Like so many other social media professionals, I attended Facebook’s Livestream version of their Facebook Marketing Convention introducing the Facebook Timeline for business pages announcing they are available now and will be automatically converted March 30, 2012. I won’t mince words, I was disappointed. I was expecting to see them introduce new and exciting features not introduced with Timeline for personal pages. There were a few, but nothing to dedicate a “big event”. Don’t get me wrong, I realize it was a marketing event, Facebook has to make money (O.K. – maybe they have enough) but they could have done without the interviews with the big muckity mucks from the major sponsors like American Express, FTD, etc…
In my opinion, they could have had an hour-long webinar to cover the new features listed below.
1 ) Pins
2 ) No landing pages
3 ) Changes to admin panel
4 ) Photos, apps, etc.. at the top of the page
5 ) Cover photo
6 ) Private messages between admin & fans
7 ) Change your fan page name
8 ) See which of your friends like this page
9 ) Real time Insights
Being that this was a marketing conference for Facebook, it’s not surprising they were pushing Premium Ads, Sponsored Stories, Reach Generator, and “Logout Experience“. A couple of Facebook reps showed examples of posts with sponsored stories, as well as their other new marketing techniques. This comes at a time when so many businesses have fan pages with little or no interaction and few fans. Fan pages that perhaps have been abandoned because the business owners went in with unrealistic expectations. Facebook comes in with claims these marketing techniques will be their saving grace. Too bad most of these are targeted to the large companies.
What are the small to medium size companies supposed to do? If you don’t have a staff to handle all the engagement they suggest for these Facebook strategies, how are they going to succeed? Many small companies manage their own fan pages and don’t have the time or resources to dedicate to this type of engagement. They also don’t have the funds to hire an outside social media firm to do this for them. Is this Facebook’s way of saying they don’t support small businesses despite their big presentation with American Express and “Small Business Saturday“?
Now, let me say something nice: I like Facebook’s Timeline for business pages and their marketing plans make it easy to create a strategy, and set up campaigns. I think it’s an improvement visually, interactively and from an administrative standpoint.
Did you attend this Marketing event? If so, what was your opinion? How do you feel about Timeline? I know my opinions may ruffle some feathers, but I would like to hear from you whether you agree or not. 🙂