Should Brands Be Using Facebook Timeline?

The new feature seems to be having a positive effect on small businesses. Check out these key insights.
Q4 Sales
April 04, 2012

Facebook Timeline is creating a combination of positive and negative reactions since launching. The question I have with all of these changes is: do they help the small business brand and market better? According to data from Wildfire, a social media marketing software company, the answer is yes and the impacts are mostly positive. 

A few quick insights from their study:

  • Brands with less than 1 million fans got a sizable boost from switching to Timeline. Well, that’s probably most of us in the small business owner camp, but we (the less than one million fan group) represent 85 percent of the company pages on Facebook.
  • Photo and video posts perform better in the new Timeline layout. This is good news. Photos are now tops when it comes to generating comments, outperforming the next-best post type by more than 8 percent. Sharing of videos has also increased; when it comes to generating shares, video posts in the new Timeline layout now outperform the next-best post type by 90 percent.
  • Pinned posts perform better than regular posts, with pinned photo posts performing best. I’m not surprised by this dominance by Pinterest photos, but I do have concerns.

The switch to Timeline has had a very large, positive impact on most brands in terms of the following: Likes Per Brand Post, Comments Per Brand Post and “People Talking about This” (PTAT). These are the main ones that page admins watch and in all of them Wildfire’s research showed double-digit increases. It also showed that the new layout boosted performance of rich-media content such as photos and videos.

  • Likes per brand post increased by 60%
  • Comments per brand post increased by 40%
  • PTAT spiked by 67%

It is interesting to note that brands with more than 10 million fans actually saw decreases across all measures. The report did explain, however, that the brands in this category were all participants in Facebook’s Timeline debut, which generated significant media attention and inflated engagement numbers for these brands at the time of the launch.

Wildfire points out that although Timeline is more engaging, the increased engagement doesn’t necessarily translate to an increase in fan count. People are interacting with pages without becoming fans, and continue to be very selective about which brands they will publicly like.

The question I’m left with is this: Can you build better customer relationships and boost your content and pageviews with Timeline? If you’re using Pinterest, for now, it appears you can create more conversation and participation. It is also clear that video is a top method of generating interest in your work and content. I’m still a fan of publishing videos on YouTube, for its sheer size and search value, and then embedding or linking that to your Facebook Page or Timeline.

What have you experienced with the new Facebook Timeline? Is it working for you?

Photo credit: Flickr/FoleyMo