Creating deeper brand to fans connections on Facebook and beyond
Facebook Timeline is an entirely new aesthetic for Facebook. It gives users the ability to curate and
highlight all of their experiences to express the story of their life. For many, brand experiences are a
large part of that story. Maybe it was their first car—a brand new VW Bug, or maybe it was seeing
Michael Jordan hit a game winning shot. Or discovering the joy of using the iPad.
Brand experiences have a special place in many lives. Currently, the only way to express that
connection on Facebook Timeline is the "like".
The problem with the "like" is that it is one-dimensional. The "like" doesn't really tell the user's
friends (or the brand) what the brand means to the user. Take a multi-dimensional brand like Jordan
for example. A user could be a former Michael Jordan fanatic, who wants to talk about his experience
watching Jordan the player. Or, he could be a sneaker-head who never even saw Jordan play,
but wants to share his latest Air Jordan purchase. That's where [wire] stone's BrandLine comes in.
BrandLine utilizes Open Graph "objects" and "actions" to allow users to curate their own brand
timeline. Each experience users add to their brand timeline is shared with their friends on
their own Facebook timeline as well. Users can also compare brand experiences with other
fanatics, comment, and add to brand events.
When users first visit BrandLine they are taken to a default view of events that have been curated by the brand. Each of these events can be explored, commented on, and added to a user's Facebook timeline. In addition, BrandLine users have the ability to create a unique brand timeline by adding their own events to the mix, or even bring in events their friends have added. They are also free to remove any brand events that don't resonate with them. As users collect brand experiences on their timeline, a more complete picture of their relationship with the brand will begin to form.
There is no doubt that Facebook will eventually provide brands with the same "Timeline" functionality they've provided users, but the fundamentals of BrandLine provide potential opportunities well beyond this current implementation. OpenGraph actions and objects have the potential to "socialize" almost all online brand content—both inside and outside of the Facebook environment. By socializing brand content, users will be able to specifically call out the aspects of a brand that resonate with them. In this scenario, both users and brands win. The brand gets a deeper, more relevant connection with the user, and the user gets to express him/herself in a richer, more meaningful way.