Why Red Bull Sets an Example for Facebook Timeline Presence
Facebook Timeline is a great marketing platform for companies — particularly those in media and entertainment fields. These types of companies may not feel the same pressure as other brands to use Facebook as a direct sales tool.
Many brands chose to cover their Facebook Pages with information about sales, promotions, and products. While this isn’t necessarily a bad choice, it does mean that company’s interactions with other Facebook members will always be defined by a merchant-customer relationship.
One brand that has taken a different approach is Red Bull. Rather than just focusing on its product, the company’s Facebook Page emphasizes less direct corporate content. It highlights events that the company sponsors — mostly competitions for extreme sports, and occasionally specific athletes. Red Bull is more interested in promoting and celebrating a lifestyle than simply selling energy drinks. Here’s how the company makes it work with Facebook Timeline.
Cohesive Visual Content
We’ve covered the importance of strong visual content on Facebook Timeline several times before here on Sprout Insights. But it takes more than a striking cover photo to make visual content a major part of your Facebook strategy.
Red Bull has a consistent look and attitude to its photos. Every image portrays a lifestyle of extreme excitement — the same lifestyle that the brand is marketing along with its energy drinks! In fact, very few of the photos Red Bull shares on Facebook actually show its flagship product. Instead, there are snapshots of high-octane athleticism or adrenaline-fueled fun.
As part of its visual content strategy, Red Bull has several recurring photos with accompanying hashtags. The most common is #FlyingFriday, which highlights some of the more astonishing photographs of athletes in the air, like the one above. Another less common hashtag is #MusicMonday. This one either asks a music-related question or shows an artist affiliated with the brand. Both of these image series are great for engaging fans and highlighting the brand ethos.
Use of Games and Apps
Another key component of Facebook Timeline that few companies have taken advantage of is the opportunity to use games and apps. One of Red Bull’s features on the information bar is called, appropriately, “Games + Apps.” This page links through to entertaining material related to the brand, with a particular focus on the extreme sports it sponsors.
While some of the games allow fans of the brand to participate vicariously in snowboarding and motocross bike races, others are more directly tied to Red Bull. For instance, a game called Timeline Timewarp used the Facebook layout to host a scavenger hunt for followers. The company placed clues across its Facebook Page with information about the brand’s history. The fastest 30 people to solve all the clues received prizes.
Red Bull also has several mobile apps available to smartphone users. The mobile apps for both iPhone and Android are available directly from the company’s Facebook Page, as well as from its website. This approach to integrating mobile content with Facebook is smart, since there are signs that more and more people are accessing Facebook through mobile devices. Keeping the brand active on both web and mobile platforms means Red Bull is likely to maintain its strong reputation with customers, no matter what direction Facebook takes to continue its growth.
Creating Events to Highlight Sponsorships
Event sponsorship — with its name on events from Flugtag to snowboarding competitions — is a major part of how Red Bull puts its brand into the public eye. Thus, doing everything possible to ensure a successful turnout is key. Rather than relying solely on traditional means of advertising these happenings, Red Bull also leverages Facebook Events.
Not only does this help the company promote specific events, it also emphasizes the company’s global and local reach. At any given moment, sports and lifestyle events are happening all over the world. It’s both interesting an impressive for fans to read about Red Bull’s participation in these international events. But it also keeps the brand accessible by highlighting happenings in followers’ local neighborhoods too.
Do you know a company that’s a rock star on Facebook Timeline? Let us know in the comments!