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Why top Facebook expert says Timeline for Pages is irrelevant

With all of the buzz surrounding the new rollout of Facebook Timeline features for Pages, how much effort, energy and stock should a brand put into the new design? One expert asserts that the new features are irrelevant, and it’s all about ROI.

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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.”

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.”

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius and sister news outlet, The Real Daily, and has been named in the Inman 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders several times, co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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37 Comments

37 Comments

  1. Karen Goodman

    March 2, 2012 at 10:07 am

    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:
    https://www.facebook.com/archcityhomes

  2. Jeff Kingman

    April 7, 2012 at 9:21 am

    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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Social Media

Facebook wants your nudes now to protect you from revenge porn later

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook, attempting to get in front of revenge porn, is requesting that users send in all of their nudes.

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In a heroic and totally innovative attempt to combat revenge porn, Facebook has come up with the following solution: “PM US UR NUDEZ.”

No seriously. They want your nudes.

But don’t worry, they’re only going to be viewed by a small group of people for manual confirmation of said nudes, and then stored temporarily… for reasons.

That part gets a little fuzzy. Some sources report that Facebook isn’t actually storing the images, just the links. This is meant to convert the image to a digital footprint, known as a hash, which is supposed to prevent the content from being upload to Facebook again.

Others say Facebook only stores the images for a short period of time and then deletes them.

What we do know, is this is a new program being tested in Australia where Facebook has partnered with a small government agency known as e-Safety and is requesting intimate or nude photos that could potentially be used for revenge porn in an effort to pre-emptively prevent such an incident.

Revenge porn is basically when someone uploads your personal and private photos online without your consent. Rather than address the issue of whether or not it’s such a good idea to take photos on a mobile, hackable device, it’s better to just send a large corporation all your nudes… through their Messenger app. /sarcasm

For your protection.

According to the commissioner of the e-Safety office, Julie Inman Grant, however, they’re using artificial intelligence and photo-matching technologies… and storing the links!

If this isn’t convincing enough, British law firm Mishcon de Reya LLP wrote in a statement to Newsweek, “We would expect that Facebook has absolutely watertight systems to guard the privacy of victims. It is quite counter-intuitive to send such intimate images to an unknown recipient.”

Oh, she wasn’t joking.

I’m not sure how many people still hold onto old intimate photos of themselves, but I am doubtful that it’s enough for this to really be effective as it only prevents intimate photos from being shared on Facebook. At least that’s the plan.

Reactions to this announcement have largely been met with amusement and criticism ranging from commentary on Mark Zuckerberg and Co. being total pervs, and theories of shared Facebook memories: “”Happy Memories: It’s been 1 Year since you uploaded 47 pictures of you in your birthday suit”!

Either way, I can only imagine someone’s inbox is flooded with crotch shots right now, and Zuckerberg has a potential new industry in the works.

Just sayin’.

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Social Media

Twitter might make a profit for the first time… ever

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Twitter seems to be very popular but it may surprise you to know that this is the very first time they might make a profit.

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Twitter reports that after a year of slashing expenses and putting itself in a position to sell data to other companies, it’s expected to be profitable. What’s surprising (considering how #huge Twitter is) is that this the first time that it will be profitable based on “generally accepted accounting principles” – #GAAP!.

In the 11 years since Twitter took to the field, it has never once met this standard, operating at a loss of nearly 2.5 billion dollars since its inception.

Twitter has struggled of a number of reasons, but particularly after going public in 2013 it suffered declining user growth, the rise of the #twittertrolls (coincidentally, Troll’s are discussed in my favorite TIME piece about the internet – located here), and competition from Facebook for the tough realm of advertising.

Since 2013, shares fell steadily, but things have increased thanks to some optimistic changes – the promise to crack down on harassment and abuse, a feed arranged by algorithm instead of time, and Twitter’s most vocal fan of late, President Donald Trump.

For the numbers fans, Reuters provides some input: Twitter’s loss narrowed to about 21 million down from 103 million this year. They have worked to cut a great deal of expenses -16 percent across the board broadly impacting sales, marketing, and R&D.

This kind of focused core improvement (can) help tip the balance sheet on the expenses side – but generating revenues remains a challenge due to slow growth. Twitter hopes to relieve this by working out some deals to sell data – the currency of the 21st century.

Several months ago, TechCrunch made perhaps the most important observation – that despite the fact Twitter has changed the world, changed our marketing, and empowered us to connect with other people, it has remained unprofitable. Many small and large businesses profit from Twitter, but in these 11 years the company hasn’t #sharedinthewealth.

Twitter is touching every realm of business and for American’s, is touching every aspect of their lives given its new form as the preferred medium of the political sphere. Given that, they have much to do to change.

Facebook commands an audience five times the size of Twitter – and their ability to reach success for the future seems #questionable. And how Twitter’s success changes the scape of influence, outreach, and entrepreneurship is something else to be seen.

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Is Facebook a potential Slack killer?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook’s steady ascent from social networking into the business world is giving Slack a run for their money.

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When it comes to the business realm, Facebook has steadily been increasing their reputation. Though Facebook is pinned as the social network, they are now proving to everyone that they can dominate in the professional sector as well.

Last year, Facebook launched an ad-free version of the site meant for the office called Workplace. Initially, 1,000 companies were signed on to try out this “Facebook for the office” in its starter phase.

As of last week, Facebook announced that 30,000 organizations currently use Workplace. These aren’t just small time companies. Some of Workplace’s users include Starbucks, Lyft, Spotify, Heineken, Delta and most recently Walmart.

It seems that overnight it grew from another side project to a valid rival for other professional communication tools like Slack.

Slack is the go-to site for business professionals. With over 6 million users and acquiring more every day, Slack is the place for teams to collaborate in real-time. It has virtually replaced email and external software when it comes to internal communication.

Slack has been successful at acquiring small corporations to use their service.

The problem is that Slack has yet to join forces with larger clients that have now turned to other applications. Just last year, Uber left Slack because they could not handle their large-scale communication needs.

In addition to being able to handle the needs of large companies, Facebook also offers cheaper services than Slack. A premium account with Workplace costs $3 per user each month while Slack charges double at $6.67 per user each month.

With the rapid growth and major reputation of Facebook behind it, many predict that Workplace will replace Slack, and other sites like it, in the not so distant future.

Recently, Facebook also launched the Workplace desktop app and plan to include group video chat. The biggest obstacle Workplace faces is the association with Facebook. It is ironic, since it is also their greatest strength.

The truth remains that many people think of Facebook solely as a social media network. Many companies forbid the use of it at work so the transition from the personal to the professional realm is still an uphill battle.

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