Yes, Facebook is bringing its new Timeline feature over to business and brand Pages. This was expected to happen sometime after Timeline came to personal Facebook profiles.
Yes, the explanatory posts are already hot-n-heavy for how to prepare for Page changes.
One change that everyone notes is that Page Admins won’t have a choice of landing tabs (for Welcome landing pages or marketing campaigns of various sorts.) Like-ers will go straight to your Wall.
I’m not convinced that much of any of this really matters (yes, I’m an Admin for many Pages) and here is why :
1) Most activity and interaction with your community takes place on the News Feed, and hardly ever on your Wall once your new supporter presses that Like button. Your presence on the News Feed is driven by the EdgeRank of each of your updates, which is a bit of a crapshoot similar to SEO for search engines. Basically, the Wall is really not that important except for initial impressions.
2) Most failures I see on Facebook Pages have everything to do with lack of interaction, no strategic planning and abandoned Pages with no updates for months, and little to do with how your Page is tricked out. Brands and businesses get on Facebook without a plan, can’t figure out how or why to build or sustain community, and then they flame out. There isn’t a Page tweak in the world that can save them.
3) I fundamentally do not care about Facebook. Any significant effort expended there benefits founder Mark Zuckerberg’s newly-IPO’d pockets, not mine. All of the 1,000+ lovely Like-ers on our Tourism Currents Page could go “poof!” tomorrow and we’d have no say in it. The only data and community that we have any control over are our Tourism Currents clients and our email list. We are VERY careful to only allow double opt-in subscribers to our list, and we are super-picky about what we send to them. The fact that they’ve shared their email address means a lot to us. Growing that list – plus improving and enriching our website, online course offerings and monthly newsletter – are what we do care about, because we have complete control over all of it.
Never let your interaction with customers, visitors or guests be controlled by someone or something that is out of your hands. The day Mr. Zuckerberg’s machinations drive the success or failure of my business is the day my business partner Becky McCray should shoot me over a cliff, Thelma and Louise style.
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