Timeline for Brands was announced one week ago. As with all major marketing announcements, brands are preparing to launch their new pages and make sense of its implications. The launch of Timeline is a lot like a website redesign. You need to think about measurement, in terms of KPIs and goals, and how it should, or should not, impact your strategy. Establishing the right KPIs can help measure the effectiveness of your redesign and will prevent having to play catch-up later. And ultimately, it will give you the data to more effectively tell your story, albeit your internal marketing story.
To help you get started, we’ve outlined a few recommendations of what you should measure as you roll out and refine your new Facebook Timeline Brand page.
During the Facebook announcement and in the press coverage, one thing we heard over and over was how Timeline is going to improve content discovery and engagement. As you test out some of the new features for displaying your content, such as “pinning” and “starring” you should watch closely and see which content types drive high levels of engagement. You also need to remember, that just because you give content increase exposure, that doesn’t necessarily make it good content. It may temporarily increase exposure, but if you want to drive engagement, you still need good content.
Another expectation for Timeline is that it will improve relationships between brands and fans. Facebook claims the addition of private messages and friend activity will create a “more personalized experience” for your fans.
If we take that one step further, we can make an assumption that it should improve the relationship between brands and their fans. By monitoring fan engagement rates — relative to your total fan base — you can evaluate if these tools drive a positive or negative change. We also recommend monitoring the sentiment of your fans’ comments and interactions. You may be able to more easily engage with them, but if their feedback is overly negative you will need to adjust your strategy.
Timeline also promises to increase exposure for brands with the Reach Generator which “transitions ads into stories.” With this functionality, (coming soon) brand’s have a new method for finding and engaging with potential fans. The top priority is managing budgets to a ROSS (Return on Story Spend) that you are comfortable with. A close second is measuring the impact on audience size and content amplification. An effective strategy will increase the amplification of your content and grow your Facebook audience size.
Everyone is jumping into the Timeline pool together (ok, some are being thrown in). Which means just like you, your competition and the Facebook rockstars are all going through this same process. You can give your timeline story context by looking at what kinds of changes they make and monitoring how their strategy evolves, particularly around the items identified above. By doing so, you can leverage their successes and avoid their failures.
Listen very closely: don’t lose sight of what works. If something is already working for you, do not abandon it. With any shiny new toy, we sometimes forget what has been successful for us and focus on all the new things we can do. Instead, find ways to incorporate those top performers into your new Timeline. This will help set your brand up for success as you navigate the new world of Facebook timeline.
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