3 Companies Rocking Facebook’s Timeline and the Critical Features They Get Right Se p t e mb e r 12, 2012 b y Je une O rt iz
While many complain about Facebook ’s new Timeline format, the social networking company’s goal for the change was to bring businesses more sales and engagement. After all, it wants to sell ads to businesses. Before it can do that, it must prove to businesses that consumers become engaged on Facebook and ultimately buy from that business. This means that customers actually have to enjoy spending time on brands’ Facebook pages. So how is Facebook rising to this challenge? You can imagine Mark Zuckerberg and his pals sitting around the table thinking . . . thinking . . . thinking . . . and then . . . Eureka! “Hey guys. Let’s – “ 1. Make pages more visual and less text based . . . hence the larger cover photos and App icons. 2. Engage customers with brands better by having those brands offer more fun, entertaining and informative stuff to visitors . . . hence larger Apps in a more central location. 3. Make the pages more malleable to brand administrators so they can emphasiz e certain posts . . . hence “highlights” and “pinning.” 4. Use story- telling to engage, convert and sell . . . hence the easy timeline format where visitors can jump from year to year, month to month at will, learning about
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all the great things a company has done. The new timeline format launched in March of this year and while many are still trying to schedule time to optimiz e Facebook’s timeline for their brand, the big corporations have been working on it since fall of 2011. They’ve been taking full advantage of the large cover photo, more visible apps, post enhancements, and the story- telling features to engage their audience. We picked two from Facebook pages with the most fans (for all 15, see CNBC article “The World’s Most Liked Brands )” but also added a non- profit to demonstrate how these organiz ations get it right, too. Keep in mind that the two corporations we feature have amassed huge followings through million- dollar Facebook sweepstakes and offers of free items–options small and even medium siz ed businesses don’t have. Nevertheless, smaller companies can still create amaz ing Facebook pages relatively easily. It’s just a matter of uploading photos, videos and giving visitors opportunities to engage with offers of RSS feeds, newsletters, coupons and more. In other words, give give give on Facebook. Wit h t hat disclaimer, be prepared t o f aint at t he biggest Facebook pages’ f an numbers: Coca Cola: 41 million Walmart: 12 million National Wildlife Federation: 98,000
Let’s Start With Coke
Facebook’s Timeline for Your Business 3 Companies Rocking Facebook’s Timeline and the Critical Features They Get Right What are Marketing Personas and How Do I Use Them? How to Handle Social Media Mistakes, Blunders and Missteps 12 Creative Press Release Topics that Get Great Attention (and Backlinks) 13 Top Tips for Using Press Releases to Create Backlinks
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Covers these days are made up of two images: the large cover photo which is 851 x 315 pixels (tell your graphic designer) and then the small brand icon in the lower left hand corner which is 180 x 180. Clever designers integrate the small icon with the rest of the cover, as seen here. Most of all, however, this cover must do 2 important jobs: tell the brand’s story and elicit emotion from the visitor. This cover says that coke is both classic and hip, small town and international (note the model might be American, but can easily be from another country too). Check out Coca Cola’s Apps:
Recent Posts The #1 Thing You Must Know to Have a Website that Sells 3 Free Ways to Perform Customer Research A Non- Writers Guide to Writing a Powerful “White Paper” Trust Icons that Help Increase Sales on a Small Business Website Quick Tips for Optimiz ing Facebook’s Timeline for Your Business 3 Companies Rocking Facebook’s Timeline and the Critical Features They Get Right What are Marketing Personas and How Do I Use Them? How to Handle Social Media Mistakes, Blunders and Missteps
Wow. Coke is taking full advantage of the 12 allowable apps and some of them are custom Apps (which we’ll be writing about soon.) Coke gets visitors wrapped up in its brand by giving them fun goodies like “Your Stories,” where consumers get to post about their experiences with Coca Cola. Visitors are always curious about others who have the same tastes. It also has videos, music, events, anything to entertain the cubicle worker taking a break from crunching numbers or the Saturday morning web surfer looking for a fun and easy entertainment. Here’s how Apps appeared in t he old f ormat :
12 Creative Press Release Topics that Get Great Attention (and Backlinks) 13 Top Tips for Using Press Releases to Create Backlinks
Categories Blogs & Copywriting Ecommerce Email Marketing General Marketing In The News PDFmyURL.com
Inbound Marketing Increase Conversions Internet Marketing Off- beat Search Engine Optimiz ation (SEO) Social Media You can barely see the tiny grey lettering and the miniscule icons weren’t appealing at all.
