43 Questions & Answers About Facebook Timeline

May 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog

Thank you to the more than 500 people who attended yesterday’s Mumbrella Facebook Timeline webinar! As we didn’t have time during the hour to answer all of your questions, Brian Giesen, Greg Tan and I have compiled all of your questions from the exit survey and answered them below.
Below is a full compilation of all of your questions… and our answers about what’s changed. And if you are still catching up with all of the changes – don’t worry, there are signs that Facebook is testing even more Timeline changes.  But, in the meantime, lets get into the Q&A:

Q1: Apart from advertsing, what do you think is the best way of increasing fans?
A: Using a structured approach for engagement with conversation calendars that tie into your event calendar and competitions. During these periods you will find a higher engagement with the brand and more opportunities to drive traffic to your community. Additionally cross promotion from other social platforms such as Twitter and YouTube channels can drive more fans to your Facebook page. Have a look through a previous webinar we hosted on “Facebook for Business” which outlines some ways in which you can increase fans through non-paid means.

Q2: How often should we change the cover photo?
A: I think there are two things involved in getting the cover photo right. One is to change it when you are changing the “big story” that you’re telling via your Timeline. That could mean quarterly, or monthly or somewhere in between. Secondly, if you have a large community and lots of brand activity happening throughout the year, you might consider changing things up on a weekly basis – again mapping to the story you’re looking to tell through the Facebook page. Tourism Australia’s Facebook Page was featuring a fan photo of the week, so that’s a great example. I wouldn’t recommend changing it more frequently than once a week, however.

Q3: What’s your feedback on the app? As the comments on the app store are not very positive.
A: We’ve recently tested the app on a few brand pages and it works quite well. It’s a great tool to be engaging on the go, however it shouldn’t be viewed as an outright replacement for web-based Community Management. You can download the Facebook Page Manager app from itunes.

Q4: Any info on how many brands on average a user will engage with on FB on a regular basis?
A: Whilst there’s no info on how many brands a fan regularly engages with, an Infographic from Kiss metrics shows FB users are, on average, connected to 80 community page, groups and events. That’s a lot of clutter to cut through, making it essential to go the extra mile and be really compelling with the content you share. Take a look at the Kiss Metrics Infographic.

Q5:  Hi, I was just wondering why some posts can rise above newer posts on the timeline if they run in chronological order? Thank you Verity #FBTL
A:  All posts in Timeline will be placed in chronological order, with the except of pinned posts, which will remain at the top of the Timeline for up to 7 days.

Q6: Do you think the introduction of the compulsory timeline is a bit too intrusive for individual users?
A: It has always been Facebook’s way to ensure that all users are accessing the same platform when it comes to both news feed and personal pages. Facebook are typically quite accommodating by offering lengthy ‘trial periods’ where users are told of the upcoming changes, and given the option to change to the latest version when they feel comfortable. Ultimately it is a choice to be on Facebook and Timeline can be utilised as much or as little as users feel comfortable.

Q7: Can you think of any brands that have executed successful competitions using the new FBTL format?
A: There’s a great case study on Red Bull who launched a great scavenger hunt and worked well to stay within FB Guidelines to create a really compelling experience and contest for their fans and new visitors. Check out the Red Bull Case Study.

Q8: How useful is Timeline in f-commerce?
A: F-Commerce is definitely an emerging trend and something that marketers need to understand to determine if it fits their overall sales strategy moving forward. The social proof of your Facebook connections ‘liking’ and purchasing products via Facebook can have strong benefits in generating positive word-of-mouth for brands.

Q9: More on copyright – can you use google images on the feed as part of a post?
A: We would recommend against using Google images in your posts. Try to use sites such as Flickr where you can search for images that have Creative Commons licensing selected by the image owner. These are images you can use freely. Additionally, sites such as Getty Images have huge archives of either free or fairly cheap images. The best advice is to approach the image owner to state your desired use for their image to see if you can gain their permission for use.

