#TBT Cultivating Connection

Baby Brother Picture

#TBTT: Throwback Tech Tuesday

Reading The Culture of Connectivity by Jose Van Dijck, I came across an interesting quote regarding how Facebook’s Timeline format:

“Cues members to post pictures from the pre-Facebook days of their youth – a baby picture, family snapshots, school classes, old friends, college years, wedding pictures, honeymoon – and thus experience content in terms of their life’s story…Timeline caused enhanced feelings of intimacy, memory and connectedness” (55).

My Facebook identity begins the day I created my profile. I upload pictures and videos in real-time, but did not readily add media reflecting my pre-Facebook life. That is until the creation of the platform-agnostic trend Throwback Thursday.

Those who use social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram have more than likely been exposed to Throwback Thursday posts. If you haven’t, take a moment to visit one of these platforms and search by related terms (e.g., #tbt) for a quick list of sample posts.

There doesn’t seem to be established rules for participating in Throwback Thursday. Posts generally reference images, videos or audio that dates back at least a year; the older the reference, the bigger the impact. Images can be of a person (yourself, loved ones or celebrity), place (building or landmark) or thing (product or media).

While most #tbt posts are from personal accounts, this trend was also quickly embraced by brands seeking a new and exciting way to engage with their audience. More than demonstrating knowledge of web trends, the #tbt post can be leveraged to:

  1. Connect with longtime users who remember the good ol’ days and foster memory sharing among audience members
  2. Engage with younger generations who may not know the brand’s history or progress
  3. Encourage audience participation by requesting old photos featuring the company’s products
  4. Introduce new products, reflecting on the similarities and/or differences from past products

Considering the initial quote, I’d say a strong #tbt post also plays to Facebook’s Timeline strengths. Sharing photos and ‘personal’ memories deepens connection and creates a new level of intimacy with your audience. To demonstrate use across industries, I have compiled a quick list of companies that have utilized Throwback Thursday in social media and blog content.

Please share other examples below!

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