Since launching Timeline for brands, Facebook's marketing solutions team has regularly highlighted the "pinning" feature. It allows companies to keep a particular post/promotion at the top of their fan page on the social media site, rather than slipping down below the fold as they add new messages daily.
Pinning is likely partially responsible for an overall lift in page engagement, as measured by Simply Measured. A new study from the firm states the weeks-old Timeline format has lifted engagement with many brand posts by 46 percent, providing some third-party support for how new features like pinning can make the platform more effective. In a report involving 15 brands, nonprofit LiveStrong (161 percent jump), Toyota (156 percent), Humane Society (83 percent), Red Bull (70 percent), and Macy's (52 percent) received top results.
Adam Schoenfeld, Simply Measured co-founder, explained those brands were chosen for the report because they fit three criteria:
- Being early Timeline adopters.
- Having recognizable names.
- Representing a marketing niche.
Perhaps of greater importance than pinning posts, Schoenfeld said Timeline is heightening brand engagement on Facebook because of enhanced multimedia capabilities. He compared the new Facebook brand pages to Pinterest, a site that's been lauded in the industry lately for its sticky nature.
"Timeline makes the fan pages a lot more like Pinterest," Schoenfeld said. "The experience is more attractive."
The number of comments and likes a post generates define engagement for the study. The report also found that videos and photos on Timeline pages have been creating a 65 percent uptick in engagement. However, it's noteworthy that engagement with regular text-only status updates is down
Following are results for the brands involved in the Seattle-based Simply Measured's report:
It must be noted that this study has been criticized due to the small sample size, the fact that many of these sites have been showcased by Facebook as launch partners or sample case studies, and other variables (e.g., Red Bull's founder died during the measured time period), but it is designed to only offer some preliminary insights, according to Simply Measured, which plans to update and draw further conclusions in coming months as more brands adopt Timeline.