Finally Facebook timeline for brands has arrived, and with it some of the closely guarded secrets of the world’s premier social network website have been revealed. The release is part of a swathe of upgrades that have been carried out as the competition and rivalry between Facebook and the competitive monolith that is Google, continues to intensify. Many of the top Brands that use Facebook as part of their marketing strategy have been closely examining how to best use the timeline to represent their brand image. The key concepts like understanding ‘pinning’ and what cover photo to use have been carefully deliberated upon. Here is just a glimpse at what those conversations have thrown up.

Keep it simple

Profile picture size is much less than it used to be. Whether you are promoting public liability insurance or selling a popular beverage the choice of photo has become ever more important and needs to be very carefully selected. As is always the case these pictures need to command attention, but it is worth noting that certain rules apply on the timeline. The most important one is simplicity. Small pictures that are too busy send out a message of chaos and disorganization. Not what customers generally tend to want from their brand. The message from your cover photo should be instantly recognizable and to the point. Fans of your brand want to be able to pick it up quickly and easily.

No contact details on the picture

According to the rules laid out by Facebook regarding the cover photo you cannot include price, contact information or calls to action. The photos can, however be customized and this does allow for an increased flexibility on how the photo is used and the photographic content. It does pose a problem; if you have initiatives that you cannot include in the cover photo, how can you promote this information?

Pinning posts to promote initiatives

As they cannot be included in your cover photo the way to promote your initiatives is through pinning. Facebook has enabled pinning for brands. If there is something happening that you want to highlight for your customers you can now pin this information to the top of the page. This will ensure that when customers open the page the first thing they come across will be the information at the top of the page. A pinned post will stay at the top of the page for a full week (7 days). It is a particularly useful spot to highlight sales, competitions or any other urgent initiative.

The story of the brand

As is well documented giving customers a connection with a brand is often best done by connecting them with the origins, history and motivation; creating a brand narrative that your customers can key into and really get a connection with. In this respect the timeline for brands can be an excellent tool to help with customer engagement. With the milestones feature brands can now plot significant moments in the storyline of the brand. It can give new customers background information but more importantly it can give loyal customers a personal connection with their brands. Through this feature brand engagement is easier than ever before.

Advertising consistency is key

Through the likes feature of Facebook it has long been possible to gauge customer involvement with brands. This feature has made it much easier to highlight moments when a brand may be wavering or require an additional promotional push. With the new timeline for brands feature customers can see a whole host of revealing information. One key part of the timeline is the reveal of the number of people tagging pictures, liking posts or pages and how this has increased or decreased overtime. The only key way to deliver a clear picture here is by ensuring promotions are delivered with a high level of consistency. This should help remove the impression that the brand has had moments where it was flagging. The watchword here is ‘always’ engage your fans with content which is fresh, new and exciting. This is really what using social media should force your brand to do.

The timeline is only in its infancy and it will be fascinating to see how it is measure over time and what other secrets it reveals.