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9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want

With Facebook Timeline changes rumored to be on horizon, business, social and tech managers give Facebook some advice.

Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows
Facebook's 2012 Highs And Lows
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Rumor has it Facebook is testing changes to the Timeline format. According to several news outlets, users in New Zealand, and some in Europe, have reported seeing Timeline changes on their own Facebook accounts.

The changes are said to include a single-column format for posts, and improved use of tabs, as well as some Twitter-like tweaks. Sounds like some welcome changes for a feature that has not been widely embraced, but we wondered what else managers in the business, social and technology world might have on their wish lists to make Timeline -- and Facebook in general -- more effective for doing social business.

1. Brand Recognition.

"The biggest change that Facebook could make would be to include a brand-name section in your Timeline. While people may not directly reply to your post, a business should be able to see instantly when Facebook users are talking about it online. This way, businesses could respond to customer service issues faster, handle negative reviews, determine the effectiveness of social media marketing and see its overall brand perception. That way you don't have to rely on someone posting on your business page wall to find out what's really going on with your business."

--Sean Casto, founder and CEO of PreApps.com

2. Customization Capabilities.

"I think the biggest weakness on the Timeline right now is the lack of native customization. Even before Timeline, the only tab that was likely to be viewed would be photos. Now the tabs have been replaced by apps, but with that being the only customizable area, it's woefully difficult to use. An example: We have just started dabbling with coupon codes. Email subscribers might get an exclusive code as an incentive to keep receiving our newsletter. It would be nice to do something like this on Facebook. Maybe there's an app that will let us reveal a coupon code as an incentive for somebody liking a page?"

--Chris Sansone, Web strategist, Contempo Space

3. Personal Touch.

"There are a couple seemingly small changes I'd like to see, but I think they'd make a huge difference in the community manager experience. It would be nice if a brand page admin was able to Like a post from the brand page as themselves. Right now, if I am the admin to a page, if I Like a post it shows up that the brand likes its own post, instead of me, Heather. It would be nice to see the option to Like as a brand or yourself on each brand page Timeline post. I would also love to be able to tag individuals, not just other brands, in posts to a brand page Timeline. For instance, if I want to post the link to an article and give a shout-out to the author, I can't. I can only link to other brands.

--Heather Sundell, marketing manager, The Search Agency

4. Mobile Tabs.

"One of the things that bothers most of our clients is that the tabs we have created for the businesses are not able to be seen on Facebook mobile. Therefore, coupon offers, sweepstakes and other specials that benefit the businesses clientele are not able to be utilized."

--Lisa Laird, Eclipse Texas Marketing Solutions

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Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/16/2013 | 12:50:51 AM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
I totally agree, Cara. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Cara Latham
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Cara Latham,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/15/2013 | 1:31:50 PM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
I would love to see a single-column format for posts. I always wondered why the timeline feature created two columns. It is very hard to keep up with chronological posts and updates and even harder to find others' posts under the current format.
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 11:24:27 PM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
Thanks for the comment. It's kind of mind-boggling that they don't offer more focused offerings for brands, or that brands seem to be as in the dark about upcoming changes as any individual is.

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
Deb Donston-Miller
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Deb Donston-Miller,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 11:22:57 PM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
Thank you for your comment, Dianna. Is there a way to easily toggle back and forth?

Deb Donston-Miller
Contributing Editor, The BrainYard
MicroSourcing
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MicroSourcing,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/14/2013 | 8:51:55 AM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
Customization would make Timeline even more useful and interesting for brands. While Facebook will understandably want uniformity, customization options would be great for brands that want to stand out.
Dianna Huff
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Dianna Huff,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/12/2013 | 1:11:57 AM
re: 9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want
Heather, you can like a post as yourself. You have to make sure you're posting as yourself, not as the page Admin.
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