Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Helping Clients Transition to Facebook Timeline Brand Pages

One of the most exciting facets of social media is the challenge to stay up to date. The buzz of the month has been the switch to Timeline for brand pages, which will happen on Friday. While there is a lot of available information about the changes, there aren’t a lot of tips specifically for PR managers. Here is a glimpse at how we’re helping our clients adjust to Timeline:

  • Timing is everything. We advised our clients to wait until March 30 to go live with Timeline, using the rest of the month to build the page behind-the-scenes. The reasons? It is essential that web managers be up-to-speed on the intricacies of the new set up. And Facebook is famous for last minute feature additions or changes.
  • Rethink content strategy. The big, beautiful cover photo and addition of company milestones are great ways to enhance a brand page, but other changes will require a new way of thinking about daily posts. Pinned posts and highlighted content will offer new ways to direct consumers to what we want them to see, so it's important to adjust your strategy for this.
  • Realign customer service. In the past, brands only could correspond with fans on the public wall or by taking the conversation offline. Finally – private messaging is available for pages, allowing administrators to converse with fans directly and discreetly. This will streamline our customer service processes and take cumbersome steps out of our social discussions.
  • Keep an eye on promotions. Timeline will eliminate fan-gated tabs, so we have to look for new ways to attract fans and encourage “likes.” The profile image, custom application thumbnails and pinned posts are great ways to keep promotions visible, since the cover image itself does not allow a call-to-action. And since rumors are swirling that Facebook is moving away from tabs altogether, it’s necessary to start thinking out of the “tab.”

As always, we recommend diving in to try all of the changes before launching Timeline for a brand. Use a dummy page to your advantage and experiment with visuals and the newer features that Timeline brings to brands.

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