Each time Facebook makes an update, there is a flurry of excitement. Ever since Facebook Timeline was announced at F8, its developers conference this past September, the digital world has anxiously waited to get their hands on the scrapbook-like feature, which is now (finally!) available for all individual user pages. This is not a blog post about how to set up Facebook Timeline or even on how users can get the most out of it–you can find a great blog on that here. Instead, we’re interested in how this feature will impact the online relationship between brands and their customers. Facebook Timeline changes how people interact with brands on Facebook. Yes, change is always hard. But yes, Facebook Timeline is cool–and not just for users, but for brands, too.
Facebook Timeline is different as it beautifully displays users’ complete Facebook history in reverse chronological order. That means every place you check into on Facebook, every product you “Like” or mention, and every brand you show Facebook support for may be displayed on your Timeline. To me, this makes sense. These products or services are part of your life, so having them incorporated on the Timeline seems like a natural fit. The next logical question is this: How can marketers take advantage of this? The answer to that question is the “Add to Timeline” button.
An “Add to Timeline” button is already in beta testing and allows Facebook Timeline users to add a piece of branded information to their Timelines. For some brands, the “Add to Timeline” feature will be easier to integrate than for others. For example, if your brand is a resort, allowing guests to add your brand to their Timeline means guests will be able to highlight when they stayed with you, making the Timeline another prominent way social media users interact with your brand. For other brands, such as those that are physical products, getting users to add your brand to their Timelines may prove more challenging–which is why it’s important to be aware of the Add to Timeline feature now and start to strategize ways to maximize the exposure it could bring.
Facebook Timeline isn’t yet available to pages, and no specific date has been given for when–or even if–brand pages will use Timeline. But your company can still engage in the new feature. Try incorporating the “Add to Timeline” button to your website. It’s always a bit nerve-racking to be the first to try something new, but integrating the “Add to Timeline” button to your website is a good place to start. Not sure where the best place to add this button is on your website? Ask us. We’ve got lots of ideas.