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Facebook Timelines & Twitter Updates: What They Mean for Marketers

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Isn’t that a lesson New Coke taught all of us? Well, someone might want to make an addendum to that saying after seeing Facebook and Twitter’s recent changes.

The two most predominant social networks revealed their respective facelifts to the general public late last week. Both announced their updates months ago, so neither of this changes were much of a surprise. With advanced beta testing and a slow roll out earlier this fall, the blogospheres was overrun with early reviews and screenshots of Facebook’s Timeline and Twitter’s new design.

But how exactly do these amped up interfaces affect social media marketing?

The new Twitter instantly throws marketers a bone in offering a much more customizable profile design to brands and companies. In Twitter’s previous incarnation, an individual’s page wasn’t much different than a page that belonged to a brand or company; there wasn’t much differentiation between the pages the New York Knicks and Nick from New York.

With the update, brand pages now have a prominent banner at the top of the page as well as a stationary, featured tweet, link, photo or video in the top right corner. The top tweet and banner should give companies even more opportunities to further engage consumers via Twitter and draw them in with additional media.

On the Facebook side of things there is the newly launched Timeline. Initially announced back in August, the months leading up to its public debut saw much anticipation from users. The Timeline presents an all-new twist on the classic Facebook profile design; allowing users to quickly access posts and updates from years past, as well as introducing a nifty new banner photo.

While currently only available to individual users, it looks like the Timeline profile design may soon be making its way to Facebook Pages.

“We are currently focused on Timeline for individuals and will consider how to make consistent experiences for Pages,” a Facebook rep told Mashable.

But what advantages would the Timeline offer companies with Pages? For starters, its media-heavy design offers companies a variety of branding opportunities. Research has shown that most brands run into trouble engaging Facebook users beyond the brand page’s most recent wall post. The Timeline design would help eliminate that hurdle and allow brands to immediately present users with compelling media, all above the fold.

In summary, both of the social media design updates have the potential to be major wins for brands and companies looking to boost their online presence.

by Daniel Sweeney | posted | in News
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