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Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

As you've likely heard by now, Facebook will be switching all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th, though you can preview the functionality now. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I'm not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship. If you're like most social media enthusiasts, you'll want to get ahead of the curve and get your Timeline up and running as soon as possible. Here are the top 5 things you'll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality: Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook's rules on what your cover photo may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website" Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends" Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image. Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear ' be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I'd recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top ' don't you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page? You'll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight ' make this a priority given it's placement on your page, as it's one of the first things visitors will see You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience: Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide ' this means you'll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they'll center within the 810 pixel width Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand: What are our brand goals and objectives? What matters to our target audience? Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.? Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you're adjusting to this new functionality you'll want to consider: Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out: Coca Cola ' With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality. Barack Obama ' Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they're doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They've peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They're also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year's campaigns. Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) ' The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product's history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They're using their cover photo for new product awareness ' a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons! Subway ' Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons! Burberry ' The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating the Heritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they've also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline. All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it's also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It's an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way. Stay tuned for our AMP Agency Timeline page! What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?  

  • 5 min read
  • March 13, 2012

Why Facebook Timeline is Good for Brands & the Top 5 Things You Need to Know

As you've likely heard by now, Facebook will be switching all brand pages over to the new Facebook Timeline layout as of March 30th, though you can preview the functionality now. While the jury is still out among some social media professionals as to whether or not this shift is beneficial to brands, I'm not having any trouble seeing the value this shift brings to the table for brands seeking real relationships with their consumers. This shift in functionality is one that finally, and for the first real time in the social media space, enables brands to tell their story, share their history, share the milestones that matter, and engage with consumers in an authentic conversation and relationship. If you're like most social media enthusiasts, you'll want to get ahead of the curve and get your Timeline up and running as soon as possible. Here are the top 5 things you'll need to keep in mind as you work towards rebranding your page with the Timeline functionality: Choose a cover photo that represents your brand and your story, while being mindful of Facebook's rules on what your cover photo may not contain: Price or purchase information, such as "40% off" or "Download it at our website" Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page's About section References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features Calls to action, such as "Get it now" or "Tell your friends" Highlight the most important elements of your brand along the top. Tabs as we know them are morphing into a series of icons highlighted just below your cover image. Photos are a static element in the new design, but you can change everything else, and the order in which they appear ' be sure to make good use of the limited real estate. I'd recommend not keeping Likes as one of the 4 primary tabs at the top ' don't you have more to share with visitors than how many other visitors have liked the page? You'll also need to choose images to represent the elements that you want to highlight ' make this a priority given it's placement on your page, as it's one of the first things visitors will see You can also pin a post to the top of your page to highlight the most important content/conversation for your brand Additional tab changes mean some additional work to optimize the visitor experience: Default landing tabs are no longer an option so choose your posts wisely as these will now be the first thing a visitor will see when engaging with your brand The width of tabs is also changing from 520 pixels wide to 810 pixels wide ' this means you'll likely need to rework most of the tabs you had on your page previously to make use of the expanded real estate, but until you do, they'll center within the 810 pixel width Milestones and the brand story become the forefront of the experience. While pondering what to include, consider these elements as you tell the story of your brand: What are our brand goals and objectives? What matters to our target audience? Are there large gaps that we can fill with notable elements, such as key hires, new products, awards, etc.? Direct, private messages to brands from users are possible for the first time, enabling more direct brand-to-consumer interaction than ever before. As you're adjusting to this new functionality you'll want to consider: Your strategy for responding to customer inquiries publicly vs. privately including message categories and response times or SLAs to inquiries Real-estate is now precious on your page, so take offline conversations offline via direct messages For some examples of great brand uses of Timeline, check out: Coca Cola ' With the exception of the Likes being one of the four icons at the top, the Coca-Cola page is a great example of a brand-relevant layout making excellent use of the Timeline functionality. Barack Obama ' Whether you support Obama or not, one look at his Facebook Timeline demonstrates that his team knows what they're doing when it comes to leveraging the new functionality. They've peppered his page with relevant facts and news throughout his life. They're also using the cover photo to demonstrate compelling, relevant information to this year's campaigns. Tide (yes, as in the laundry detergent) ' The team at Tide has done a great job of laying out relevant milestones in the product's history, along with interesting facts and information the company has shared with consumers over the years. They're using their cover photo for new product awareness ' a no-brainer! Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons! Subway ' Who knew sandwiches could be this interesting! The company has done a great job of filling in interesting facts about the products, organization, and corporate responsibility throughout the years. Bonus points for not having Likes among their top icons! Burberry ' The fashion house has done a fantastic job of replicating the Heritage section of their website into their Facebook Timeline. Not surprisingly, they've also mastered the art of visual appeal in the use of eye-catching images sprinkled throughout their timeline. All in all, while the new Timeline functionality swap seems like a very drastic one, and in many ways it is, it's also a chance for brands to finally tell their story. It's an opportunity for brands to connect with their consumers in a compelling way highlighting what matters the most to the consumers who wish to know the personality behind the brand. For brands, Timeline offers an easy way to connect in a more human, more personal way. Stay tuned for our AMP Agency Timeline page! What have been your experiences with Timeline for brands so far? Do you like it? What would you change if you could?  

