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Buddy Media and We Are Social discuss Facebook changes

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By The Drum Team | Editorial

March 1, 2012 | 3 min read

Yesterday, changes were announced to the brand pages on Facebook, with organisations now able to post a cover photo and 'pin' a story on top of a page, as well as being able to create a timeline.

Luca Benini, MD of Buddy Media in Europe, and Robin Grant, managing director of We Are Social, comment on what the changes could mean.

Benini said: “Your content and ads are now the same, and the lines between what marketers refer to as paid, owned and earned media are now officially gone. All ads in Facebook will begin as content posted to a Page and whatever gets the most engagement, you are able to end up paying to distribute that further. People can 'like' and engage with that content anywhere, whether on the Page Post or in the ads. This means you need to monitor in real-time and make the right decisions about what to buy and when. Both of these are difficult but necessary, and there will be a shifting of resources within large marketing agencies.

"In order to truly understand what you need to do as a marketer, you need to look at the changes together. Today, Facebook launched a new social media and advertising platform for companies that combines the best of what has worked in the past, with several new and exciting additions. This new platform offers brand advertisers the best of digital and traditional advertising inside one global platform with close to 1 billion consumers, half of which log in every day. Facebook has taken the best of magazine ads (large-format imagery), the best of television spots (video content), the best of email marketing (guaranteed delivery), the best of newspaper ads (locally tailored and delivered content) and the best of social (the world's social graph) to create a new and vibrant and amazingly flexible advertising offering. This is a big win for brands all around.

"Pages are given more prominence, brands will see more engagement and ad spend will go further. This is the re-launch of a new brand offering from Facebook where paid, owned and earned content works together to grow more effective connections with customers.”

Grant added: “Facebook’s timeline for brands launched today with much fanfare on the Today show, ensuring the site plenty of hype for its new venture.

“The move will come as no surprise to most Facebook users – after all, the site has been pushing its timeline function on users for some time now, albeit with a mixed response.

“The big brands are unsurprisingly leading the way, with Coca Cola, Starbucks, Nike and Burberry among the names already up and running with their timelines.

“As we predicted, Facebook has also introduced private messaging with fans – a change in policy for the site, which previously did not allow brands to contact their fans directly.

“What’s also apparent is that much more data about fanbases can be accessed by non-admins, including information on how many new ‘likes’ a page has received each week.

“It will be interesting to see how brands with rather unscrupulous periods of history manage this on the timeline – this new format is pretty unforgiving to those who would rather keep their history well and truly behind them.

“Overall, this is a positive move by Facebook, and a good opportunity for brands to show off their roots – something that might actually be of interest to fans.”

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