Facebook Timeline For Economic Development: 4 Things To Consider

In case you have not heard the news, Facebook is about to make life interesting for social media marketers.  Marketers that have planned the perfect Facebook brand page will have to think differently on how to promote their products and services immediately.   In short, Facebook will be transforming the look and feel of the traditional fan pages to be streamlined into the  Facebook Timeline format.  This format allows you to build a profile based on a story that will be accessed by Facebook users.

Depending the countless amount of blog posts discussing the subject, there are an array of changes that will impact how companies plan on using the timeline format.  Based on the post, “7 New Facebook Changes Impacting Businesses” on Social Media Examiner, here are 4 things that economic development agencies should consider immediately in order to be prepared for the upcoming change.

1. Select The Perfect Cover Photo

The social network  has taken away the ability to have the ultimate landing page to build a critical mass of “likes”.   In replacement of the customized landing page, agencies must select a cover photo that will be seen by visitors of the timeline.   Figure 1 is the cover photo used by Burberry for its timeline.

Figure 1: Burberry's Cover Photo

It is important to note that when selecting the photo, agencies should keep their brand message in mind.  Any photo that is chosen  must illustrate the region’s brand and should engage potential fans to like the page since Facebook will not allow any “call to action” ad copy on the photo.  For agencies that are using their respective Facebook page for investment attraction may want to consider using a photo or a collage of photos depicting the key industries in the region.

2. Build or  Reinforce Your Content Strategy

The new format calls for brands to have an approach in which the must have the ability to tell a good and compelling story.   Brands will have to tell their respective stories via photos and or videos.  As a result, a content strategy will be needed to engage fans of the page.  If your agency does not have a content strategy at the present time, consider developing a strategy focus around images that can best illustrate the key locational factors to potential investors.  If your agency does have a content strategy, consider gathering photos from the past and be proactive in using photo sharing applications such as Instagram.  If there is a new tourist attraction project under construction in the region, you may want to start taking photos and sharing them via Timeline.

3. Document Agency’s Accomplishments and Milestones

Since the basic premise of Facebook Timeline is to provide an account of the highlights of an individual or a company then there should be content to document events.  As a result, documenting meaningful events must be done as soon as  possible.  For an investment attraction point of view, your agency may want to identify significant investment projects to be plotted on the timeline.  Having an organized timeline will give visitors (i.e., site selectors) a detailed track record of the region’s ability to attract and retain investment dollars and employment.

4. Answer Messages

One of the big changes that brands will have to deal with Facebook Timeline is the ability to reply to fans’ direct messages.  In addition to postings on the revamped wall, fans will be able to send messages to the administrators of the page.  With this in mind, economic development agency must be prepared to deal with positive and negative comments coming from a variety of stakeholders in a timely fashion.

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About Intelegia

Intelegia is a boutique consulting firm in Montreal, Canada that understands the need to be innovative and strategic in a business landscape that’s evolving at an incredible pace. The firm delivers social media strategies to efficiently engage with stakeholders in economic development, business to business and business to consumer segments. It assists clients by defining and executing sustainable social web strategies that will allow their brand message to stand out in a competitive environment where target audience engagement is a must.

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