Facebook Lets You Control the Dialog
Take advantage of the new design features.
BY RYAN GOFF
Published in the May 2012 issue.
Facebook has done it again. On March 30, the site made the switch over to its new layout — Timeline — forcing brands to say goodbye to many aspects of their old Facebook pages.
And while change is never easy, many of the new features should come as a welcome addition to marketers hoping to leverage the site’s potential.
HERE ARE SOME OF THE POSITIVE CHANGES FROM THIS REDESIGN:
1 NEW DESIGN FEATURES: Among the most noticeable changes to Facebook pages are the new design features now available to marketers. Prior to the rollover, brands were fairly limited in their ability to creatively design pages. They were able to customize a profile photo and an occasional tab, but beyond that, they were confined to living within Facebook’s design.
With the upgrade to Timeline, brands now have more control over the design of pages. In particular, brands have the ability to customize what is known as a Timeline Cover Photo — an in-your-face image positioned at the top of every Facebook page. This sizeable space opens the doors for companies to get creative and show off their brand to potential fans.
Additionally, brands can now customize two boxes beneath their Timeline Cover Photos. These boxes, which link to Facebook applications, can be altered to display virtually any image the brand wishes to showcase.
2 MESSAGING AND POST APPROVAL: In the past, many consumers used brand Facebook pages as a sounding board if they had a negative experience with a company. This left many brands frustrated as they attempted to control the conversation and maintain their reputation.
Under the new Facebook changes, consumers have an alternative. Rather than posting a complaint or comment to a company’s Wall, they can opt to send a direct message to a page administrator. This private message allows a brand to now communicate directly with a user. Additionally, to further control the conversation, brands have the option to send all user comments into moderation prior to being posted to the page.
3 TIMELINE HISTORY: Facebook’s thought behind Timeline is to let users and brands tell their story through history. Whereas brands told their story in real time under the previous design, they can now backdate posts to appear in a digital timeline on their pages. For example, Coca Cola added a post and photo that date back to May 8, 1886 on its Facebook page.
Consumers are no longer forced to visit Wikipedia or the “About” section of a website to gain historical brand insight. This gives brands more control over their story and allows them to build more meaningful relationships with customers. From a consumer standpoint, it allows them to learn about a brand in a visually stimulating and easy-to-comprehend manner.