As with anything shiny and new the introduction of Facebook Timeline and a slew of other new features has businesses and marketers rushing to find out how they can use it for their business. I have already seen a number of small businesses sign up for a developer account just so they could create a branded Timeline on their personal account, but I’m left to wonder why. I have spent years battling with clients and local businesses to convert from a Facebook profile to a Facebook Page to create a better user experience and greater engagement opportunities for their business and even with a shiny new Timeline, my advice hasn’t changed.
Facebook has said for years that they want users to have a seamless experience on Facebook focused on a fluid user interface, and while some may say the numerous changes they have made over the years have made things hard, they have still had that in mind. Yesterday Mashable posted an article that looked at what advertising pros might do with a Facebook Timeline if it were applied to a Facebook Page and in return received some really well designed and branded Facebook Timeline’s for brands like McDonalds, the New York Yankees, Coca-Cola and a number of other brands.
In the article, a Facebook rep suggested that Facebook was looking at the evolution of Facebook Pages in addition to the recent changes to user profiles. “Consistency in both functionality and appearance is really important to Facebook, so we hope to make Pages more consistent with the new Timeline in the future,” he said.
As I pointed out in an article I wrote for Plastic Surgery Studios about early adoption of Google+, good things come to those who wait. We saw what happened to businesses who adopted Google+ too rapidly, their pages were taken down and they were placed on a waiting list to try out the, still yet to be publicly released, business pages. If you already use your Facebook profile as a business account, then first I’d highly recommend you convert to a Page, but if not by all means have at it. Otherwise, don’t send your Facebook social media efforts back in time by engaging your fans via a profile. Remember profiles require you to accept friend request, you don’t get Likes and your content can’t be easily shared. All that extra effort definitely isn’t worth the shiny new Timeline feature for your business.