Mar 13, 2013

Facebook’s Redesign: What Does this Mean for Brands?

I remember last year when we were writing blogs about the Facebook migration to timeline. This big change reshaped how both brands and everyday users would come to know and interact with the social media mega-power. Over the past year, there have been sporadic changes, but nothing like what was announced on Thursday.

Yes, folks, Facebook is making another big change. This time, it’s a timeline redesign.

We’ve seen the push toward the visualization of social networks.  Not only have visual-based channels such as Instagram and Pinterest become major players in the social scene, but tried-and-true Facebook and Twitter have also started migrating to a more visual format. Take, for example, the addition of cover photos to Facebook and Twitter. Now, brands and individual users can further customize their spaces, making a visual statement on each page.

Facebook is taking it one step further with its timelines changes.

Thursday’s announcement on the updates (coming to a Facebook account near you soon), proved to be the biggest change we’ve seen since last March. Now, posted photos will be bigger, cover photos will be more apparent, and users can segment the content in the feed by selecting what they want to see, when they want to see it.

In my opinion, though, the big winner of this all? Brands. Hear me out.

The first benefit to brands of the new timeline? Visual brand opportunities. With the advent of the new timeline, brands will be able to have a stronger visual representation on not just their own pages, but on ads and referral page links, too. Take into consideration, though, that your cover photo will be more important than ever. On the newly designed newsfeed, brands’ cover images will be front and center on sponsored stories and friend stores. Check out this example.


 


Not only is the cover photo displayed on this cover story, but the call to action to like the page is actually more noticeable than before. Good for brands, right?

Another big change that benefits marketers and brands alike? The newly segmented feeds. Why? Think of it as a qualifier for brand interaction. Users who are perusing the new “Following” category will be privy to all the updates from the brands they follow. This is a good thing. If a user is going to this specific tab to explore, they’re more interested in seeing your brand message than in the new pictures of their friend’s baby or second cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. A more captive and receptive user, after all, is a user you want.

 

All of these changes have been made across all platforms of the site. Now, the Facebook website and iPad and mobile apps will all have the same visual feel, allowing brands to interact on a deeper visual level with mobile users.

As with all the changes that have happened with Facebook in the year I’ve been with LEAP, this is, without a doubt, the most exciting yet. Brands: take this change as an opportunity to take your social media marketing plan to the next level.  In the new feed format, you’ll get your chance to better engage with users, become a more visual presence, and have a captive audience with whom to communicate.