From its new cover photo to the ability to "pin" posts, Facebook's Timeline is making good visuals more essential for Facebook page managers. Because of this increased emphasis on the image, TerraCycle, an “upcycling” company that converts difficult-to-recycle waste materials into eco-friendly products, now includes a picture with every post, says Albe Zakes, global VP of media. "Whether it's an article, a question, a fact or a link, we make sure to provide a visual element to increase engagement," says Zakes. "People are far more likely to share pictures with one another as opposed to mere text or links."
And while certain brands have lots of visual content already—like Discovery Communications, which has a wealth of amazing visuals—others will have to work to create their own. Tools like Instagram can help brands create some compelling visuals that can then be posted on its Timeline profile. To start, think about using even the most daily of rituals, like a team meeting, to produce behind-the-scenes shots, or use a photo of a team member on vacation (but not inebriated). Humanizing your brand on Facebook is the essence of Timeline, and using photos are the best—and most shareable—way to do that.
Timeline is a great forum in which to engage your audience in a more personal way and make them feel like a part of your organization. "I can't help but think of the Timeline as a virtual growth chart—like a family tracking the annual height of their children," says Zakes. Timeline will allow your audience to look back at the times they spent with your brand, or allow new or potential audience members to quickly feel like they are a part of the family, he says.
A successful Facebook Timeline page should be properly integrated so all aspects of the page merge with a brand's personality. Zakes points to Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Facebook page as a shining example. "They use the cover page, the milestones and Facebook's app section cohesively to give a visitor a lasting impression," he says.
Attend PR News’ two-day Social Media Summit/Taste of Tech event June 21-22 in New York City and learn more from digital leaders like TerrraCycle's Albe Zakes and Discovery Communications' Amber Harris.
Follow Bill Miltenberg: @bmiltenberg