Q10: What is the app called that allows you to manage a page?
A: The app is called ‘Facebook Pages Manager’ and it’s available for free download from the App Store here.

Q11: The 90 piece of content on facebook seems high – is this all new content?
A: This stat was reported on by Facebook itself. There’s a great infographic from kiss Metrics that shows this and many other great stats here.

Q12: Is the size of the profile picture adjustable?
A: No, the display size is 180 x 180. For this reason, it’s recommended that you make it as recognisable to fans to make your posts stand out in their news feeds. If you need more detailed information about the specs of the cover photo and an explanation of the other elements of the new Timeline layout, Facebook has a great Facebook Pages Guide (pdf).

Q13: How will it work…reach generator. Is it part of the facebook ad structure?
A: Facebook Reach Generator is a new ad product from Facebook designed to get your updates out to more of your fans. Reach Generator is not yet available here in Australia and will be available only to pages with more than 50,000 fans.

Q14: Hi. When I post on the timeline of my business page it doesn’t appear in the newsfeed of my business page, but it does appear in the newsfeed of my profile page. do you know why? thanks
A: As a community manager, you have access to two versions of Facebook – one as you, one as the business. If you are posting on your business page and using Facebook as the business, you will only see newsfeed content from the pages your business likes. When you post as the business, and you go to the business newsfeed, the content you see there will be from other pages.

Q15: if you are a community organization – without a budget- so cannot afford the ‘reach generator’ – if a key post will only rech 16% of your audience, should you post it more than once?
A: No, we would not recommend posting the same thing multiple times during the day. The key to success is to know when your fans are most active on the Facebook page and to time your posts accordingly. Also, keep in mind that the 16 percent is an industry average, so it might be that your Facebook updates will reach more people. Jeff Bullas wrote a great post that included a tip around the best time to post on Facebook.

Q16: Hi there – can you pin more than one post per week?
A: Yes, you can change the pinned post as often as you like. There can only be one pinned post at a time, and after 7 days it will effectively ‘expire’ with the next post taking the place at the top of the news feed.

Q17: We post 5 messages accompanied with 5 images per day – is that too much?
A: In general, we believe that “everyday engagement” is what is needed in order to cultivate an active and engaged fan community. So that means, in most cases, posting at least once per day. From our experience, we have observed that more than two posts per day begins to have a negative impact on the community – you may begin to see people unlike the Page if you post too frequently. However, if you have a large community of over 100,000 “likes” you could look at geo-targeting your posts so that fans in only certain areas see the customised posts… in which case posting five geo-targeted updates reaching different people per day might be OK!

Q18: I wondered how I can add apps that are not just notes, events and videos… I’m interested in Competitions and additional info but couldn’t see how.
A: There are a range of 3rd party app suppliers that can do the above, and they range from free to quite expensive enterprise level offerings. You’ll have to do some digging to find out what works for you and the budget you have, but Buddy Media, Involver and Wildfire are great places to start, and Short Stack is a free one that might be handy. We also through our partners at DTDigital can develop custom contest apps for Facebook pages. You do get what you pay for!

Q19: Apart from advertsing, what do you think is the best way of increasing fans?
A: A solid content strategy. Engaging updates. Leveraging influencer engagement. Rewarding existing fans. Encouraging them to share the page to their own networks with incentives. Increasing awareness of social media channels on other assets e.g. websites, offline marketing material. The question is – why do you want to increase your fans? Once you have that rationale in mind, it’ll be easier to create a targeted, qualitative strategy rather than just growing the fan base for numbers’ sake.

Q20: As most people use Facebook on their phone these days, do you think that some of the energy creating engaging content is lost?
A: No. As CMs it’s thus now our opportunity to understand the mobile consumption of social media content because it’s only going to grow.

Q21: Most businesses haven’t been around for 100 years. Can you show some examples of young businesses using milestones effectively?
A: Spotify’s Facebook page and the history of music. Check out the Spotify Timeline.

