Menu
ABA Banking Journal Home
Menu

3 tips to help financial services maximize the value of Facebook's timeline

Not on Facebook? Timeline makes case for getting on it stronger

Just when you were getting used to Facebook, it has been changing. With the new Timeline interface, there is an entirely different look and feel. Your bank doesn’t have a business case that supports Facebook? The social network has over 120 million users in the U.S. and more than 900 million globally--maybe it is time to take a closer look. Financial institutions can leverage a number of new features to increase engagement with customers.

Facebook plans to transition all profiles to its new Timeline layout and brand pages have already changed. Timeline is designed to address how users interact with Facebook, making it easier to access past status updates, postings, and photos. Timeline also gives users the ability to highlight favorite apps, direct profile visitors to specific content using tabs, and refines how profiles designate high-priority news postings.

Here are a few practical tips you can easily put into action.
 
 
1. Increase engagement for hot topics.
With the new “Pin to Top” feature, you can keep specific posts positioned at the top of your Facebook Wall for up to seven days. It’s a great way to increase visibility for topics that can attract attention and interaction. Simply hover your mouse over the upper right corner of a post until you see the editing tool buttons, then click Edit (the pencil), and select Pin to Top.

Want to grab even more attention? Spread your post across the two-column layout with the “Highlight” feature (click the star button on a post). Use this approach to showcase important content such as contests, or details about a charitable giving campaign.
 
 
2. Create visual impact to express the spirit of your brand.
As a highly visual interface, Facebook Timeline reflects the increasing trend for customer experiences to be entertaining as well as helpful. By exploring new visual ways to engage audiences, financial institutions can help build a stronger emotional connection to their brand. A few examples include:
 
 
•    Create a high-impact cover photo--the photo at the top of your page--that reflects the spirit of your brand.

•    Post photos that highlight your organization’s involvement in local community events, or tap into seasonal sentiment. Because Timeline displays photos much larger than before, you can create greater visual appeal and attract attention more easily.
   
  1. Also look at…
  2. If you found this article helpful, you’ll also want to review another ABABJ guest blog about the broader social media implications of the Facebook Timeline feature, by Hearsay Social’s Ally Basak Russell.
 
•    Create a high-impact cover photo--the photo at the top of your page--that reflects the spirit of your brand.

•    Post photos that highlight your organization’s involvement in local community events, or tap into seasonal sentiment. Because Timeline displays photos much larger than before, you can create greater visual appeal and attract attention more easily.

•    Share videos that offer tips to help new homebuyers or young adults opening their first accounts.

Be careful:
For both your cover photo and posted images, do not include sales promotions or marketing calls to action in these visuals. That may violate the Terms of Service as Facebook tries to further develop paid advertising.
 
 
3. Drive traffic to key content with customized tabs.
With Timeline, access to custom landing pages is more visually prominent--but it’s also more limited. You’ll need to plan carefully about which special features you highlight on the tabs visible below your cover photo. Although you can add up to 12 custom tabs, only four tabs will display until a user clicks to view the rest. Because you cannot move or remove the Photos tab, and many users may not click to see your additional custom pages, target your three visible tabs to drive traffic to important content such as sponsored events, compelling videos, and campaigns such as the JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge.


Getting off on the right foot
To get started quickly with Timeline, consider adding content to the readily available default tabs such as Events and Videos. You can arrange tabs in any order (except Photos), and add custom images to draw attention to your tabs.

To maximize engagement, offer a layered experience, using custom tabs that provide access to special pages dedicated to promotions and other key content. You can even embed your website or blog within Facebook (made easier as Timeline allows a much wider display). This enables consumers to seamlessly learn about your products and services while interacting with you in social media.

Whether your company is already active in Facebook or just diving into social media, the Timeline platform provides incentive to boost the creativity of your content strategy. Increasing visual appeal can increase emotional appeal--and that emotional connection to your brand is a key factor in building customer loyalty and growing the business.
Steven Ramirez

 

Steven J. Ramirez is CEO of Beyond the Arc, Inc., a partner to financial services clients that seek to differentiate themselves in the marketplace by improving customer experience or deploying data science and analytics. The company’s social media data mining helps clients improve their customer experience across products, channels, and touch points.

 

back to top

Sections

About Us

Connect With Us

Resources