Facebook rolled out Timeline this week, and brands are eager to take advantage of the new feature. The social network isn't letting brands create their own Timeline pages yet and hasn't given guidance about when that feature will be available. "We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages, but we have nothing to announce at this time," a Facebook rep is quoted as saying.
If you aren't familiar with Timeline, it's the revamped version of the Facebook Profile. It's a way to show off who you are, what you do, and where you've been. It's a complete design overhaul that constructs a visual history of everything you've ever done. Facebook automatically adds photos, status updates, and life events from your Facebook history to your timeline, but you can also add photos and content fill out the "Way Back" section.
Here's Mark Zuckerberg's keynote at the company's f8 developer conference in late September:
Timeline presents some great opportunities for brand marketers:
Increased engagement: Facebook's 800 million users are spending more and more time using the social media platform, whether it's updating their status, sharing photos, or "liking" content. Timeline encourages people to post more about what they're doing, which will happen automatically if they set up sharing apps. This means that users will be spending even more time on the site - exactly what advertisers are looking for.
More advertising opportunities and improved ad targeting: Since people will probably focus most on their timelines and using the new sharing apps, marketers will get much-improved data about how people interact with products and services - this translates to more opportunities to serve users relevant ads and create a richer brand experience.
Chris Crum at WebProNews says that Timeline is a potential game-changer for social media marketing: "Brand timelines, for those companies who choose to utilize them to their full potential could provide limitless information and knowledge about brands in a way that we just haven't really seen in the past. ... If you think about it, brand timelines could really change the landscape of what social media marketing looks like."