Facebook Changes & Facebook Timeline: Successful Social Media Disaster [OPINION]

Often the missing element in successful social media is emotion. Why do millions flock to social media every hour, but only a few engage?

Traditional businesses have missed the mark, and Facebook’s recent changes are an example of how important it is to hit the mark, even if it seems contrary to your brand.

Facebook’s changes in September 2011 should mark the most “Successful Social Media Disaster” of the Social Media Revolution. At every turn the top topic inside of Facebook is Facebook’s changes. While the overwhelming majority are quick to criticize, most have failed to realize that the change is creating the most talked about event in social media history, well in social media anyway.

How did Facebook create a “Successful Social Media Disaster”

Anger! The keystone to successful social media is emotion. While thousands of would be social media experts flood our networks with useless posts every day, the small group that manages to actually capture our attention are the ones that are unconventional and tap into our emotions.

Facebook did not make its changes slowly, it didn’t even transition people into the new features. Facebook’s policy was a flat out “here you go, deal with it”. This change and introduction captured one of the key emotional states in social media. While others lay claim to Google+ being the big winner having opened their G+ network to everyone in the same week, all the talk or buzz is Facebook!

Opening the Google+ network to everyone should have been an event that created buzz for Google. This G+ buzz should have lasted over the course of at least a few weeks, allowing it to capture articles and feedback from both followers and critiques, but Facebook’s move cut that off cold. G+ might get a mention here and there among the articles, but Zuckenburg has stolen G+’s thunder and managed to evolve his social network in one swoop.

The purpose of this article is not to support or criticize the changes to Facebook, but to highlight the importance of emotion in social media, and how Facebook has used it to trample Googles G+ public launch. How Facebook uses this to their brands advantage is another story. Most politicians claim there’s no such thing as bad PR, only bad PR managers and brand storytellers who fail to capitalize on the spotlight. This would seem to be the case with Social Media, most are better having something being said then nothing at all, then you can direct and capitalize on being talked about in one fashion or another.

Enter Facebook Timeline:

This new feature looks to be the family, tree and life story publication of YOU! No Publisher needed!

Get Timeline NOW! Click Here!

***Your timeline is now live — Developer Release****

****Please note: During the developer release, only other developers will be able to see your new timeline. Everyone else will see your old profile.***

PS: Looks like there’ll be no way to hide who you are ever again!





  1. Basil:

    You comment: “Facebook’s recent changes are an example of how important it is to hit the mark, even if it seems contrary to your brand.” Hit what mark….how about FB’s recent changes show you how important it is to hit the mark while in line with their brand. thats the optimum goal and good marketers accomplish that.

    The keystone to successful social media is emotion. Not true. i dont want someone hating or despising my product or campaign.


    • Phil,
      There is an old saying that there is no such thing as bad PR, social media has generally proven that to be true. In most cases strong brands have found that a “negative” comment has lead their “fans” to engage and support the brand. This takes the single negative comment and forces it into a wave of overwhelming support. In the old days one negative or bad “world of mouth” used to be worth 10 good or positive “word of mouth” exchanges.
      “WORLD of Mouth” a term by has made that old stat outdated. When the negative comment hits a Facebook wall it tends to move with little viral activity within that contacts vertical. Meaning that the exposure is limited to the 400 or so contacts they have. Additionally, more then half the visits from that will likely land in a space where the “fans” of brands have posted conflicting comments contrary to the “negative post”. This creates the opportunity to turn negative sentiment into positive experiences, especially if the brand has responded and shown that it cares (in addition to the “fans”.
      Positive out ways the negative in digital media (social media), that negative comment likely caught the attention on a few “fans” and lets say that three “fans” leave positive feedback or comments in a need to defend their choice or product. Those three have now exposed their 400 or so contacts they have meaning that they positive has at least 3 times greater exposure then the negative. Additionally, this was all facilitated by the negative comment that in turn created visibility that would not have existed otherwise.


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