Facebook is making a bunch of new and important announcements today as part of its first fMC marketing conference, and with so many small and local business relying on Facebook to find and reach customers, this stuff is important.
One of the main announcements today is the launch of Facebook’s Timeline for Pages — i.e., businesses and organization with a Facebook Page will now have the same Timeline interface that regular users have. And during one of the smaller breakout sessions at fMC, Facebook showed an example of a Timeline-based Page for a local business using the facility where Facebook’s event is happening.
That’s the American Museum of Natural History in New York, and you can see the page itself right now.
The page shows the business’s address, phone and hours right below the logo, along with how the business has categorized itself in Facebook’s system. The address links to a Bing map, just like the larger “Map” icon and link does to the right.
In the lower right on the screenshot above is friend activity related to the business. It shows which friends have “liked” the business, which friends have checked-in to the business, photos they’ve uploaded, etc. It shows how the business is related to the user viewing the page. (You might not see this if you visit the live page, unless you have friends connected to the museum.)
I think the new Timeline-based Page offers a much more visually compelling experience, and gives businesses the chance to have a “history” on Facebook just like normal users do. But it also eliminates custom tab landing pages, which have always been recommended as a great way to increase engagement, “likes” and so forth. So there are some pros and cons. I’ll be interested to watch how local businesses adapt to the new Facebook Pages with Timeline.
Your turn: What are your thoughts on the new Pages? Whether you’re a local business owner or a marketer, comments are open.