple and usually ambiguous “like” in order to capture a more detailed snapshot of a user’s Facebook interactions.

Although Timeline for brands will be available in a gradual release, the heads-up from Facebook means that businesses and brands know what changes to expect and can plan their development strategies accordingly. And take it from us—the new capabilities that come with Timeline are something your business will want to maximize instead of merely slapping a cover photo on your existing page and calling it a day.

Have you given any thought to your brand’s Timeline strategy? We’d love to hear your initial thoughts on the newly announced functionality.

Image via Facebook

  • Facebook User

    This is a very promising development in Facebook. And yes, we believe we have a few cool ideas to leverage the brand timeline for XeeMe. As soon as the concept is completed we’re happy to share it here in the next few days.

  • Anonymous

    Can’t wait to hear about it!!!

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the thing, almost all people interact with others and fan pages on the newsfeed. Rarely do people actually go to another person’s or business’ fan page. I think that the timeline feature will be a nice addition for fan pages but I’m not exactly sure how much value added they will be.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jen,

    I’m well aware of this, however, when working with clients who are either in the process of developing and/or fine-tuning existing brand pages, this is an important change. I also think that Facebook is laser focused on how to deliver value for brands via Facebook – it only makes sense – so it is something we’re definitely paying attention to. As always, time will tell :))

    Thanks for coming by!

  • http://twitter.com/JGoldsborough JGoldsborough

    This is going to be interesting. Research shows that so few people EVER
    go back to a brand page after liking it. Wonder if timeline will change
    that. 

  • http://www.buildandbalance.com/ Michael_N

    I’m definitely interested in Timeline for my Page (I’ve not implemented it for my Profile as it seems too over the top to me personally). I agree with others that few Fans return to a Page once they’ve Liked it, but that won’t stop me from going forward because I believe first impressions count for a lot.

    That being said, I’m rapidly losing interest in maintaining a daily presence on my FB Page. EdgeRank is just killing me. Though I have 300+ fans, only about 60 are seeing a post on average. There’s no tipping point in numbers that low though I’ve been able to monetize it a tad. 

    What I’m seeing is a gradual move towards more business posting on a Personal profile and involvement in Groups ala LinkedIn. I know this doesn’t work for a large company, but it sure seems to be the way to go for an individual like me. 

  • Anonymous

    I love hearing feedback like that, Michael. I have great success on and with LinkedIn and think that’s partly because LinkedIn is all about work – and it’s where you go to do business. Facebook is often where you go to play, so brands (or small businesses) competing for your attention have a tough time. There’s a webinar coming up (we either just wrote about it or it’s in the queue to be published) on EdgeRank’s Algorithim – maybe you’d get some benefit from attending. I know I am :))

    Thanks for coming by, and for the feedback! Always appreciated!

  • Anonymous

    I agree, JG – it will be interesting. I doubt timeline will change that, but as you know, our jobs are collectively to think about it, talk about it, watch and see. Then talk about it some more. Heh.

  • Anonymous

    Although a recent survey showed that most people like the old FB interface better, the new timeline is set to stay no doubt

  • http://www.danieldecker.net/ Daniel Decker

    Looking forward to it. Change is good. : )

  • Shelly Kramer

    I’m with you, Daniel. But we’re in the minority (methinks) about liking change!

  • Shelly Kramer

    Oh yes, I agree. Although I think that in MOST surveys, people prefer things remain the same. That’s the nature of people – most often, they don’t like change.

  • http://twitter.com/elizabethbarone Liz

    “…few Fans return to a Page once they’ve Liked it…”

    I have to disagree. People who have “liked” my page come back frequently, because I am constantly engaging with them and posting offers for free ebooks and things like that. It’s still early with my current fan page, but in the past I’ve done similar things and had a constant stream of fans returning time and time again to interact further. The key is continually adding new content that is different from the other social sites your brand is using. I post questions and even sometimes post things completely irrelevant to my brand because I want to “hang out” with my fans.

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  • Joe Thornton

    I agree, to a point, that most people never return to a page after “liking” it. But I also see small businesses, authors and others using Facebook extremely well. A local restaurant near my house is using it for hyper-local marketing. They’ve gotten a lot of people in the immediate area to like them and then right around 4:30 pm an offer pops up for takeout specials. My wife calls me and says “Angelina’s has a good special. I checked it out. pick up dinner on your way home.” 

    Point is, if there is meaningful engagement from the business, and they post relevant content, the “like” becomes valuable to the individual. I think it’s tougher for larger businesses to be relevant on Facebook. Jelly Belly candy company and GoPro video do a great job. But they post cool/fun/engaging content. They are being very effective at building their brands via Facebook. 

    But as many have already posted, more often than not people do not return after “liking” a business. 

    Just my two-cents worth.

  • Shelly Kramer

    I see that, too, Joe. And we do a lot of community management on behalf of and with our clients. Meaningful engagement is what it all boils down to. Even so, there are many instances where great content happens, but folks aren’t engaged. I think it depends a lot on what your business is, what you have to offer and how interested you can get your community in being a part of what you’re doing on FB.

    But yes, more often than not people don’t return after a like — and that is often largely due to brands (large and small) not understanding how best to use Facebook and how to create and share interesting, informative, educational, entertaining, helpful content.

    Thanks for coming by and sharing you thoughts – always appreciated!

  • http://twitter.com/b2b_expert Jack Wilson

    Can’t wait too long…i am so excited about business timeline pages. that will help in generate traffic..

  • Anonymous

    I’m kind of excited, Jack. But I’m dorky that way!

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  • Anonymous

    Michael, somehow this response got buried in the “pending” box – I’m sorry! You probably DO need to spend more time on LI, and I know how hard it is when you’re the Chief Cook and Bottle Washer. Don’t auto post from one site to the next, but just keep a browser tab open for LI and post there when you are sharing something on Facebook. I try to make it a point to share several things daily on LinkedIn and find it pretty beneficial.

    Thanks for the Bloomberg article – that’s interesting stuff.

    Thanks, as always, for coming by!

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  • Conibetz2002

    you know what?  I am kind of a not so smart person that doesn’t know what you are talking about with this timeline thing.  I am the normal person that just joined because all my family are on here and connect with them this way.  I hate change and this is looking like it is changing way too fast for me.  I dont’ understand any of this and so I will kind of hang on for awhile longer.

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