Q22: When you highlight key content, it only changes how it appears on your page, not how it appears in your fan’s newsfeeds – is that right?
A: Yes – but you can then turn it into an ad if you want.

Q23: Hi guys, will the recording of this webinar be available for download?
A: Sure will be! You can download a copy of the presentation deck here on the Social@Ogilvy Australia Slideshare account. And you can view a recorded version of the Facebook Timeline Hidden Implications webinar here, thanks to GoToMeeting which powered the webinar.

Q24: Hi, wondering what the pros/cons are of having number of likes as one of 4 apps displayed?
A: It depends on what you’ve got available on the page in terms of the other apps. Most brands use the “number of likes” on the page for bragging rights – and to be fair, it’s an indicator of success that there are lots of people that like the page, because it means that there’s value in being a fan. That said, if you’ve got an app or campaign running that you’re trying to push your fans towards, you should probably give that precedence over the “number of fans” app.

Q25: For those tabs, any idea when custom tabs will be viewable on tablets and mobile?
A: That’s a question for Facebook, unfortunately! That said, we’ve been assured that it’s in the pipeline.

Q26: Confused if can still set up a welcome page for sign ups. If not, what’s the best alternative for timeline?
A: With the new Facebook timeline, you are no longer able to provide a “Welcome tab” that fan-gates content on the page. All users, whether or not they’re fans on the page, will arrive on to your brand page on the main timeline. That said, there’s a great opportunity for Timeline here in the sense that you can still “fangate” quality content or competitions, which makes brands think about creating quality content – but remember that you are not allowed to use a Facebook “Like” as the sole entry mechanic for Facebook competitions! You should check out the Facebook Promotions Guidelines.

Q27: Re cover page: Can you have keywords re your business?
A: You can have keywords, but they can’t be calls to action, or be about promotional activity – more details are available by Facebook Promotion Guidelines

Q28: Wouldn’t you think the LV cover photo is a call to action which is against the new rules?
A: It’s a tenuous line, but it’s not strictly a “call to action’ because it’s not asking users to do anything. It’s simply letting them know that events were going to be taking place. You can read more about what’s allowed in cover images here.

Q29: Can you recommend a piece of software for pre-programming Facebook posts?
A: Hootsuite is a great free tool, but you should have a look at the other 3rd party tools available – as it really depends on your needs. Buddy Media is another great (paid) tool to consider!

Q30: Are you able to add a photo when you ask a question on your timeline through the event/milestone/question area?
A: You can for events (once you actually create the event, you can change the event photo after you create it). You can also definitely use photos for milestones. For questions, you won’t be able to use a photo for the official “Question” tool, but if you want to, you can post a regular status update asking a question, and insert a photo then. We’d recommend being clear and concise about the possible answers though, i.e. “Which do you prefer, apples or oranges?”

Q31: Have you heard of plans from FB that will allow brand admin features to be accessed on iphone/ipad FB app??
A: Yes – there is an app called ‘Facebook Pages Manager’ which allows admins to manage pages on their mobile device.

Q32: Hi There…I’ve done this but why can you only ‘pin’ once…I tried to do it a second time for a month-long promotion and it stayed in its original position. Thanks!
A: You can only pin posts for 7 days at a time, and once the 7 days pass, you’ll have to re-pin your post to the top of the page. Also, you’re only able to pin one post to the top of the page at a time.

Q33: should the profile pic change just as often as the cover photo?
A: While that’s really up to you, we’d recommend against it – the cover photo is meant to let you and your brand be creative and provides some “colour” to your Facebook page. Your profile picture tends to be more directly reflective of your brand, which is why they’re often logos. That said, you can consider changing the background of the display picture to match your cover photo (rather than having a plain white background behind your logo)! Check out Qantas’, which is a good example. 

Q34: Do you have to pay for conversation calendar? Where do we find it?
A: The creation of conversation calendars is a service that we provide here at Ogilvy, and we’d be more than happy to help you out. That said, you should be able to create a conversation calendar by keeping in mind what’s going on in your industry and region, as well as what’s going on I your regular marketing calendar.

