February 29, 2012, 10:37 AM

Facebook unveils a new brands page at marketing conference

Retailers and brand manufacturers will be better able to personalize their Facebook pages.

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Facebook Inc. want to make brand and retailer pages more personal.

The social network today launched a revamped, more visual Facebook page that features a large “cover photo” that spans the width of the page, bigger tabs than the previous format, a Friend Activity section that highlights what consumers are saying about a brand or retailer, as well as a timeline that highlights key moments in a brand’s history. Brands can also “anchor” particularly important posts, which ensures they are prominently displayed for up to seven days. The format will become mandatory on March 30.

The new format offers consumers a more personalized experience because they can see how their friends have interacted with a brand, says Facebook. For instance, if someone tags a brand in one of his posts or checks in at a bricks-and-mortar location, the people he originally shared that content with will see those interactions on the Page's timeline.

The pages mirror the Timelines that Facebook began offering consumers last month. Timelines replaces a consumer’s wall and profile with a virtual scrapbook that features a graphical and chronological timeline of events of her life on the social network, and other interests that she chooses to share, such as the bands whose concerts she has attended and the clothes she has bought.

Macy’s is among the first retailers to convert its page to the new format, in part, because it believes it will foster a deeper connection with consumers, says Martine Reardon, chief marketing officer of Macy's.

"Storytelling is such an intrinsic part of Macy's DNA, and Macy's Facebook page allows us to give our fans a platform where they can share their own stories and memories about their experiences at Macy's—whether shopping for a special outfit, visiting Santa or watching Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with family,” Reardon says.

Facebook is set to announce more new marketing tools and ad formats today at its first-ever Facebook Marketing Conference in New York.

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