I'm Popping-Up'?¦ I Want the World to Know

You've definitely heard of them. Your sister got her nails done in a mobile spa while watching episodes of 'Nail Files,'? your coworker brought his girlfriend to a Valentine's Day weekend only chocolate-themed restaurant, and even your niece picked up some sassy new shoes from a curbside shop. They've been around for almost ten years, but it seems that the pop-up phenomenon is starting to literally pop-up almost everywhere. Everybody's talking pop-ups, and there are many reasons brands choose to do one. To help you join in the conversation I have outlined a few of the major draws to hopping on this trend: While many of us in marketing feel that we have the skill to innately know what the consumer wants, even before they do, sometimes companies are uncertain of how a particular market will respond to their product, service, or brand. Finding a way to cost effectively test the waters is often a challenge, but pop-ups allow these brands to become a part of the retail landscape without investing too much of themselves to the market. Some companies thrive on a seasonal basis and do not need to be available 365 days a levitra cost year. Many of our holidays require a specific product or service for one day of the year, but are deemed unnecessary for the rest ' think Christmas tree sales. These parking lot takeovers are a kind of pop-up of their own! On the other side of things, many brands strive to stand out among the clutter during the holiday season. In the winter of 2010 Kate Spade opened a holiday themed igloo pop-up featuring the brand's new line of clothing and accessories. Situated right next to Citi Pond's ice skating rink, the retail bubble even handed out free hot chocolate to visitors. For new launches and premieres there needs to be a lot of hype, and having a trendy, word-of-mouth pop-up can be just the ticket. Disney opened a TRON pop-up before the movie premiered, offering merchandise and artwork related to the motion picture. Reminding consumers about an existing brand is always a challenge, and to address this concern the Coca-Cola brand opened a 'Live Tastefully'? sampling pop-up in New York and Boston in the fall of 2009. Seeing the familiar logo on morning commutes reminds consumers of the brand, and being handed a free sample of  Diet-Coke puts the company back in buyers' minds. A lot of people would like to have access to certain products and services but are unwilling to make the trek to actually get them. The pop-up makes it easier for consumers to access the goods and services they desire by bringing it directly to them. Like the food truck phenomenon, making products convenient for consumers will make them more willing to purchase. Last on my list is that pop-ups allow companies to interact directly with consumers. Having staff and brand ambassadors work with customers one-on-one is a great way to show dedication to the brand, and also to get a sense of consumer sentiment. If consumers love a brand, this is a good way to find out. Also, if there is a premiere of a new product at a pop-up that sells out within hours, or even minutes, it is a sure indication that the company should make it available to the mainstream market.

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