The talking heads at Facebook tell us that the new Timeline design will change brand pages for the better, increasing engagement and enhancing the way brands can tell their story. For months we’ve heard that the restyled pages are on their way, but they’ve yet to arrive. Rumor has it February 29th is the big day.

In the meantime, here’s a thought to ponder: will Facebook users adopt branded cover photo images for their own profiles? Not everyone is a budding photographer, wants to take the time to look up the dimensions of a cover photo, or is willing to put in the effort to find a worthy image. Throw in the Facebook community’s general distate for change of any kind, and we’ve got a major pain point for the world’s social media users.

So what if brands addressed the issue by providing the images for users? Think free, high resolution photos that are beautiful, cute, witty – you name it – but also incorporate a bit of subtle (or not so subtle) branding.

One “brand” taking advantage of this idea is the Obama campaign. This election year has seen presidential candidates turning to digital platforms as they never have before. Twitter, Google+, Facebook – you name it and the candidates are on it.

Barack my Timeline is a simple yet fairly inventive approach to drumming up digital support. The Tumblr site offers 20 volunteer-created, Obama-themed pictures, pre-cropped to the perfect size for your Facebook cover photo on the new timeline layout.

social media branding

Regardless of political preference, it’s an interesting marketing tactic that gets users to literally brand their Facebook profiles in a very blatant manner.

Asking constitiuents to show their support in an election year is one thing; do you think other brands – restaurants, retail, even B2B companies could pull this off? Let us know what you think by giving us a shout on Twitter.