Clearly this is a big win for just about any brand. It's visually appealing, better organized, and allows any brand to spotlight (pinning and starring) its best content. For brands with a rich history, Timeline is especially valuable. It's good stuff.
The key to winning here is content, content, content. My agency turns just about anything into content. It's what we do. You don't necessarily need an agency to figure that out for you; however, it's now very clear: your Facebook page is a vessel. It's meant to be filled. Videos, images, history, posts, and other forms of content will drive everything now. It's all front and center. Your content has to keep up with the format and flow of how users will interact with pages. Serve it up, organize it, optimize it, and repeat.
All of these changes lead to the central mechanism of how users engage on Facebook: the newsfeed. As content from your page is now more visible than ever, the likelihood of that content being shared is greater. At least that's the idea.
The whole promise for brands on this platform sits on the foundation of the newsfeed. Fan reach via the newsfeed has always been a challenge for brands. According to comScore, page posts only reach 16 percent of fans. While Facebook announced an exciting new ad product, Reach Generator, the challenge for brands remains unchanged. Your presence in the newsfeeds of your fans is not a given. While these changes help juice the odds, they don't come close to the kind of impact you can make by focusing your newsfeed content and communications, in ways that deliver relevancy to your fans and engagement for your brand.
This is a big one. Every brand will pay some sort of a price to reimagine its tabs. Dimensionally, the shift is a real plus. Larger and more present within the page environment, the new tab format will deliver richer user experiences, which will deliver better engagement metrics for the brand. The positioning of the tab icons is much improved. Nice big icons deliver greater impression value.
The one serious drawback here is that Facebook will no longer allow landing tabs. Brands have relied on landing tabs to drive actions -- "likes," registrations, clicks, deals, email subscriptions, etc. -- ever since tabs were released into the ecosystem. Our ability to steer users to a central experience was crucial to the conversion process.
Since we don't have the ability to direct users to a specific place on our pages, we will have to use the larger icons and pinned posts to drive traffic to the priority tab(s). Facebook Ads should also be considered here. In this way, you are marketing your priority tab(s) so that users will click to them. Think of it from this perspective: Using pinned posts and icons, how can you drive a page user to click on a tab? If you aren't seeing results organically, how can you use ads to deliver fans to your tabs? We'll likely see some examples from the 1 percent. Test them out as well as your own. Optimize constantly.