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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’s Résumé takes another shot at LinkedIn

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook took another swipe at LinkedIn by introducing a new Résumé feature.

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resume On This Day load bob alice terrorism trends fine spam facebook advertising jobs earnings

Any job hunter is likely familiar with the little section somewhere during the application process where you’re asked to enter in social media information. Thankfully, Facebook is usually an optional field.

While I try to keep what the public can see of my social media profiles toned down enough as to not cause my grandmother to blush, I’m still not quite comfortable sharing my profile with prospective employers.

I’m sure many out there feel the same, and Facebook knows this.

Tinfoil hat theories aside, LinkedIn may be shaking in their boots as Facebook begins to advance their growth in the professional sector in their pursuit of social media domination.

Facebook has begun experimenting with a new Résumé/CV feature that works as an extension of your standard “Work and Education” section on a Facebook profile page, allowing users to share work experience in more detail with friends and family but most importantly: potential employers.

Luckily, the new Résumé/CV feature won’t be sharing personal photos or status updates, but will rather combine all the relevant information into a single, professional-looking package.

So far this feature appears to be rolled out to a small number of users, and it’s unclear when it will be officially launched, but this isn’t the first time Facebook has dipped their toes in the waters of the job sector, or took a jab at LinkedIn.

Several months ago, Jobs was launched, a feature that allows Business Pages to post job openings through the status composer, and keep track of them on their Page’s Jobs tab.

A Facebook spokesperson commented on the intent behind the new Résumé/CV feature, “At Facebook, we’re always building and testing new products and services.

We’re currently testing a work histories feature to continue to help people find and businesses hire for jobs on Facebook,” and so this is just the beginning of Facebook’s plan to become a one-stop-shop and create a more seamless way for people to find and get jobs.

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Tag photos, connect with friends, order food?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Facebook seems to be sprawling into every nook and cranny of life and now, they’re infiltrating food delivery.

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food delivery facebook

Facebook is now bringing you food! Although, no one was really asking them to.

In the age of Instagram and Snapchat, Facebook is attempting to transform into more than just a social media platform. They have partnered up with food delivery services to help users order food directly from their site.

They hope to streamline the process by giving users a chance to research, get recommendations and order food without ever leaving the site.

Facebook has partnered with their existing delivery services including EatStreet, Delivery.com, DoorDash, ChowNow and Olo in addition to restaurants to fast track the process.

The scenario they imagine is that while scrolling through the newsfeed, users would feel an urge to eat and look to Facebook for their options.

After chatting up friends via Facebook Messenger to ask for the best place to go, users would visit the restaurant’s page directly, explore their menu and decide to order. When ordering, you will have the option to use one of the partnered delivery services either with an existing account or by creating a new one.

The benefit is you stay on one site the entire time. With the time you save, the food can get to you faster, which is a plus for everyone.

Assuming that people already live on Facebook 24/7, this seems like a great update. If you like getting recommendations from your favorite social media resources, it’s even better.

The problem is that in recent years their younger audiences have dropped off in favor of other sites. Regardless of what they think, not everyone is flocking to Facebook for their every need.

My guess is that this service will benefit those already using Facebook, but is less likely to draw new audiences in.

Adding more services may not be the key to success if Facebook can’t refine their other features. They have already been criticized for their ad reporting practices, though they seem to fix everything with a new algorithm.

Facebook has continued to stray away from their original intent, and food delivery won’t be their last update.

Facebook wants to be everything, but not everyone may want the same.

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Social Media

Hate Facebook’s mid-roll ads? So does everyone else

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Those pesky ads that pop up in the middle of that Facebook video, aka mid-roll, seem to be grinding everyone’s gears.

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mid-roll

In an ongoing effort to monetize content, Facebook recently introduced “mid-roll” ads into videos by certain publishers, and it has now been testing that format for six months. If you aren’t a big fan of those ads interrupting your content consumption experience, you aren’t alone; publishers aren’t crazy about them either.

In a report on the program, five publishers working with Facebook’s new mid-roll ad program were sourced and all five publishers found that the program wasn’t generating the expected revenue.

One program partner made as little as $500 dollars with mid-roll ads while generating tens of millions of views on their content.

Two other partners wouldn’t specify exact revenue number, but they did acknowledge that the ad performance is below expectations. As far as cost goes, certain publishers mentioned CPMs between 15 cents and 75 cents.

That range is large because a lot of the data isn’t clear enough to evaluate their return on investment. According to the Digiday report, publishers receive data on total revenue, along with raw data on things like the number of videos that served an ad to viewers.

The lack of certain data points, along with the confusing structure of the data, makes it difficult to assess the number of monetized views and the revenue by video. For context, YouTube, as arguably the biggest player in video monetization, provides all these metrics.

Another issue is that licensing deals are cutting into margins. Facebook pays publishers, via a licensing fee, to produce and publish a certain number of videos each month. In exchange, Facebook keeps all money until it recoups the fee, after which revenue is split 55/45 between the publisher and Facebook.

While these challenges doesn’t change the fact that revenue is low, it does make it difficult to dissect costs in a meaningful way.

Why is revenue so low to begin with?

For starters, a newsfeed with enough content to feed an infinite scroll probably isn’t the best format for these kinds of ads. As a user, when I’m watching the videos and the ad interrupts the experience, I’ve always scrolled right on through to the next item on my feed. It’s a sentiment echoed by one of the publishers in the Digiday story.

Because of that, Facebook’s new Watch program, which creates a content exclusivity not found on the news feed, might produce better results in the future. Either way, Facebook will need to solve this revenue challenge for publishers, or they might pull out of the programs altogether.

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