9 Facebook Timeline Changes Businesses Want

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

Debra Donston-Miller

January 10, 2013

5 Min Read
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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 Now the tabs have been replaced by apps, but with that being the only customizable area, it's woefully difficult to use.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 Solutions5. Editing Capabilities.

"Grammarly suggests that Facebook enable businesses to edit status updates on their Timeline, and not just photo captions; create a Timeline search function to find posts easily on a business' Facebook page (for example, a lot of content disappears and people visiting the page never see it); and create a search function that allows business pages to add keywords to posts, and to feature keywords for followers to check out."

--Allison VanNest, director of communications, Grammarly

6. Targeted Promoted Posts.

"My biggest wish is that they would allow promoted posts to be targeted at a market and not just fans, friends and family."

--Ed Devereaux, Sabot Images

7. Slide Show.

"[Facebook should] allow the cover image to become a slide show. It is the most important real estate, so use it more effectively. Also, make the page-down images appear faster. If it takes time for someone to do it, they won't in our busy society."

--Michael W. Byrnes, Jr., president, Byrnes Consulting, LLC

8. Business Chat.

Here's my wish list on Facebook in general (and Timeline): Facebook business chat, a page where you can put your employees in touch with your customer; a dashboard that populates news about your business; make the thumbnail that show up on linked URLs customizable in both choice and size; and import messages to Timeline. We get great compliments from our fans via messages all the time, and it'd be great to showcase them for social proof of how great a brand we are (provided they agree to be showcased).

--Victor Pan, WordStream SEO & SoMe Expert

9. Messaging Capabilities.

"Bring back the feature where you can message the people who like your page when you create an event to let them know about it and invite them personally to it -- using the brand name, not the brand manager's name/personal FB account."

--Stacey Acevero, Social Media Manager, Vocus/PRWeb

What Timeline changes would you like to see? Or, for that matter, what would you change about Facebook in general? Please let us know in the comments section below. Follow Deb Donston-Miller on Twitter at @debdonston.

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