Brand BuildingAs of March 30th, TIMELINE will be the standard across the board.  For the individual user, the changes are aesthetic.  For brands however, the change is a game changer on how they used Facebook to connect with their customers and consumers.

The biggest perk to a brand on Facebook was the ability to control and customize landing pages.  Third party app developers have appeared out of the woodwork just to take advantage of this.  For a brand, the landing page and the ability to build big splashy pages was the equivalent to a magazine ad online……for old school business and old school marketers this was the draw to Facebook…it was something they understood.  Much more than ROI or link backs and all the other countless social media jargon.

For Facebook the changes are geared toward making money, more for them and less for you. The Timeline format allows Facebook to run premium ads throughout a page instead of just the right hand column, and predominantly on mobile feeds.  The new format allows for anything posted on an advertiser’s own page – status updates, photos and videos – to be made into an ad that can pushed out to users’ newsfeeds and mobile feeds.

The Timeline page offers bigger spaces for visual and content.  But gone is the hidden content.  No more big flashy ‘like’ incentives.   Brands will once again have to focus on paid advertising on Facebook to keep an edge on their competitors.  Content will be key, but turning that content into paid advertising is what Facebook will be ‘encouraging.’

Basically, for free visual splashy marketing.  Facebook will not be a free ride anymore for brands riding the social media wave.  But look…there rushing towards the horizon like a scrapbookers tsunami – its Pinterest!

The popularity of Pinterest is growing by the minute. I was a bit of a late adopter but was immediately hooked when I started playing around with it.  I also saw the immediate potential for brands and their products.    It is not just about pretty pictures. According to a study by Shareaholic, Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google Plus, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.  

The amount of free advertising a brand gets on Pinterest is ridiculous.  Without even having their own Pinterest boards, clothing companies, furniture designers, tech companies, and on and on have their products pinned and adored.  Think of the marketing power of a brand that DOES have a board, that pins, repins, likes and comments on other boards while making sure that the brand pins are correctly linked and identified.    And so far, all free, without being pushed into an paid advertising channel like Facebook.

Unlike Facebook, there doesn’t seem to be too many rules.  You either like a pin or follow a board and the content seems to be limitless.   Got a nice product to giveaway or a promotional contest to share? Pin it!  Pinterest is almost like a visual Twitter.  It relies on a two way form of communication.  You have to interact.  You have to follow people to find people and interested boards and pins. 

Facebook is more and more a static medium where you post content and hope people will come.  Or now, PAY for advertising to ensure people will come.  Lively and dynamic content IS key to any social media, but I am unsure how I feel about Facebook so blatantly turning brand pages into a revenue stream in such an obvious way.