T. Rowe Price : Rewriting history

A novel use of Facebook's Timeline feature sets up strong integration with the corporate site.

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The Site

T. Rowe Price, a US-based investment firm, has built its Facebook Timeline around an imagined history. T. Rowe Price is using the Timeline feature on its Facebook presence not to present the history of the company, but to chart financial milestones in the life of a character called Greg. The character, “derived from the decisions real-life clients make”, is nearing retirement age. The vertically scrolling timeline displays key events in his life such as 'Started a job' and 'Bought his first car'. Many of the milestones include links to relevant information on the T. Rowe Price dotcom site.

The Takeaway

While most brands and companies that have embraced Facebook’s recently launched Timeline feature are using it to chronicle their history, T. Rowe Price has opted for a different, more directly exploitative narrative. Its use of a character and his life progression is a novel and sympathetic use of the feature that sets the company apart. It has also chosen to leave the official corporate history discretely on the dotcom site, rather than, as is mostly the case, duplicating or fragmenting it across the two platforms. Not that the ‘alternative’ history is isolated on Facebook, and there lies its chief lesson. Linking the milestones in Greg’s journey through life to information on the dotcom site is a neat method of driving traffic to corporate and services content, not least by providing a relatable context for it. For example, one milestone describes Greg’s first job, linking to a PDF document containing tips for young investors. By integrating content imaginatively, rather than simply adapting it to different channels, T. Rowe Price is more likely to generate increased interest and, ultimately, business.

First published 08 May, 2012
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