On February 29, 2012 Facebook announced the launch of time line for brand pages, after the launch of time lines for individual profile pages which changed the way brands communicate with their customers. This re-defined social engagements by improving upon earlier features on brand pages. Facebook provided each brand an option to switch to the new page format till March 30, 2012 in order to adapt and acclimatize. In the meantime, as more and more brands got used to the new page and transformed their strategy around the changes Facebook officially made the service live fully on the said date.
Let us go through the pros/cons the brand pages offer in developing marketing campaigns around Facebook.
Cover Photo – Facebook’s new brand page has a space to upload cover photo which could be summed as the face of the brand. This replaces the creative landing pages with html embedded codes which helped brands to drive traffic to their websites and run campaigns with measurable results. Brands now has the option to be creative while using a photograph which sums up their persona. Within the limited space of 851 * 315 px, it’s all the space where creative geniuses could try their hands on.
- Brands have a space to create their unique identity with specific photos reflecting the mood of the brand and connect.
- Brands can create advertorial, info-graph as cover photo (remember not to overdo the information on photos).
- This feature turns out as one of the greatest tools for brands to depict their true character.
- Cover photo comes with a Facebook policy which prevents promotional offers, Contact information on photograph, references to any features on Facebook and anything which is misleading to patrons.
Profile photo – Brands have only 180*180px space to use their logo, or any socially engaging image. There is very limited space for brands vis-à-vis earlier profile picture space where brands uploaded information loaded photos.
About button – This is a critical space for brands to update focused content to engage with customers as compared to the info page in the earlier set up, where brands went descriptive on a single page. However, this feature allows brands to expand the descriptive profile on a new web page.
- Option to create power packed profile for the brand.
- Brands can have guidelines for their patrons towards promoting a campaign.
The button needs has to be expanded to view the description or story about the brand.
Views and apps – The new brand page has re-organized the static FBML (Facebook Markup Language) tabs and presented them through app. space. Brands need to re-organize their FBML tabs from earlier pages in the new set up to put themselves in a socially engaging experience with consumers.
Brands need to cash in through these apps spaces where they can run campaigns and drive traffic to their websites.
Brands would have to work harder to let 1st time users understand their campaigns by providing specific guidelines for these campaign.
Highlight/ Pinned Posts/ Milestones These are drivers for the brands on the newly designed Facebook page. Highlight (Star button on the top right corner of every post) helps to enlarge every post and highlight the campaign for greater visibility. Pinned posts positions the important brand story to the top of all posts for 7 days. Milestones help brands to depict important achievements on their Facebook page.
- Brands can create campaigns which could have greater visibility.
- Brands can run period specific campaigns to make their voice heard.
- Brands can use this space as a medium to indirectly drive engagements by referring to to their FBML/HTML coded campaigns.
Campaigns are similar to wall posts with photos, videos and these features do not allow HTML loaded campaigns directly.
Friend Activity – This feature is the glorified version of the earlier simple textual representation. Brands can use this to attract customers through numbers depicting engagement to their page.
Admin Panel –
Admin panel allows administrators to manage notifications, messages of customers referring to the brand and insights of customer engagement to a campaign. Although a brand needs more than 30 “Facebook Like” to access its insights on customer engagement.
Although Facebook has re-organized the way brands interact with their audience in the social space, Facebook revealed at the Facebook Marketing Conference (FMC) that only 16% of the fans of a brand see each post. Although the number is startling for any brand but Facebook has come up with ‘Reach Generator’, a paid distribution channel which distributes content to a large group of fans thereby making brands add a little more to the yearly budget for online and social media marketing.
Alok Ranjan is a marketing specialist and management consultant based in Mumbai, India. He believes, brands are caught in a maze of technology and economic dynamics, caused by disruptive forces, which are changing the way consumers interact with brands. Alok advises brands to shape consumer centric strategy and assists to develop a roadmap for businesses.