Facebook Timeline Does / Does Not Improve Engagement

In February of 2012, Facebook made Timeline mandatory for all business pages.  The business community became very upset.  Before Timeline, companies were able to specify what visitors to their page would see – their “Landing Tab”.  Once Timeline became a reality, every visitor to your Facebook Page was greeted with the Timeline.  Businesses could no longer control the content seen by their fans.  Businesses felt that using Timeline would result in a loss in engagement.

So, did it happen?

There is no clear answer, as of yet.

In March, Simply Measured conducted a study indicated that brands were getting an average of 46% more engagement with the new Timeline.  Great, except that they only looked at 15 Facebook brand pages.  And these were some major brands, including Livestrong, Toyota, Red Bull, Sears, Walmart, Ford, and Old Spice.  There wasn’t a single small business in the mix.  In their study, they found an average increase of 46% for engagement per post and an average increase in fan engagement overall of 14%.

Did engagement rise?  Maybe.  But what about the use of the new “apps” within Facebook, which replaced the custom tabs we were all accustomed to?

In July, PageLever provided Mashable data indicated that tab engagement had dropped off 53% since brand pages began adopting the new Timeline.  And this was after looking at approximately 500 fan pages with over 10,000 fans each.  So, why this sudden drop-off?  According to PageLever, it was due to 2 factors:  1.  Brands can no longer set a custom landing tab; and 2. Tabs are less visible in the new timeline layout.

So, is page engagement down?

Not according to a new study, just released by ShortStack, a self-service Facebook app platform, which indicates that fan engagement is nearly back to its pre-Timeline level.  This time, ShortStack looked at over 30,000 Facebook pages with over 400 million Likes, and noticed that even though engagement numbers had lowered during March and April, they were beginning to rise, and were meeting levels attained before the switch to Timeline.

Why?  One can only guess, and mine is simple.  We are becoming more comfortable with Timeline, and are more able to interact with brands pages now that time has passed.

What do you think?  Are you seeing more or less engagement on your Facebook pages?  What about with your custom apps?  Have you abandoned them?  Will you try again?  Let’s discuss it in the comments, below.

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Google Plus Pulls a Facebook

On Wednesday of this week, Google Plus did what Facebook has been doing for years.  They got a redesign.  The social network that will hit one-year old in June, and has more than 170 million users, has put out their first major overhaul, with an eye towards being easier to use, nicer to look at, and maybe even more Facebook-like.

So, what’s new with the Plus?

Overall Desgin

Overall, they have added a bar on the left side, called a “dynamic ribbon”, which contains icons for the most used parts of GPlus, including, “Home”, “Profile”, “Explore”, “Hangouts”, “Photos”, “Circles”, and “Games”.  In addition, you can add or delete icons for parts of GPlus you don’t wish there (although they only move to the “More” button).

On the right side, just past your news stream, they still offer the “Trending on Google+, You May Know, and You Might Like”, and lots and lots of empty space, before reaching the new chat area (which was previously on the left side).  What’s with all the free space?  Only the GPlus designers know for sure, but speculation is that it is for features that will be added in the future.  In fact, this is the one part of the redesign that I take issue with.  I have a 24” monitor, and I’m looking at half of the screen being a subtle grey, which I find a bit boring.

Profile Pages

Taking a hint from the Facebook Timeline, GPlus’ new profile pages offer bigger photos, including a cover photo that can be customized, and offers the choice of one big picture (like Facebook) or five smaller photos (which was the standard GPlus photo line).  The difference in the cover photo here, however, is that GPlus requires pictures be at least 940×180 in size, whereas Facebook requires a picture that is 851×315 pixels in size.  In addition, your profile picture is on the right-side of the cover photo, so you won’t be able to use the exact same picture you are on Facebook.  Not surprising.  In fact, they even indicate that your updated profile will help you tell your story online, which is exactly what Facebook was looking to accomplish with their new cover photos.

Other Changes

Now, when viewing photos and videos in the news feed, they are bigger, and more prominent.  They have also added a new home for Hangout, GPlus’ use of live video to bring people together (you can video chat with up to 10 people at once).  There is now a dedicated Hangouts page, which will create even more opportunities to connect in person, including an updated list of invitations, quick access to every public hangout, and a billboard of popular hangouts.

So, is GPlus easier to use?  I actually think so.  After my previous post, What’s All the Plus About, I’ve been trying to use GPlus more, and I believe that some of these changes will make it easier, and more likely that I’ll spend even more time here.

What about you?  What do you like about the changes?  Dislike?  Will these changes make you more apt to give GooglePlus a closer look?  If so, make sure you circle me!

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Sources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

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