Last week Simply Measured put out a study on Facebook engagement rates pre and post Timeline and it is some fascinating stuff. After all the disapproval that the Timeline format received from Facebook users, it was was easy to assume that the brand page transformation would decrease engagements and conversations. It just made logical sense. Users were unhappy with the new format therefore they would be less inclined to interact with Timeline pages. The study seems to think differently…
Posts being made on Facebook Pages are now seeing a 46% increase in engagement, meaning they are getting more likes, comments and shares, and the total engagement rate has also seen a considerable growth. I have tried to wrap my head around this in order to figure out the reason for these changes and I have narrowed it down to 3 probable reasons:
1) The overall design and layout
Facebook Pages before:
Facebook Pages after:
As you can see, the new Facebook pages are just simply more appealing. They have a beautiful cover image that really bring the pages to life and the content is formatted more aesthetically. Instead of having the posts in a list like format, which now looks extremely bland, the new Timeline gives individual focus to each post and showcases it in a visually pleasing way. This new format also puts much more focus on actual images, so now links have a little more pizzazz.
2) The ability to highlight and pin posts
Not only have the posts increased in visual appeal, but admins now have the ability to highlight or pin posts. Highlighting a post causes it to take up the full width of the page, while pinning a post makes sure it stays on top of the page until it is unpinned. This allows admins to choose where the users should focus, meaning the most appealing and engaging content can be highlighted or pinned in order to get more users to interact with those posts.
3) The focus on Facebook friends and their engagements
In the new Lakers’ Timeline image, you can see which of your friends also like the page and their most recent conversations about the topic. What does this do exactly? It allows users to feel more comfortable when thinking about interacting with the page. If they see that many of their friends like the page and have created some conversation about it or have engaged with the page, they will be more inclined to also interact and engage.
It’s hard to really pinpoint what the reasons for this change are but the format of the Timeline must play a huge role. Not only does it have the impacts explained above, but it allows the brand to rethink their Facebook strategy and publish more engaging and appealing content. I was worried about how users would react to the new brand pages but I am happy to see the positive growth. This is a great time for you to experiment with your Timeline and really find what works for your audience. Test out different cover image designs, posts vibrant images, seek out links that also have nice images and even try some videos. The Timeline could forever change the way you do your Facebook marketing…or at least until they change it to some other new format