Why the New Facebook Timeline Would be Great for Healthcare

The new Facebook profile, dubbed the timeline, was announced on September 22nd is a massive redesign to the Facebook Profile. Without delving in to too much detail, the new timeline will place a heavier emphasis on instant communication about users’ online activity by consistently updating the timeline with up-to-date information about music, videos, TV shows, and many other activities. Additionally, Facebook has overhauled their API to allow new verbs to replace the “Like” button. For example, a user no longer has to Like a book, they can now simply “Read” a book. This will allow brands to develop specific actions for how their digital properties can be engaged.

All told, Facebook’s dream is to revolutionize the way that people share information with their friends, families, and coworkers. However, they have yet to announce whether or not brands will be able to take advantage of the new design. Below, I’ve outlined several major improvements that could directly benefit a healthcare brand’s presence on Facebook.

  1. Photos are more prominent

    The cover image now present at the top of the timeline provides a great space for creative branding applications. A healthcare company could reinforce their visual brand in a way that was previously more difficult on Facebook. Additionally, with the larger preview images for album thumbnails and individual photos, healthcare companies could more easily display flyers and photos from their organiztion.

  2. All content now lives in the timeline, and is more prominent

    The “info” page that all healthcare companies fill out has great information, but the page is buried and rarely viewed. The new Facebook timeline pushes all additional pages to a large, easy-to-view navigation bar at the top of the page, which would be more readily available to Facebook Fans.

  3. Brands could tell a story

    Content can now be featured or hidden from the timeline without losing it forever. Additionally, Facebook has placed emphasis on making content from years past easier to view – combating the difficult reality that all content is quickly pushed from view and buried lower on the wall. Brands would be able to “feature” posts or events to make them stand out, and therefore make the story relevant for a longer period of time.

The Facebook timeline hasn’t rolled out to users yet, but as soon as it does – I encourage you to explore all of the functionality, and think about what features you would use if they implement the same functionality for brand pages. What feature do you think would be the greatest advantage for a healthcare company? Let us know in the comments.

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