Facebook recently launched its much talked about timeline to the user base. It is essentially a new feature that turns the user’s profile into a scrapbook by using their onsite activity to highlight who they are, what they like, and so forth.
For now, the feature is only available to users (Update: It’s now live for many brands), but we can’t help but think about the seemingly inevitable implications it will have from a marketing perspective. With that said, here is what the Facebook timeline could mean for brands:
Millions of people around the world are on the Facebook bandwagon. In fact, the site currently has more than 800 million global users, according to the social giant itself. Some members are logging in to communicate with friends and family. Others are indulging to enjoy games, apps, and relish in the recreational aspect.. The point is that people are spending a lot of time on Facebook, and with the introduction of the new timeline, their engagement is likely to be at an all-time high. This factor all by its lonesome is great news for marketers.
On the flip side, the Facebook timeline could boost engagement by actually making brands more engaging themselves. As it stands now, many pages read like sales pages due to the promotional nature of the brand’s content. While creating solid content and being able to strike up dialogue will continue to be important, the new timeline could make your brand appear more engaging by making it more approachable. Whether it’s highlighting all the products you have launched, or a change in direction with leadership, it has the potential to really open things up where audience members are able to see the human side of your business and watch it grow right before their very eyes.
Food for Targeting
One of the biggest advantages we see the new Facebook timeline offering brands is the ability to better understand and target their audiences. For example, if you are a local sports bar owner, the new insights this feature makes available could possibly help you distinguish the real sports fanatics from the people who pay a visit for the spirits and atmosphere. This sort of knowledge can enable you to craft offers or general communications that are tailored to suit both audience preferences. Of course having access to the user’s timeline is key here, but the potential is just as huge in the overall big picture.
If there was any bad news to accompany this story, it would have to be the fact that there is no word on when, or even if Facebook will roll out a version of the timeline to accommodate brand pages. Observers are confident that marketers will not be left out, but nothing is official as of yet. In the meantime, brands can get a sense of satisfaction just by knowing that the new timeline looks to be a good thing for all parties moving forward.