Five Facebook Lessons From The Top Brands

by Kristy Bolsinger December 27th, 2012 

Some say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Others implore us to steal like artists. I like both of those. But today I prefer to see it as learning from some of the best.

The big guys have a ton of resources, large numbers of staff and access to some of the best agencies around. You likely do not. Learn how to leverage their efforts to help close the gap, and suddenly the playing field doesnt feel nearly as uneven.

Using FanPageList I pulled some of the top consumer brands on Facebook. From there I pulled out one thing that they were doing that made their page stand out from the crowd so to speak. One thing they are doing really well that you can steal borrow.

1) Coca-Cola

It doesnt often make sense for brands, large or small, to create and (most importantly) maintain discrete pages for each of their products. But Coca-Cola is different. They recognize their products have distinct and passionate fan bases. Had they tried to collect all fans under one page they would likely see fans creating their own pages (Diet Coke, Vanilla Coke, etc). Theyd also be dulling the excitement that fans have for each of the individual products by not respecting their passion and preference.

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2) Disney

One very common mistake we see in social channels amongst brands is the failure to connect them. Your audience may not know where you are outside of their initial point of contact. Help spread the word and showcase your entire presence offering. Disney has an active presence across many social nets and they surface that fact readily and frequently to their audience in unique ways. We all know that images perform the best on Facebook " well take a look at how Disney is using that fact to surface their other channels to their users:

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3) MTV

On October 12th, MTV helped spread awareness of the United States National Coming Out Day. Now, Im not suggesting that taking a stand on a politically charged topic is going to be the right move for every brand. In fact for some it may be an incredibly big mistake. But what I do suggest is gaining a deep understanding of your audience and what is important to them. Look for places where this aligns with the values of your brand and hold those up high. Look for places where you and your customer can take a stand on something meaningful " together.

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4) Starbucks

Images earn far higher rates of engagement on Facebook than other types of media. They get shared more frequently, garner more user attention and conversation. Something that is not as commonly known though " is that posts paired with an image are editable. So should you have a temporary moment of fat finger syndrome and mis-type something, if youve included an image you will be allowed to go back in and edit that text. Its a win-win-win really!

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5) RedBull

It gives you wings. Everyone knows that. Whether you drink it or not. Why? Because RedBull has built an incredibly strong brand. They take this effort to Facebook. If you peruse their content one thing youll notice in pretty short order is that you wont see much of their product highlighted.if at all. In fact in the several times Ive gone over their page in the last few days I didnt see it once. They are purely focused on branding. They have aligned their brand with extreme sports and that is clear in the content theyre sharing. Users dont align nearly as well to products as they do to lifestyles. RedBull gets that.

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You may not have the budgets and staff of the big brands, but that doesnt mean you cant borrow from their methods. Take some of these concepts and see if you cant extend your engagement on Facebook and take it up a level.

If you liked this post, you might also enjoy Top 10 Facebook Tools For Business

Kristy Bolsinger

Kristy Bolsinger is a Senior Associate at PwC in Seattle, WA. She has previously worked at Ant's Eye View (acquired by PwC in 2012), and RealNetworks (GameHouse). Prior to her time at RealNetworks, and Ant's Eye View - Kristy was working as a Social Media Marketing Consultant and completing her MBA at Willamette University. She maintains a social media blog and can also be found on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

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6 Responses to “Five Facebook Lessons From The Top Brands”

  1. KevinRyan says:

    I really like how the likes of Redbull and Mountain Dew use their Facebook pages. They've already got excellent marketing campaigns and use their social media presence to complement their campaigns. Another brand that I look to on Facebook is BMW.

  2. Great selection, thank you. Oreo had a really successful one a while ago, and the social media site StumbleUpon use Facebook well to promote their services and engage fans. Our firm has also used some interesting techniques; I think it's all about engaging with the customers in a new way. Being able to deal with individuals (from a business perspective, as well as for customers contacting us) is still a unique experience and we're very much indeed enjoying it. Creativity, as always, is key.

    • Kristy says:

      I absolutely adore what Oreo has done in social, particularly around content. They are not afraid to have fun and show a little personality. Definitely a brand to keep an eye on!!

  3. Julie says:

    Great idea to check out what some of the top brands are doing right to know what we should be doing. Facebook has always been harder for me to market on for some reason.

    • Kristy says:

      Yeah Facebook can be tricky. Definitely takes a solid investment and can be harder to actually implement for some brands just by their nature. If you're finding better success on other channels though don't be afraid to shift your investment. It really comes down to what your audience responds to the best.