April 17, 2012

It’s all change for our favourite social network

Mark Zuckerberg has been busy recently. If he’s not changing the layout of Facebook, he’s buying up Instagram, the photo-sharing app that hasn’t even reached its second birthday, for a billion dollars.

Much like Marmite, people are either loving or hating Facebook’s new look ‘timeline’. Despite our initial reservations, we feel the switch is a positive one, putting the focus firmly on engagement and enabling businesses to interact with their audience in a more personal way. Overall, it opens up opportunities for savvy companies to get more out of their Facebook marketing.

For a start it encourages fresh content and active conversation on a regular basis. Your Facebook page will no longer act like a static shop window with ‘likes’ falling in your lap; now the onus lies with you. By building exposure for your products – promotions and deals being the preferred method – you drive the traffic to your page.

Probably the best bit of the new timeline is the provision of real-time data. No more waiting for two days for results on a post. With the new ‘Insights’, businesses can now track how a post is doing within five to ten minutes of publishing it. This allows you to tweak statuses and posts depending on how they are performing, as well as maximising on the best-performing posts by turning them into a premium ad or sponsored story.

The most noticeable change the timeline brings, however, is the pretty impressively sized cover photo. This image replaces the default landing tab and offers a generous space to showcase your brand. Be creative and stand out, but remember to stick to the page guidelines. Calls to action, for example, will not be tolerated.

It’s this change that demonstrates Mr Zuckerberg’s commitment to the continuing importance of photo-sharing both for friends and businesses. It is arguably the cornerstone of the social network and the feature most often cited as the reason people join Facebook in the first place, or feel they cannot leave. It’s why he bought Istagram.

Mr Zuckerberg wrote about the acquisition on his Facebook page: “This is an important milestone for Facebook because it’s the first time we’ve ever acquired a product and company with so many users. We don’t plan on doing many more of these, if any at all.”

It also coincided with Instagram’s launch on Android, which by adding one million users a day, quickly made it obvious that this wasn’t just a photo-sharing app – it was a competitive social network.

So, all in all big changes for our favourite social networking site, but what does all this mean for you? If you’ve been proactive and redesigned your Facebook page probably not much, you’ve already invested the necessary additional resource in planning and implementing a new Facebook strategy. For those of you who haven’t yet and as a result have been subjected to Facebook’s automatic – and basic – redesign of your business page, it’s not too late to make your new page shine and maximise on all these new opportunities.

We, at oneagency.co, are geared up to help you with all these changes. You can see how we’ve updated our own Facebook page here. Then, when you’re ready to follow in our footsteps, call Carl Willimott, business development director, on 01603 252555 to find out how we can help you.