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Facebook's New Timeline: Marketers Take Note

on 11 Oct  Posted by Admin  Category: Internet Related  
by Karl Houtigan

Face­book con­tin­ues to evolve, and one of the lat­est fea­tures they’ve announced could become really use­ful for mar­keters to tap into. The new fea­ture is called Time­line; from the indi­vid­ual Face­book user’s per­spec­tive, Time­line is a new kind of pro­file. For peo­ple who want to share a more com­plete pic­ture of them­selves on Face­book, (hmmm, man­ag­ing your per­sonal brand?), Time­line will allow them to share things they do on their favourite web­sites and apps. Users will be able to add or remove any­thing to their Time­line and build a com­plete pro­file, from their very first activ­ity on Face­book to their lat­est post.
From a marketer’s per­spec­tive, ads and Spon­sored Sto­ries can be tar­geted based on the activ­i­ties peo­ple have shared from apps that they add to their Time­line, and com­pa­nies can develop cus­tom apps that allow peo­ple to share their activ­i­ties on that company’s web­site with a sim­ple click like “Add to Timeline”.

Imag­ine if some­one watched an instruc­tional video from your com­pany, and that infor­ma­tion got posted on their Time­line where their friends could see it? Their friends with the same inter­ests would now be exposed to your brand, which would be get­ting some social val­i­da­tion from the friend who had added it to their Time­line, mak­ing it more likely that some of them will fol­low the link and check your web­site out too. And if they then add your link to their Time­line, and their friends see it…I think you get the idea.

How it Works
Cur­rently, Time­line is only avail­able to devel­op­ers, but Face­book will be rolling it out soon to every­one else. Time­line is an exten­sion of Facebook’s Open Graph devel­oper plat­form, and it lets com­pa­nies describe the activ­i­ties peo­ple take with con­tent on their web­site. Face­book have given the exam­ple of a recipe site, where peo­ple could add to their Time­line all the recipes they are “cook­ing”, as opposed to sim­ply “lik­ing”. With more descrip­tive actions like “lis­ten”, “watch” and “read”, pop­u­lar activ­i­ties are likely to get more dis­tri­b­u­tion in the News Feed and Time­line. Accord­ing to Facebook’s own data, peo­ple are twice as likely to engage with a busi­ness when they hear about it from a friend.

With the pos­si­bil­ity of more focused adver­tis­ing, based on the apps peo­ple are engag­ing with, plus the abil­ity for more ambi­tious mar­keters to cre­ate cus­tom apps that peo­ple can add to their new Time­line pro­files, this could be a really use­ful new Face­book fea­ture to engage cus­tomers and their friends, earn social cap­i­tal, and cre­ate a real sense of com­mu­nity around a brand.

Face­book seems to be find­ing ways to bor­row ideas from rivals like Google+ and LinkedIn and inte­grate them into the Face­book expe­ri­ence. And with over 15 Mil­lion Face­book users in Canada alone (that’s nearly half the pop­u­la­tion) and 800 Mil­lion world­wide, these evo­lu­tion­ary changes at Face­book will help ensure it’s one hard habit to break, and one tough act to take mar­ket share and rev­enue from.

For more on build­ing Face­book apps, see https://developers.facebook.com/docs/opengraph/custom/. If your com­pany needs assis­tance with your social media strat­egy, includ­ing adver­tis­ing on LinkedIn or Face­book, con­tact us today or visit our web­site. We’ll be happy to answer your questions.


Biography / Resume : Karl joined Mediative’s service delivery team in 2008. A year later, he moved to the company’s research department where he conducted online surveys, eye-tracking studies, one-on-one interviews and usability testing. Most recently, he transitioned to the marketing department. Before Mediative, Karl worked in sales and marketing. In 1997, he caught the digital bug and became the original “webmaster” for Roland Canada Music. Around the same time, he began teaching the relatively new topic of Internet marketing to college and university students. Karl’s insatiable curiosity and drive to get to the core and substance of every situation has served him well in his various roles at Mediative.


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