Does Facebook Brand Timeline “Like” Your Small Business?

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Facebook brand timelines went live last week and some of the examples of use are pretty impressive, including early advertisements, corporate memos, photos and founding name changes. But what does that mean for the small business grappling with the strain of keeping up with the ever-changing tides of social media.

Mostly well-received, this Facebook launch differed in response entirely from personal timeline. The rallied criticism for the personal timeline has been that it’s a tool for a corporate or governmental invasion of privacy. While in contrast, the brand timeline has been looked at as something more aligned to a corporate museum.

Small business finds itself somewhere in the gray when it comes to its response of the brand timeline. Often too new to have the depth of brand history as a company like Pepsi, small businesses find their timeline short and not filled with the same levels of cool trivia.

The hope would be that over time, if Facebook is sustainable as a media tool, timelines would grow from the present and move forward.

Brands such as ESPN, Subway, Ford, Burberry, Starbucks have all laid out some of their company’s most interesting factoids using Facebook and given the public glimpses into their brand’s histories.

These are brands for which telling a story with historical details is part of their brand experience, but they are very few.
It’s actually far more common for brands to reinvent themselves because it has no relevance to their future goals. Meaning, with smart calculation and growth of utility of the timeline, small businesses may be able to map out brand strategy by looking at how the “majors” have navigated their brand’s growth.  In theory, that is.

Big brands with big budgets should experiment with the function.

Every opportunity for global exposure is always a worthwhile risk.  I imagine Facebook Timeline may frustrate majority of small businesses and nonprofits on FB who do not have the time, money or staff to reinvent marketing from scratch every few months. Like all things, tools, apps, and companies will be made to address such issues.

So in closing, some small Businesses are certainly not happy with the launch of Timeline, while others wait patiently to see its impact on marketing. The process to fine tune the voice of a brand becomes harder when the platforms you are using are constantly changing and small business is on the forefront of this battle.

It will be interesting to see if small business owners will embrace timeline for commercial use when they do not trust it for personal use.

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Brand watch: Nokia

While attending Social Media Week, no one could help but feel the presence of Nokia, its main Global Partner. Recently, Nokia has been lauded as ushering in Window’s boost in the mobile telecomm market, but two years ago, the brand sought to find its US foothold.

A year ago, when Nokia announced its partnership with Windows, many said that both companies would eventually be edged out of the mobile communications race. A year ago, the US was very much enraptured and divided by Blackberry and Apple.

A year later, with much of its broad strategic partnership plan in execution, Nokia used its complimentary strengths to build a better system for its products.

Nokia, now the number one vendor of the Windows Phone 7, has solidified its brand promise to deliver amazing hardware.

With companies such as HTC already holding contracts with Windows, Nokia still has a lot to prove, but if its recent rollouts are any indication of its capacity to excel in its offering, the path will be bright and lit with mobile device LEDs.