Timeline’s richer features and deeper content will require you to at least rethink the personnel strategy for your page on Facebook.
Timeline success requires expertise in the areas of:
- User experience;
- Visual design; and
- The Facebook application programming interface.
You already use these three skills to create pages, tabs and apps, but the new timeline will make them even more crucial.
What should your timeline personnel strategy be?
Your timeline for pages staffing strategy will depend on the nature of your organization.
If you are already a web-focused organization, I recommend you take your talent acquisition efforts seriously on this front. Find experts and pay them well.
Expect to pay $300,000 in combined annual salary to staff up for your timeline –across the three areas of user experience, visual design and Facebook API integration.
If you are a big company but don’t have a bunch of web 2.0 types happily working for you, outsource your timeline efforts to a preferred developer consultant.
Even if you pay $300,000 in fees, it will be worth it. Why? You should leverage an agency’s hiring expertise, not compete with them for talent.
Small To Medium Sized Businesses
Most companies fit into this category. The fact you are reading this and engaging customers with Facebook puts you a step ahead.
Hire one of the many web consultants who are getting into timelines. Expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour to get started.
Whether you’re hiring inhouse or outsourcing to an expert, here’s what to look for in the three areas of expertise for timeline personnel.
This refers to everything that the visitor experiences, including the pictures, site navigation and the user paths people follow through your site.
Business page timelines contain lots of outbound links. Don’t underestimate the user experience challenge of using a timeline as a referral point for your page tabs, canvas applications, open graph apps and website.
Who to hire? You are looking for a director or strategist of user experience. Titles aren’t terribly important to those who best qualify for these jobs. The main thing to look for is a passion for the user experience.
Visual design is important for timelines because they are primarily visual experiences. Fans see posted images, media from past campaigns and aggregated social information that visually represent your brand on Facebook.
Who to hire? Hire a graphic designer who can think strategically, or a creative director or art director coming from a digital agency.
The Facebook API is now known as the open graph API.
The social network has lofty goals for open graph, claiming that once information is sent to this API it will automatically appear in the most appropriate places across your page, and your fans’ news feeds and tickers.
Facebook asks that you help by structuring your data so as to best represent what users actually want to share about you.
Who to hire? Look for a programmer who has a history of working with Facebook’s API and has a passion for data modeling.
The number of programming languages listed on their resumes don’t matter as much as their passion for social data — although it certainly doesn’t hurt if they also know how to program in lots of languages.
Your turn, readers: What preparations are you making for timeline?
Guest writer Will McGrouther is the chief executive officer at ExecutiveRecruitingLA.