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Facebook Timeline

The profile page for Facebook accounts is called a timeline. Users can post status updates, as well as relevant information about their life or major life milestones from birth to the present, in the form of text, image or video. Depending on the user's profile settings, other users can read the information from the Facebook timeline and display the messages of flirty friends or fan sites. In 2012, the old Facebook Chronicle was replaced by the timeline. Businesses can also use the timeline feature on their Facebook page. Despite the introduction of the Timeline, it is often called a facebook chronicle.

Background and evolution

With the introduction of the timeline in spring 2012, Facebook has expanded the functionality of user accounts, but now also encourages its users to share even more information about themselves and further personalize their accounts. Users can place a header graphic next to the profile photo, called a Facebook cover photo with the Chronicle. Information about "likes" can be stored and displayed in its own information field. You can also use social apps.

One of the objectives of the timeline is to draw a map of the user's virtual and multimedia life history, from its birth to the present. Here's an example from the founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg.

Thanks to the additional data from timeline users, Facebook has the ability to offer advertisers even more efficient targeting. If you, for example, mention soccer as part of your “likes”, you can be identified as a potential recipient of advertising messages in the area of soccer clothing. The «Chronicle» innovation can be understood as an update with the connotation of a better monetization of the social network. Following its IPO in 2012, this was certainly a necessary step to reassure investors who rely on high dividends through Facebook's advertising revenue.

Benefits in practice

Users can define precisely what content is visible to which groups of people. This decision does not have to be applied globally, a user can establish for each message separately who they want to reach with it and can choose which group of people the message is addressed to. Users can now define lists as "private", "close friends", "family", and so on. A new feature is also the fact that older messages can be deleted or their publication date can be modified. At the same time, a location can be included with the message, which is then transferred to the timeline.

From time to time, there are new features on Facebook that users should be aware of. Anyone who wants to give HR managers access to their profile, for example, should refrain from posting private photos and life events or would have to configure the scope of each message separately in order to reduce the visibility of messages to certain groups of people.

Old messages can be deleted in the new Chronicle. Thus, it is advisable to check in your privacy settings if old messages are visible to everyone. If so, visibility can be limited with just a few clicks. For companies that maintain a profile on Facebook it is essential in any case that the information is chosen and presented in such a way that it is effective and does not cause any negative PR.

Bubble Filter

Since the Facebook timeline mainly shows posts from similar pages and groups, a filter bubble can form. The effects of this phenomenon have already been investigated in several experiments. For example, if a user mainly follows pages of a political leadership or likes the corresponding contributions, Facebook algorithms provide similar posts on the timeline. As a result, the user no longer receives objective information, but remains in his "filter bubble".

Importance for marketing

Fundamentally when it comes to celebrity management, careful maintenance of a public Facebook timeline is essential. The external image of a person can be controlled very precisely. Nevertheless, each user must know what personal information they want to share with the public. For politicians or businessmen, for example, the Facebook timeline certainly offers the opportunity to separate postings for business partners from postings for workers or friends. However, this requires a high degree of foresight and overview, as a comment directed at friends could quickly cause confusion or displeasure with business customers.

A direct effect in terms of SEO measures should not be expected from a Facebook account. However, keeping your Facebook account and timeline up-to-date could be beneficial in boosting your website's fame, as well as brand and company fame and reach. Anyone who has a lot of friends on Facebook can use it for marketing campaigns or recommendations, which in turn could generate more traffic for your own web portal.

To appear on the followers' calendar, your contributions must be relevant and suitable for interacting with them, that is, with their likes and actions. Without this interaction, contributions from the company's own Facebook page have little chance of reaching an audience. However, this can be artificially increased with paid Facebook posts.

Importance for SEO

The Chronicle has a particular impact on search engine optimization when a business operates a Facebook page. The latest developments in SEO point to the increasing relevance of social signals to search engines. Thus, it is essential to examine the details correctly. Even the choice of the name of the profile must match the name of the company.

For both private profiles and fan pages you can choose a "vanity URL". With this, the Facebook page now has an easy to remember and meaningful domain name. The information area must be filled in with an informative copy so that users know which is the main stock in the store and, at the same time, include keywords. It must also contain links to web pages that are relevant to the company, for example, the main page of your blog or other profiles on other social networks such as Google+ or Twitter. It is also recommended to configure the information box. In this way, events or competitions can be displayed directly on the timeline.

Since search engines can read the first few lines of Facebook messages, it is recommended to place the corresponding keywords sparingly. Even when it comes to social interaction, some keywords that concisely describe a topic surely make sense from an SEO and user point of view. You can also include messages and sites that are not directly related to the company. However, it is essential to ensure that these sources have a good reputation. For companies, a correct legal notice would be interesting.

First of all, Facebook timelines should not be used for link building, but rather for celebrity management and to increase brand and company reach.

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