Strategic Questions About Facebook Timeline
As Facebook completes the rollout of the new Timeline format for pages (brands) by the end of March, a lot of marketers are wondering what the new update means for their strategy.
Well, most are actually panicking and frantically updating their cover image while trying to retrofit years worth of Facebook history.
Since there are plenty of articles on 28 ways to do this and 10 reasons why that, we are going to focus on the strategic considerations and questions you should be asking yourself with the introduction of the new Facebook Timeline.
Strategic Questions About Facebook Timeline
Should you be on Facebook?
Might as well start with the tough question. For many, the Facebook page was born from excitement, rather than strategy, which has likely caused a slow, but steady decline in the quality and conversation on your page.
With these new changes, now is a good time to reconsider, or at least refocus, your overall Facebook strategy.
Should you continue to focus on likes?
Make no mistake, Facebook is actively suppressing the free opportunities for marketers and brands to connect with people. Why?
- Ad revenue. Facebook needs more of it, so it is manipulating the EdgeRank algorithm to remove some of the crap and marketing fluff. Enter the new Reach Generator that magically boosts visibility for your posts (which only reach about 16% of your followers), at a price.
- We have liked too much. The average person has liked everything in sight, meaning that the News Feed is getting crowded.
- Quality. A direct result of all those likes, is the mass of crap that comes through our News Feed each day (I am looking at you marketing guy). Facebook wants to clean that up, so you stay engaged with the good stuff…oh, and some ads.
Add all of that up, and the goal of driving likes does not seem like such a good idea. Or, to put it more bluntly, marketers have created a connection with users (via the like) that Facebook is now charging for (Reach Generator).
Tell me again, why are you asking people to like your page?
What is the purpose of your page?
So, if the goal is not likes, then what is it? If you consider the potential cost of those likes, and the fact that few of your followers will ever return to your page, then the purpose of your brand’s page needs to be highly focused.
Plus, the new format is only giving you prime real estate for 4 of what were formally known as tabs.
Email? Contest? Conversation?
While your Facebook page goals will be unique to your destination or tourism brand, now is the time to revaluate, remove and optimize.
How can you tell your story with the new timeline format?
A nice upgrade to the Facebook page is the ability to retroactively add content, or milestones, that help explain and highlight the story of your brand, town or attraction.
What can you tell and offer people to entice them to stay on your page? What is unique about your destination? How can you solicit fan participation with the new milestone format?
If you have been running a photo contest, like Tourism Australia, why not extend that campaign by transforming your timeline into a historical scrapbook of fan visits to your destination? Have fans submit a photo and the date of their visit, to create a personal milestone.
While Facebook has removed some of the ‘free’ marketing opportunities that made the service so appealing, the introduction of milestones presents a new opportunity for engagement.
Should you change your content strategy?
New format, new content. With the updated UI, Facebook is encouraging the use of large images and video. So, it is a good time to update, or create, a content marketing plan specific for Facebook.
Start with these 3 questions:
- Does our content support the goal(s) of the page?
- How does the content fit into the story of our brand with the new milestone format?
- Does the content encourage engagement and conversation?
Above all else, ensure your content is ‘asking’ rather than ‘telling’ to achieve success.
There you have it, 5 strategic suggestions without the hype.
While the creation of your Facebook page may have been rooted in excitement and peer pressure, the update to the new Timeline format is the ideal moment to develop a solid strategy for your Facebook campaign.
Or the perfect excuse to click the delete button.