Facebook Timeline for Brand and Fan Pages

The time has come.

Facebook has announced the roll-out of timelines for Facebook brand pages.

This. Is. Awesome.

The buzz and atmosphere around these announcements has been met (mostly) with positive responses and (as usual) some discontent…

We see the changes as hugely positive as there are many new and exciting opportunities opened up by the changes to the way that brands will interact with users and followers within the Facebook social marketing context.

Either way, it is a case of adapting as quickly and effectively as possible because love them or hate them, the new changes will only be optional until the end of March 2012- after that, everybody’s going to have ’em.

The specifics of Facebook timelines on your fan and brand pages:

1. New design aesthetic and updated feel and functionality.

The changes to brand pages and inclusion of the Facebook timeline for brands is a step in the right direction- the new layout closely mirrors the functionality of timelines found in personal profile pages, making them familiar to users. Also, they look really good. Nice.

2. No more page tabs. Horror!

The new layout phases out the fan page tabs we’ve come to love and utilize as social media marketers.

Provision however is made for app tabs to be displayed beneath the header image, and this position is prominent enough if used correctly. Although their visibility is somewhat reduced, they are still able to serve their most vital function: delivering content and functionality within the brand page context.

Another bonus is that Facebook has generously given brands a whopping 810px of screen real-estate to work with as opposed to the previous 520px, which is a huge improvement any way you cut it. This opens up limitless possibilities when it comes to delivering you brand’s content. Great!

3.Goodbye default landing page! 🙁

Yep. There is no way to set a default landing tab, which means that the new Facebook timeline for brands takes a totally different route in delivering ‘front door’ messages. Of course, this means that social media and brand managers will need to make radical changes to their strategy and campaign ideas.

4. The big one: Private messaging between brands and users.

This is the singular biggest improvement in the new brand pages design and functionality, also a long-awaited and much-needed improvement.

This will allow admins and managers to respond to users and followers directly and (if need) privately, reducing the amount of clutter of the timeline.

** These are just a few of the changes Facebook has made to brand pages, we are certain many more will follow!

What is the Upshot of the changes to Facebook brand pages?

Once again, we are never sure of what the next changes will be or in which direction the platform might take us.

One thing however is certain as recent history proves: changes will be made!!

We choose to roll with the punches.  Essentially, the principles which make Facebook such a massive success in the context of social networking, are now available to every social media marketer, brand manager, company, corporation and brand wishing to utilize Facebook as a marketing tool. The timeline is social by design, which means in essence that brands are better able to do what everyone who advertises on the internet wishes to do: tell their brand’s story.

This is central and vital to the success of any marketing campaign: user engagement. The timeline for brands ushers in the new age of social media marketing that very effectively enables each brand to do just that- engage users more effectively.

What do you think about the changes? How will you adapt and where will you make your first updates?