Facebook Timeline: Creative Marketing Inspiration for Branding

facebook timeline

Note: This article about the new Facebook Timeline was originally published in 2012. Facebook has changed significantly since that time, but these creative uses of the Facebook Timeline are still good examples of how successful businesses brand themselves in new spaces. If you’re looking for help managing a social media presence for your business, a social media management agency may be right for you.

Not all brands are in love with the new Facebook Timeline, but a few early adopters have jumped on board and stepped up their creative game.

As these brands show, Timeline is about more than cool cover photos. It’s about defining your brand, showing off your personality and providing a continuous flow of interesting and engaging content.

Not sure how to approach Timeline for pages? Check out these brands for inspiration.

Creative Facebook Timeline Branding

Sharpie

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The perfect cover photo. It looks amazing, it’s a spot-on representation of their brand and it inspires users to contribute fun, meaningful content.

Sharpie could have just taken a photo of a pack of markers and called it a day, but instead they showcased what their product can do in the coolest way possible. They took an unexpected canvas—the coffee cups—and proved to the world that Sharpies are a good time. This artsy, DIY vibe is consistent throughout their entire Timeline, with links to fun projects, fashion inspiration and feel-good Sharpie stories (they exist).

Sharpie has done what all brands should do on Facebook: They found the angle that worked best for their brand and they stuck to it.

Verizon

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Verizon found a clever way to make the most of the new Timeline layout. They asked their fans to submit photos from their Verizon phones for a chance to win a tablet and be featured as the cover photo.

Verizon keeps the photos in line with their brand by setting out clear guidelines (all photos must be taken with a Verizon device, for example) and by printing the make and model of the device on the photo itself. The photos aren’t the greatest (in both quality and artistic value), but it’s a great way to get users involved with the brand. And with over 2 million fans, getting an 850 x 315 photo on Verizon’s Timeline is kind of a big deal. Winning a tablet isn’t too bad, either.

New York Times

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With a Timeline dating all the way back to the mid 1800s, the New York Times really works the historical cool factor. They’ve fleshed out their brand with amazing photos and tidbits, including snapshots of the first issue ever in 1851, the front page report of the 1865 assassination of President Lincoln, and the inside of the newsroom on the night of the 1928 presidential election. Even if you don’t read the New York Times, It’s a fascinating step back in time that makes the brand a little more real and whole lot more awesome.

If your brand doesn’t have access to such a rich archive, worry not. It’s perfectly fine if your company history only dates back a few years. Find out what makes your brand unique and tell your story in such a way that users will want to click around and explore.

Fanta

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Fanta found a fun way to engage users with its history: a scavenger hunt. They pretended that the extra leap year day had “created a rip in the Fanta space-time continuum and sucked four of our characters out of the Cover Photo and into the past.” Fans of Fanta’s page then had to navigate Fanta’s Timeline, find the characters, and “like” their photos to bring them back.

It’s a clever marketing strategy that’s challenging enough to be interesting, yet easy enough that users take the time to get involved.

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