The team attended (via the power of the web) the Facebook Marketing Conference. There are some big changes already launched and more on the way. This is our guide to some of what’s new for brands (follow the links for much more detail):
New Timeline brand pages
On March 30, 2012 all Brand Pages worldwide will be upgraded to the new layout and your new Page design will be visible to the public. The changes can however be made immediately if you’re feeling bold.
Brands really need to consider the new impact that images will play in the new Facebook Timeline design. The most obvious change is the cover image (think of it like a magazine cover rather than an ad). But also consider that images are now much more prominent in the Timeline.
The Timeline can also be used to communicate content right back to the founding day of the brand.
One of the big changes is that tabs can no longer be the default landing page for a Page, users will see the Timeline Page as their first port of call. A good example of the new design is Ben and Jerry’s page
New ad formats
The ad formats previously used by Facebook are being dropped completely in favour of content led ads. Page post ads (which have been available for the last month or two) basically turn one of your newsfeed posts into a sponsored story. This focuses brands on producing engaging content rather than applying traditional ad thinking.
One of these optional placements will be at the new “logout experience” page, immediately after Facebook users log out of Facebook. These ‘log-out’ ads will be available in April.
Normally when your post you can expect an average of 16% of your fans to see the post. Reach generator makes sure more people see your stories, it guarantees up to 50-75% in fact. This equals double the engagement and more stories created on top of your own. You can expect an ROI increase of 3:1 (apparently).
Over the last couple of months Facebook has been experimenting this new feature with a handful of brands. Dr Pepper reached 83% of their fans (9.4m people) and increased people talking about their stories by 140%.
Facebook pages will soon have access to a new free story type that allows page owners to post offers that users can collect from News Feed or ad units. Unlike check-in deals, which required users to first visit a physical location, offers can be redeemed in-store or online.
There are 425 million Facebook mobile users per month and in key African markets (Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya) there are more mobile Facebook users than those on desktop. However Facebook have been playing catch-up on mobile and still have work to do. That said ads will now be appearing in mobile news feeds as sponsored stories.
New focus on content rather advertising
All of the changes add up to a shift away from advertising thinking to content thinking for brands. As ads and content merge to become the same thing – brands that post irrelevant or boring content will be ignored by consumers in favour of those that adapt their thinking. This is a good thing and much needed adjustment in how marketers approach social media.