Timeline will undoubtedly evolve swiftly as brands begin to explore new marketing and engagement territories and there will certainly be a number of “why didn’t I think of that first” facepalms among email and social media marketers when others leverage the new Facebook feature. For now though, you can concentrate on these top five marketing benefits while applying your own imagination and creativity to take Timeline to the next step:
1. Cover hero shot - The old style brand page limited brands to a fairly small profile image and five thumbnails while burying tagged images and photo albums underneath the Wall, but Timeline introduces a 849 x 312 pixel cover image positioned at the top of your profile which is a prime location for a hero shot.
2. Star click to full widescreen - By clicking on a star in the post, the specific image in thumbnail section of the Timeline will expand to full widescreen size, allowing companies to feature attractive graphics and layouts that were previously outside the capabilities of the platform.
3. Prominent top-positioned nav bar - The info tab is currently hidden on Facebook Fan Pages and if any of your followers stumble on it all they’ll see is the conventional layout format containing nothing but a mass of gray text. Timeline’s navigation bar at the top of the page places the info as well as the apps, map, and photos into much-anticipated prominence.
4. Infinite scrolling - The scroll now has no limits and can stretch to infinity and beyond. This feature allows businesses to place a much greater extent of product information that has the added advantage of being immortal. By prolonging the content’s lifespan, followers will have more time and selection possibilities for engagement now that posts don’t vanish below the event horizon of the Facebook Wall.
5. Substitute your blog or even your website - Timeline now presents a valid alternative to setting up a specific domain page or even a blog, an advantage that is of considerable significance to small businesses who can’t afford the time or resources of setting up and maintaining the massive online presences of the major brands. By making full use of the larger images and post size Timeline can take the place of a brand blog or product highlight, cleanly packaging a profile which portrays ongoing updates.
Trademark violation may present an obstacle
Not everything has been smooth sailing on the way to Timelineland. The introduction of this feature across the platform has seen ongoing delays and the rollout has been slower than many Facebook enthusiasts would like. Another factor is the lawsuit brought by Timelines.com which has a pre-existing registered trademark on a virtually identical service.
But beyond the copyright issues facing Facebook, if the company manages to launch business Timelines across the platform it could present a major boon to email and social media marketers. Only time and the courts will tell how things will work out, but start tinkering with Timeline now to gain some branding points for your business.