Q35: where do we find out more about the rules and restrictions using a facebook page to ensure we aren’t shutdown?
A: You should be able to find most of the information you’ll need here.

Q36: Why wouldn’t these creative efforts be put towards a brand’s own website? What is the benefit to putting all this creative time into Facebook versus a tailored and credible site?
A: Brands should definitely put a similar amount of creative effort into their own website, but it’s probably come to a point in the conversation now where it’s not an either/or question. The reason why brands are on Facebook is because that’s where the people – their customers – are, and it’s a great opportunity to provide another immersive brand touchpoint with fans and advocates of the brand and interact and continue to build the relationship with the brand and company.

Q37: Do updates with previous dates come up in current news feeds when they are posted? Or do they just get posted into the timeline without going into fans feeds, to be seen by readers viewing back in your timeline?
A: Milestones do not post to the News Feed, only to your page’s Timeline. You can, however, “Pin to Top” a Milestone, if you like.

Q38: Can we have contact details in the profile pic (125×125) square? I work at an automotive dealer and can’t have two sets of locations in my “About” section, so I have these details in the profile pic.
A: The profile pic at 125×125 is very small, and it probably wouldn’t look very good to have both your logo as well as contact details in that small square. Would it be possible to include both address details in your “about” section and say at the top of the “About” section that you have two locations, one in X and one in Y? Users will then know that the address in “Location” is for only one of your locations.

Q39: Would it be against the cover photo rules to add an arrow pointing at the ‘Like’ button (assuming you didn’t make any reference to it in text)?
A: It’s a tenuous line, but probably not. That said, Facebook intended the cover photo to enable brands to have more control over using their Facebook brand pages as part of a larger brand narrative, moving the purpose and conversation away from merely generating “Likes”. Would recommend having a look at something of the examples we highlighted during the webinar as best practice and brainstorm similar ideas, rather than going with simply encouraging users to Like the page. You should also be asking yourself what you’re trying to get out of the fans on the page, and using the answer to that question to inform a broader content strategy – it isn’t always about quantity!

Q40: Are there any initiatives as part of the new timeline feature that will help brands?
A: Completely understand where you’re coming from, but that’s a question many have asked. The reach generator was created for large brands with large fan following to reach more of their fanbase – but Facebook’s regular advertising model has still proven immensely helpful for follower acquisition, especially when it’s centred around a campaign or competition, or other compelling incentive.

Q41: While the ‘important dates in history’ is a nice feature of timeline, is there any evidence to suggest that fans actually have a look at this information or get any benfit from it?
A: Because the “important dates in history” functionality is so new, there hasn’t been a whole lot of research or data as yet that shows actual industry averages. That said, it’s sure to vary from industry-to-industry. Realistically, the historical timeline will not be something that all your fans will spend the time to look through, but is a fantastic opportunity to create an immersive brand experience for the true brand advocates that you have on your page to have a better understanding – and build a stronger relationship with – your brand.

Q42: reach generator – how does this work? Are brands paying to mees with my feed?
A: Reach generator is a tool that Facebook has created for brand pages with more than 50,000 fans and who post more than 7 times a week. Facebook has a great Reach Generator Guide, which is worth checking out. These brands aren’t messing with your feed, they’re trying to increase the volume of engagement that they have with their existing fanbase, and you’ll only see it if you already “like” the brand page. As a consumer and user of Facebook, you ultimately make the decisions over the types of branded content you see on your news feed – and it keeps brands and organisations on their toes to make sure that they deliver the best quality content they can to their fans!

Q43: How much does it cost for a community manager per month for a site like MILO?
A: Unfortunately, this question is very much a “how long is a piece of string” one, as it depends on the size of the community, the strategy behind the Facebook page, what you’re trying to achieve and what’s required of the community manager’s time. If you’d like for us to give you a clearer quote for your needs, feel free to get in touch for a chat!


Authors – Brian Giesen and Mitch Phillips

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