The new Timeline format of Facebook Pages is an amazing tool for brands. It allows them to tell their stories -- their history, employees, products, etc. -- using their own voices and those of their customers, the press, and others.
I urge brands to think of their Facebook Timeline as an interactive scrapbook of the company’s history. And I ask you to push beyond the official timeline that’s probably already on your Website (and most likely doesn’t engage many people). Think like the editor of a newspaper. What are the most arresting photos and events you want to put on the front page? What items ignite excitement or nostalgia among your fans? How can the items be made interactive?
One of the simplest ways to craft a lively Timeline is to vary the items as much as possible. Here are some ways to get really creative.
Use historical images
Old images are a good way to ignite nostalgia among longtime fans or to even gauge fan interest in old products that can be brought back to market. For example, the Timeline for Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream includes a photo celebrating the company’s founding in a creative way.
In other examples, Burberry and Red Bull highlight old ads.
Subway celebrates its flagship sandwiches.
Testimonials, fan letters, and the like are very effective, since consumers trust other consumers more than the brand itself. It’s also just fun to showcase vestiges of the analog era.
Coca-Cola turns fan letters into Milestones by setting the date of the Milestone as the date referenced in the comment and adding a related photo from that era.
Leverage historical references
Historical references are a great way to educate new consumers and remind loyalists of your rich history. Include photos of key figures within the company or its history, including celebrity spokespeople. Highlight notable innovations in the company’s history. This Milestone from the New York Times is a good example.
Historical trivia is one of the best ways to spark interest and engage your audience. Smirnoff Vodka tests consumers’ memories by quizzing them on which 1950s bottle design is from the United States.
The NYT highlights major moves and expansions as well as legacy photos of the facility, employees, and other behind-the-scenes historical peeks.
Manchester United highlights epic awards and accolades, like the 1997 English Premier League championship. The NYT calls out its first Pulitzer Prize.
Examples of your brand referenced in pop culture and brushes with celebrity add a nice element of exclusivity and popularity. The more iconic, the better. For example, Burberry includes an unforgettable image from the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s, in which Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard both sport classic Burberry trench coats.
Get those pictures moving
Keep in mind that Milestones can also include video. Look at your brand’s YouTube channel, and add the most interesting videos as Milestones. If you haven’t uploaded your old commercials, behind-the-scenes videos, and other historical footage, now is the time. Coca-Cola, for instance, shared the following landmark 1972 video on its Timeline.
Keep your tone consistent
Your Timeline tone should match the company’s voice. For example, the NYT Timeline flavor is erudite and factual. Red Bull’s reflects the fun and adventurous spirit of the brand. Old Spice’s tongue-in-cheek tone has led to a largely mythological Timeline.
In essence, anything associated with the company is fair game for the Timeline. To craft a killer Timeline, vary the items, think like an editor, engage your audience, and choose items and stories that match your company’s tone. Lastly, once your Timeline goes live, gauge audience interest, and consider hiding or deleting items that aren’t getting any comments or Likes.
With the introduction of new timeline feature, users of social network are now able to express themselves better and can tell their stories more effectively than ever before and also the contribution it has made in enhancing the online marketing in a creative way is worthwhile investment but now the feature has garnered widespread criticism especially from users who are not keen on sharing their details with all and sundry.
According to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, "Timeline is "the story of your life," so the more you put in there to make it complete, the easier it is for someone with ill intent to gather information about you
The "when you travel by air" ad fits with the way you see people dressed for travel in older movies, dressed for success, you might say. In part, that was because air travel was still very expensive, and not something your average middle class person would do regularly unless s/he was sent on business.
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