Twitter Web Design
Before we leave Coca Cola, we want to draw attention to the small “about” verbiage on the left side of the screen under the cover. Instead of going with something boring and common like, “Established in 1902, the Coca Cola company provides . . . “ It says, “The Coca Cola Facebook page is a collection of stories showing how people from around the world helped make Coke what it is today.” First, in an interesting departure, this “About” entry discusses its Facebook page rather than the company itself. Secondly, it gives itself “social proof” by giving consumers the credit for its success. Very clever, Coke! Finally, it emphasiz es stories, implying entertainment from other individuals rather than dry information from a multi- national conglomerate.
Check Out How Walmart Does It
This cover photo does some heavy lifting for Walmart. The mega- corporation’s biggest issue right now is its reputation as anti- community, anti- union, basically gouging its workers with no health benefits and drawing attention away from small local businesses. To combat that reputation, Walmart focuses on an employee from a vulnerable group: senior citiz ens. This kind- hearted- looking lady has worked for Walmart for 50 years, so Walmart MUST be a good, down home company, looking out for the little guy. The altruistic theme is repeated in the About section with a Sam Walton quote, “If we work together, we’ll lower the cost of living for everyone. . . . we’ll give the world an opportunity to see what it’s like to save and have a better life.” As in the Coca Cola About blurb, it stays away from dry information about its products. Notice, too, that its Apps give to the visitor with: local ads, “Meal Solutions” ideas and information about the nearest stores.
On To Our Non-Profit Pick: The National Wildlife Federation
First off: a big thumb’s up for capturing the organiz ation’s mission in photos. Rather than focusing on a tiny, company logo (in the lower left of the bear thumbnail), it makes visitors gasp at the majesty of nature. While emotion doesn’t translate as well in the small space of this blog post, going to the NWF’s Facebook page shows you in a matter of milliseconds how important it is to protect these magnificent beasts both with the whale and the bear. It’s breath- taking. While also too small to see here, the NWF drops the ball a bit with its About entry: “The National Wildlife Federation is a non- profit conservation organiz ation that works to inspire Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future.” Pretty dry and factual. We’d like to recommend something more succinct, exciting and visitor oriented like, “A meeting place for all who champion wildlife” or “Working with you for wildlife, every day, everywhere.” We’re going to email them our suggestions, so watch for the change! Nevertheless, their Apps do a good job of giving visitors lots of ways to engage. Apps for videos, a free newsletter, the RSS feed, photos and more allow people to get their nature fix here. Who doesn’t love photos of baby bears? Again, imagine people in their cubicles at work or in pajamas on a laz y Saturday morning looking for a way to be stimulated and enriched. The National Wildlife Foundation delivers, creating goodwill and hopefully a desire to be involved financially.
Could You Offer More to Your Customers with Facebook’s Timeline Format? We think so. When we look at our clients’ analytics, we see decent traffic coming from Facebook to web pages which means Facebook is delivering on its promise to engage visitors to compel them to take action. Check back for the second article in this series “Quick Tips for Optimiz ing Facebook’s Timeline for Your Business.” Curious about how Facebook can increase your website traffic and sales? Contact us to learn how we can get you started building a community of brand fans and even manage your social media accounts. C at e g o ry: So cial Me d ia | N o C o mme nt s Ab o ut t he aut ho r: Jeune Ortiz is VP of Marketing and Creative Director at futureink. With more than 20 years of experience in graphic design and marketing, Jeune brings extensive knowledge and creativity to each website and internet marketing solution to grow your business. Twe e t
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