Not only does this coming Leap Day mean that this year will have 366 days instead of 365, but it also marks a long–awaited day for brands and advertisers on Facebook. The first–ever Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC) is scheduled for February 29 in New York City, and it is expected that announcement of the Timeline brand pages will fall on the same day.
Carly Fisher, an editor at Imagination, believes the new Timeline will offer an opportunity for brands to spread out and showcase their personalities. “Mostly, I’m interested in seeing how this will affect the current tab functions and the types of new applications that will rise out of the new format,” she says.
From having used the Facebook Timeline available to individual users, we can expect that the Facebook Timeline for brands will similarly organize the profile around a linear narrative and include the options of either highlighting or hiding posts. The new format will likely make it easier to do what advertisers have strived to do since the dawn of print media: tell a story.
Lindsay Baish, Imagination’s manager of social content agrees: “I think Timeline for brands is going to be a really interesting experiment in marketing through storytelling,” she says. “The features of Timeline allow us as social marketers to highlight content that we think is important for our communities to see.” Baish anticipates that not every Facebook user will embrace the new format, and she hopes the brand Timeline won’t decrease engagement because users are too put-off by the change.
In addition to the new brand pages, leaked documents suggest that Facebook will also debut its premium ads on Leap Day. According to the documents, the premium ads with enhanced social context are expected to be more memorable for the user, increasing engagement and purchase intent. Analytics aside, the effectiveness of the new ads and format will ultimately depend on the user experience and engagement.