Does the Facebook Timeline Increase or Decrease Engagement?

The rules of marketing are changing. Before the rise of the social web, marketing was about synchronous messaging.Does the Facebook Timeline Increase or Decrease Engagement

It was about shouting your brand from the roof tops in a one way conversation.

The louder you shouted (the more dollars you spent on mass media) the more money you made.

In essence it was simple.

Today it is a two way conversation with a variety of multimedia on a multitude of global social networks, that starts with engaging the customer with content that involves interaction of some type and then selling the product or service.

In the past engagement was very hard to measure because media was a one way conversation whether that was television, radio  or print.

Today you can instantly see in real time if the content you publish or marketing message you promote is working as you view people liking, sharing or commenting online on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.

Engagement Starts with One Click

Facebook has made the first engagement easy to spot as the ubiquitous “like” being the first indication of your brands touch point and resonance with a fan.

After that the relationship becomes deeper as content is shared with friends and comments are left on the Timeline. The more time and effort displayed by the prospect indicates the building and budding relationship.

Facebook has recently  changed the way  brands interacted with their fans online by totally revamping the new user interface for Facebook and renamed it “Timeline”.

It provides a larger canvas for photos and images and a larger cover photo to showcase a businesses brand along with many other features and functions.

Is the  Facebook Timeline Increasing Engagement?

When the timeline was announced, the screaming of users and brands was deafening as they had to rebuild their Facebook marketing strategies and learn to navigate the new user interface.

Generally no one likes change!

A new study by Sotrender (an online tool for analysis, reporting and optimisation of Facebook), provides some interesting clues as to whether the new Facebook Timeline is working well for business and brands.

What Metrics Haven’t Changed

The study revealed after analyzing 130 biggest UK company profiles and almost 5 thousand posts that the following metrics didn’t change.

None of the following metrics changed significantly in the after-Timeline period:

  • page posts per day
  • content type distribution
  • percent of engaged users per fanpage
  • average number of likes, comments and posts per active user
  • average response (likes and comments) per post
  • cross-page engagement (percent of page’s engaged fans also engaged on other pages)

They discovered that two things had changed significantly.

What Has Changed

The study by Sotrender discovered these two statistically significant changes.

#1. Posts live Longer

Before the timeline’s introduction, users made half of their comments in less than one hour. Now the posts half life has extended to 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Also 80% of all comments are made in 8 hours and 30 minutes (2 hours more than before Timeline.)

New facebook timeline posts live longerTakeaway

If company writes too often, the new posts may cannibalize users engagement of the previous ones.

#2. Bigger Engagement

The other change that was noticeable was that the Facebook timeline has increased growth in post engagement by 13%.

Prior to Timeline the average post stimulated the activity of 158 fans. This has now increased to 179.

Facebook timeline increases engagement

Takeaway

Don’t stop providing regular multimedia updates to your business Facebook page timeline. It has increased indeed increased engagement.

What About You?

Have you found the new Timeline increasing or decreasing engagement on your Facebook page?

Have you changed how often you update your business Facebook page?

How have you adapted to the changes?

More Reading

Image by www.larrabetzutik.org

Comments

  • http://www.linkworxseo.com Link Worx Seo

    Read some good information recently about best times to post. This can increase engagement as well. Interesting numbers. Personally like the new timeline and the way it functions.

  • http://www.linkworxseo.com Link Worx Seo

    Read some good information recently about best times to post. This can increase engagement as well. Interesting numbers. Personally like the new timeline and the way it functions.

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks Jon for the feedback on your experience. Look forward to hearing from others about what they have discovered.

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks Syndi for your comment. I think the story of the business as can be produced on the Timeline is a brilliant feature and certainly humanises the “brand”.

  • Happy Presents

    Hello.
    Although this site has been copied in the image of your article, what will be an article with the consent of the copyright?
    Because I want to view this site with confidence, is the question.

    http://www.graphtoday.com/2012/05/21/facebook-timeline-change/

    News on this site is intended for advertising revenue.

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the heads up on that!

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      Thanks for the heads up on that!

  • Happy Presents

    Hello.
    Although this site has been copied in the image of your article, what will be an article with the consent of the copyright?
    Because I want to view this site with confidence, is the question.

    http://www.graphtoday.com/2012/05/21/facebook-timeline-change/

    News on this site is intended for advertising revenue.

  • Happy Presents

    Hello.
    Although this site has been copied in the image of your article, what will be an article with the consent of the copyright?
    Because I want to view this site with confidence, is the question.

    http://www.graphtoday.com/2012/05/21/facebook-timeline-change/

    News on this site is intended for advertising revenue.

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks Adarsh for your question.
    Ad placement that is on a social media site like Facebook is certainly part of your “Paid” social media marketing strategy

  • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

    Thanks Adarsh for your question.
    Ad placement that is on a social media site like Facebook is certainly part of your “Paid” social media marketing strategy

  • http://twitter.com/Online_Agents Jeroen van de Peppel

    “Generally no one like change” Well those that don’t like change need to get over it fairly quick because changes happen daily in today’s online climate.

    I work in the real estate industry and when the facebook timeline was launched my line of thinking was WOW! How cool is this for real estate agents. They can now create an historic archive of property prices in their local community. For any one interested I blogged about this as well.

    http://www.realestatemarketing-blog.com/using-the-facebook-timeline-feature-to-create-an-archive-of-property-prices-in-your-community/ 

    • http://jeffbullas.com Jeff Bullas

      You are right Jeroen we need to embrace change. Otherwise there is a light at the end of that tunnel and it is a TRAIN!
      Adapt or become extinct!

  • http://www.usefulgraphicdesigntutorials.com/ Caroline

    No-one really likes change, bit I personally think that the Timeline changes have made a huge difference to the ability to get creative and to really showcase our businesses. For us, Engagement has increased significantly. 

    However, I do wonder whether ‘everyday’ visitors (as opposed to SMedia folks who are in the know) are aware of the drop down menu options/the light grey additional functions that abound on the page.
    Caroline :)

  • http://www.usefulgraphicdesigntutorials.com/ Caroline

    No-one really likes change, bit I personally think that the Timeline changes have made a huge difference to the ability to get creative and to really showcase our businesses. For us, Engagement has increased significantly. 

    However, I do wonder whether ‘everyday’ visitors (as opposed to SMedia folks who are in the know) are aware of the drop down menu options/the light grey additional functions that abound on the page.
    Caroline :)

  • http://twitter.com/clmejia Christina Mejia

    I have issues with these studies about the “effect of timeline on engagement”. The big reason being that the majority of users (studies have reported as high as 90%) don’t return to a brand’s page after liking it. They only interact with the content through their news feed. In fact, in our internal analysis, we’ve seen that less than 1% of post impressions are made via the brand page (timeline) for our clients. (We determined this by comparing daily post impressions with daily page views.) The change to timeline would have no affect on how they see the content on their news feed – there are no reports that Facebook also changed their EdgeRank formula in conjunction with the timeline change.

    Further, our month-to-month analysis of our clients’ engagement performance is always showing increases and decreases that have everything to do with content and/or fan growth during that period – clear correlations can usually be drawn. Therefore, I think giving credit or blame in any increases or decreases in engagement to the timeline change would be wrong.

    Christina Mejia
    Director, Analytics & Reporting
    DEI Worlwide

  • Prince Jacon

    The Timeline change is very much better than the old. It comes with greater multi-media integration.

    University of Nigeria
    http://unn.edu.ng