Facebook Timeline - Implications for Brands
Timeline. Everyone’s talking about Facebook’s new Timeline and the promise it may hold for brands to meaningfully (and more frequently) connect with consumers.
Marketers are foaming at the mouth over Timeline’s storytelling potential. And while yes, that is a rad feature, particularly for people in the storytelling business of advertising, we think that point is tired already.
Here’s what we’ve been chatting about ‘round the Kegerator at RT+P:
You know, we suspected a lot of people weren’t seeing page updates. Turns out we were right. The average newsfeed story from a Brand page only reaches 16% of their followers. Ouch. That hurts. Talk about low profile. (Sorry, had to say it.)
Many brands will be thrilled with the feature that allows them to privately message people who are connected to their brand page. We wonder how long it will be before the consumer blocks the page from messaging them.
There is some good. There’s a brilliance to action-driven Timeline apps. They create what Facebook calls a "persistent connection" between the app and consumers, meaning when the user gives the app (or brand) permission to add activity to their Timeline, that activity or interaction the person has with the app (such as playing a song
or reading an article) now appears in their Ticker, News Feed, App views and Timeline. This is a HUGE opportunity for Brands who may have lost connection with a person that "unliked" a page, hid the page posts from their newsfeeds or just never picked up traction in Facebook’s newsfeed algorithm. Finally, through friend's opted-in actions with Timeline apps, a Brand's reach has another chance to go further. With Brands and profiles switching over, Timeline apps will be more critical connection points.
Premium products. Just the WORD premium sounds expensive, doesn’t it? It will be. This is the fix for that 16% we talked about earlier. Pay for the “Reach Generator,” which charges a fixed fee based on your page Fan count, and you’re guaranteed to reach 75% of your page members per month by ad placement in the ad sidebar, news feed, and logout page. BAM. Downside? It won’t reach new fans.
To attract new fans to a page, there are new ad units. And the good news is they should be more affordable than the Reach Generator. Posts by pages can be turned into ads, including wall posts with photos and videos, AND these ads can appear in mobile news feeds.
Lastly, Facebook Offers will be a hot ticket for consumer product companies, Food & Beverage brands and retail sectors. A coupon offered exclusively on a Facebook Page is essentially “Like” chum. Coupons create a feeding frenzy of likes for brand pages. This concept of putting “Offers” into an ad format for coupons is probably going to be lightning in a bottle for brands and Facebook.