The social media world is buzzing today with the announcement from Facebook that Timeline is now available to be used by brands. A few months back, Facebook asked an exclusive set of partners to start using Timeline prior to the public launch so they could get a sneak peek at the new features. Invitations went out to brands and agencies based on their social reach and influence.
Since Red Bull has nearly 27 million fans and one of the most engaged and active communities, they were a perfect fit. As for Archrival | Dachis Group, since we have been involved with the Red Bull Facebook page from Day 1 and are recognized as a leader in youth marketing as well as one of the original 14 Facebook Preferred Developer Consultants, we were also allowed behind the curtain to help Red Bull kick Timeline’s tires.
Now that Timeline for brands is live, here are some of our initial thoughts:
• Timeline places a heavy emphasis on the art of storytelling by utilizing a unique set of tools and features to provide fans with a deeper and more compelling brand narrative. Scroll through Red Bull’s Timeline and you will see their story come to life through articles, milestones, and a rich portfolio of images that acts as a kind of scrapbook that documents their journey from humble start-up to one of the most successful brands of all-time.
• Timeline allows for an upgraded story hierarchy, whereby brands can “pin” certain posts or content and designate them as a feature news item. This designation keeps the story at the top of the page for up to 7 days and ensures maximum exposure.
• The cover photo acts as a brand’s social media billboard. Again, Red Bull is a textbook example of how a brand should use this – with just one image a user gets an immediate narrative and is able to understand the Red Bull story visually. Red Bull’s cover photo has an attitude, a style, and an unmistakable identity that can be conveyed without verbal props or cues. This is an easy way for a brand to differentiate itself and grab the attention of casual consumers.
• Timeline has upgraded the app navigation, moving it from the sidebar where it was too easily overlooked and placing it just beneath the cover photo. So now, not only is it one of the first things users see but brands can use custom images to make their games and apps more prominent, which will encourage a higher rate of participation.
Timeline has always been intended to help people tell a better story about themselves and their life. Brands, coincidentally, are no different. Every brand has its own unique narrative that’s worthy of being told but up until now, the process of conveying that story has been easy for a few and quite difficult for many. Now, Timeline has essentially leveled the field by allowing organizations to refine their image and reveal a more human and approachable side – a side that will surely deliver a more distinct and meaningful brand experience.