Ok, so this is another blog post on the whole Facebook Timeline introduction. You’ve read hundreds of them I am sure.
What I want to write about is really what it means from a brand marketers perspective to me as a social business strategist for one of the biggest brands in the nation.
When the changes were announced last week, those who took the time to read it – and not spread untruth about Facebook beginning to charge for access – understood the changes were a big deal for everyone. For consumers, the functionality and ability to share in a new wasÂ groundbreaking. The Timeline layout (which I have been using since it was launched to developers) is a huge improvement and allows the user to keep track of their social network and friends in a much more natural way.
As much as I participate in sharing and cultivating content on Facebook as an individual, I couldn’t help but immediately start thinking about what this meant to me professionally and to my employer H&R Block. As a big brand with huge name recognition and a big investment in social media, I needed to know more and think through what these changes meant to us.
The biggest opportunity for brands using Facebook Timeline will be a better platform and a better way to share authentic stories and content with our clients and customers. Facebook has always been about the conversation, but now content takes on a more prominent role meaning brands can build new engagement tools and interesting content. This will allow us to share with our clients why H&R Block is unique and what differentiates us from our competitors. The ability to tell more authentic stories and bring our brand strengths to life just got a whole lot easier.
From a design standpoint, the Timeline’s cover feature also allows us to bring a more graphically oriented and design oriented experience to our audience as well. For a tax brand, that’s a great thing. We can share our brand story in a graphically oriented way which humanizes the brand and gets to the power of how we help Americans realize their financial dreams.
The other key point to make about these Facebook changes is it shows that the team over at Facebook is now balancing, and building, the platform for individual users and for businesses. With perhaps the biggest IPO in history on its horizon, Facebook has been slow to react to the needs of businesses over time.
My experience with the team at Facebook (in my role at Applebee’s) has been completely different. I’ve always found the sales and platform team to be incredibly responsive and a huge help in making sure I succeed on the platform. Now it appears the design and engineering side of the house is also understanding the need to change and adapt so they can balance both user groups in a way that makes the experience better.
The next year on Facebook should be an interesting one for brands and for consumers. I can’t wait to dig in.