Why top Facebook expert says Timeline for Pages is irrelevant

March 1, 2012

Facebook launches new Timeline feature

Businesses using Facebook Pages began their Wednesday morning with a notice that big changes are coming to Facebook Pages, most notably in the rollout of Timeline for Pages, just like the social media giant did for personal profiles.

There has been a lot of buzz surrounding the changes with supporters hailing the ability to brand more effectively, while critics lament the Timeline aesthetics and function regardless of whether it is on a business or personal account.

Well known Facebook expert, Brian Carter, author of “Facebook Marketing” and “The Like Economy” wrote today that the Timeline rollout for Pages “is exciting for designers, maybe, but not for people who want bottom-line social media marketing results. Explain to me how the new look will improve your business results in any way?”

Bad news for Page owners

Carter added the disappointing news that under 1.0 percent of fans go back to Facebook Pages after they have liked them, equating Facebook to an email list, as fans continue to consume content from Pages in their news feed, not the Page itself. Carter said, “So by all means, make your business’s page look good with the new layout, and feature a post at the top of the page, but don’t expect a lot of your fans to be looking at the actual page. Facebook doesn’t work that way. Your brand’s Timeline needs to look good, but 40-160 times as many people will see your posts in their newsfeeds, not on your Timeline page.”

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While it is advisable to set up an attractive cover photo for your Facebook Page, the best ROI continues to be in sharing quality, relevant and useful information for people who will see it in their newsfeed. Carter cautions businesses to “stop trying to look cool and start looking for opportunities to get results.”

Carter asserts that there are much more exciting opportunities for brands looking to leverage Facebook Pages like being able to leverage the social graph, and insights from companies like Infinigraph that help discover viral niche content, or other companies that track ROI by linking your Facebook Page to Google Analytics.

“If you think the new Timeline for Pages is more exciting than these,” Carter concludes, “then you aren’t really interested in business results, or you don’t understand how Facebook works, or your only strategic goal is to make your company look cool.”

AGBeat Chief Operating Officer: Lani, named 100 Most Influential, as well as 12 Most Influential Women in Blogging, Bashh Founder, Out and about in Austin A Lister, is a business and tech writer and startup consultant hailing from the great state of Texas in the city of Austin. As a digital native, Lani is immersed not only in advanced technologies and new media, but is also a stats nerd often buried in piles of reports. Lani is a proven leader, thoughtful speaker, and vested partner at AGBeat.


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  18. I do agree with this…but I also think that the changes that were made make it much more likely that new people clicking on my page will actually like it…which means more people will see my posts in their newsfeed.

    I don’t know if it will make a difference, but I have a tab in my page that has a free summer concert schedule. Tons of people bookmark this page on my website and go back to it all summer long. I’m hoping the same thing will happen with FB now that the tab is prominently displayed in the #4 tab position.

    You can see it here:

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  34. Some strong points – but the article title and content is quite misleading.

    There’s much more opportunity for brands to create and engage community behind the scenes when you assess the entire Timeline rollout; look beyond the visual aspect of the rollout.

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