I’ve seen a lot of changes happen when it comes to social media and public relations – how the two fit together, and where they fit within a company’s organizational structure, has changed over the years. A few years ago, when I was agency-side, I witnessed firsthand the struggle between creative shops, interactive agencies, and public relations agencies to win social media accounts.
Since then, social media has grown exponentially. In that growth and wide acceptance, it’s been carved into pieces – content, software and creative.
PR pros have won the content battle. But creative resources from an in-house designer or creative team are essential. Today’s social networks are becoming more and more visual and without the help of a great design team, your initiatives aren’t going to be as successful.
The new availability of Facebook Timeline showcases how authentic content and great design are a more important combination now than ever. This new format gives us more space for branded social engagement.
In that spirit, here are my top picks for brand implementations of Facebook Timeline.
All of the examples below are highlight a key best practice: their cover photo images represent their brand and do not have pricing or other calls-to-action.
This is a great Facebook Timeline example. Instead of posting an image of a store or coffee cup, the Starbucks cover photo is does a great job of reinforcing their key brand message as “a premier roaster and retailer of coffee.” I’d like to see their content team carry through and post more questions and information about the roasting process and finding ways to get their fans even more interested in what makes the Starbucks brand unique.
Their top image immediately reminds me about how successful and innovative their recent instagram campaign was. It’s great to see a company like reinvent themselves and push their boundaries when it comes to using new technologies and types of social media, particularly under their new “GE Works” campaign. They’re clearly moving faster than some other companies of their size.
As I’m sure many of you know, the interesting thing about Coca Cola’s Facebook page is that it was originally started by fans themselves. As the brand grew its social media presence, it maintained that consumer-centric approach to social media marketing. It isn’t by chance that there is a great community feel to this page, with happy fan images dominating their new Facebook Timeline cover photo.
I love the custom icon that looks like a Macy’s shopping bag, and for anyone who hasn’t been to the flagship store in Herald Square, I’m sure that cover photo is awe inspiring. They have tons of great content that’s updated frequently, along with questions that resonate with their consumers.
The new Timeline format also highlights the fact that they’ve done a great job “liking” the pages of other relevant brands and clothing designers that sell at their stores. Hopefully, they’re also tagging those brands in their posts and on Twitter – it’s always important to think about how you’re engaging your stakeholders.
These are big brand examples; I’ll admit to that. I think little guys are still getting caught up, but that’s not a bad thing. As advised in a post last week on PR Breakfast Club, before making the switch make sure your team is comfortable with using the new format and adheres to best practices.
Do you have a great Facebook Timeline brand example? Post it in the comments below. I’d love to check it out!
A seasoned publicist and social media strategist, Tiffany Guarnaccia serves as the Director of PR & Communications for eMusic. Prior to her role at eMusic, Tiffany held the role of PR Director for LimeWire during the final chapters of the history making Arista Records LLC v. Lime Group LLC court case. With over a decade of communications experience, Tiffany has worked on the client and agency side of PR in the technology and entertainment industries.