The Facebook Timeline is now mandatory for all brands. Brands should see this change as an opportunity, as the switch seems to generate more user engagement, especially thanks to visual content like photos and videos.
By rolling out its mandatory Timeline to all brand pages, Facebook is hoping to establish a new branding standard on its platform. Among other things, major changes include a chronological and much more visual display of content, and the ability for brands to highlight some of the content they published with the “featured” and “pinned” content. The changes brought to the traditional page for brands might not seem drastic to most people, but a recent study conducted by Wildfire actually shows that switching to the Timeline was actually beneficial for brands. The research was conducted among 43 early adopter brands of the Facebook Timeline, including AT&T, Ben&Jerry’s, Burberry, Coca-Cola, The New York Times, ESPN, Louis Vuitton, Red Bull…
Brands with fewer fans benefitted a lot from switching to Timeline
Generally speaking, the switch did not affect the fan growth rate, but brands saw a higher level of engagement from their fans: the number of People Talking About This (PTAT), Likes per Page Post and Comments Per Page Post drastically increased after the Timeline implementation. 95% of brands with a Facebook page have less than 1million fans. In the study, this was the category that experienced the highest positive impact on engagement after adopting the Timeline. Their PTAT increased by 67.4 percent, the number of comments per brand post by 40 percent and the Likes per brand post by 60.3 percent. Brands with 1 to 10 million fans experienced a 28.58 percent increase of the PTAT, a 13.56 percent increase for the Likes Per Brand Post and a 17.43 percent decrease in the Comments Per Brand Post.
A more visual interface generates more conversation
Compared to the traditional Facebook page for brands, the Timeline emphasizes visual pieces of content. The Wildfire study shows that as a matter of fact, videos and pictures “are quantitatively performing better in a Post-Timeline world.” Before the Timeline, Status Updates were the best at generating likes and comments, and videos the best at generating shares. Now, with the new display, photos are the type of content getting the most comments and Links (also getting a more prominent display) are more shared than they used to. In other words, visual content gets more attention from users and fans, and brands should probably start playing with pictures and videos to hopefully increase use engagement.