Facebook Timelines have been impossible to avoid today. Everywhere from Mashable to Wired to Ad Age to your own Twitter feed is pulsing with news of this new feature. Well, newish feature. Facebook users have had access to the timeline platform for months; today, brands finally got their turn. And while these changes have been novel for you and me — the big cover photo, the easy indexing, the integration of video into a much more interactive main page — what the new format will do for brands will be even more spectacular.
This is particularly true for luxury brands, says L2 Associate Véronique Valcu, who works closely on social media strategy for the sector. According to Valcu, “The rollout of Timeline offers luxury brands the opportunity to more richly convey their history, workmanship and aesthetic.” Because prestige brands are so closely associated with, even defined by the beautiful imagery of their products, the opportunity to integrate these visuals with engaging, regularly updated content within the new profile page will be extremely effective. Not only will brands attract more fans but they can inform this younger generation about their heritage in a way that appeals to them. “The new platform allows for vivid storytelling,” says Valcu. “Brands can draw heavily from what they’ve traditionally done in print and TV but add the critical element of interactivity to fully engage their fans.”
For travel-oriented luxury, brand timelines can be used to more effectively sell the experience, not just the products and services. Reading about a great vacation is one thing, but to read about it and see it from a first-class flight or penthouse balcony view is quite another. For heritage watchmakers like Patek Philippe and Breitling, hi-res images shown in tandem with a detailed history of the brand’s craftsmanship will help fans understand just how special these five-figure investment pieces are. And for high fashion, an industry built on glossy photos, short films, and beautiful people, the possibilities are endless.
It’s hard to say who benefits more from brand timelines, the brands or the fans. I’d call it a draw.