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When Facebook timeline was first unveiled the general response from users was one of annoyance and anger at why the social network would bother to change a winning formula.

But after it was forced on everyone last year the complaining quickly died down and changed into a feeling of indifference as people realised it had little impact to how they used Facebook.

Brands were really the only Facebook users who jumped at the chance to fill out their timelines as it was a chance to trumpet their heritage, but even then the excitement was limited to a few notable examples.

Luxury brands are among the retailers who probably stand to benefit most from timeline as their image is normally built on a historical legacy of quality products and good service, so I thought I'd see whether high end fashion brands have sought to take advantage of the opportunity. As you'll see though, the results are quite underwhelming.

And for more information on this topic, read our Facebook Pages for Business Best Practice Guide...

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren has a fairly sparse timeline, with just 18 pieces of content summarising 40 years of history starting from 1967.

It starts well, with interesting images posted for the first three years of the company’s existence but then very quickly loses steam.

Ralph Lauren must have a huge number of interesting and iconic adverts from the seventies and eighties, so it’s a surprise that the brand has made so little effort to populate its Facebook timeline.

Tiffany & Co.

The iconic jewellery brand was established back in 1837 and has a very illustrious history to shout about, however it has condensed more than 150 years of history into just nine posts.

Each update summarises a decade or longer and to be fair they generally look quite intriguing. However Tiffany’s could easily make more of its glamorous past and association with celebrity culture to create a really stand out timeline.

Coach

Another luxury brand with an underwhelming timeline, Coach has managed to dig up some great images from its 70 year history but they are few and far between.

The events it has mentioned are sometimes interesting and even reveal that the leather brand wasn’t above the occasional bad pun, however they generally just commemorate product launches or the appointment of senior staff members.

Nordstrom

Nordstrom was established in Seattle back in 1901. However, its long and successful history has warranted just 10 posts.

One or two of the updates include fantastic old images showing how its stores used to look, but then a couple of them are simply text updates.

If Nordstrom could dig up a few more black and white photos then it could potentially create an excellent timeline.

Hugo Boss

Hugo Boss was established on January 2 1924, however that’s the only snippet of information you can glean from its timeline as there are no other updates.

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks first opened its doors in September 1924 and it has a very prestigious reputation, however it hasn't really communicated it that well on Facebook.

The updates post-1950 are quite infrequent and are mainly just old adverts but the earlier posts are interesting milestones that feature wonderful old photos, and it would be great if Saks had shared a few more of these.

But as with most of the other brands on this list Saks has made a limited effort to populate its timeline, which suggests that social marketers are unconvinced that it’s really worth the time and effort to catalogue their brand’s historical milestones.

David Moth

Published 4 September, 2013 by David Moth @ Econsultancy

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

1683 more posts from this author

Comments (4)

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Hamid

'it’s a surprise that the brand has made so little effort to populate its Facebook timeline.'

I'm not sure it is. Facebook hasn't provided information confirming that fans spend much time at all on brand Timelines, even when directed there. It becomes hard to justify fleshing out something that very few will eventually read. If there are limited resources behind these Pages then it makes sense to focus on other things rather than spending time polishing something nobody will see.

Facebook has itself to blame on this front. If it wants brands to use Timeline as a timeline, then it needs to show why it's worthwhile.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cathy

With less than 1% of users who actually go to facebook page to consume brand's content, most brands spend their resources on creating up-to-date feeds that engage and promote rather then focusing on making their brand page look more palatable. We learnt amongst our 60+ brand pages that it's the up to date stories that count, not the historical store front.

http://blog.magicbeanlab.com/opinion/the-death-of-the-facebook-store-front/

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Visakan Veerasamy, Marketing at ReferralCandy

I suppose the 80/20 principle comes into playL they do the bare minimum necessary to communicate the absolute essentials, and then focus their resources on whatever it is that they're truly worried about. T

hey must be convinced that people don't decide to buy luxury brands from Facebook nearly as much as they do it through offline means!

Or maybe there's some other cost-benefit analysis taking place that I can't think of. Would be interesting to hear from the marketers themselves.

about 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Khazmin Jumain

From my experience managing multiple brands across various markets on Facebook, timeline posts rank pretty low when it comes to engaging fans so I can't blame most brands for ignoring them, or paying them minimal attention. Like Hamid says, it's the current content that engages better, though you can say that if the Pages have time and resources, they can beef up the Timeline. However, it is a false assumption that they are ignoring their heritage simply because they don't update their Timeline. Heritage marketing is definitely a good content angle to establish the brand's image and reputation as well as educate its legacy to new fans, esp in new markets. You can still post heritage content via regular posts, probably as a Photo post because they are the most engaging. But not in the Timeline format that you've highlighted above, because they don't even get captured in analytics (iirc). That's my perspective on this.

about 3 years ago

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