Here are some examples of brands that are leading the way in terms of developing engaging and effective Facebook strategies…
The Coca Cola Page is the epitome of user-generated content, demonstrating the success that this can bring to your brand. The Page is largely powered by the users, on all levels from allowing their content to be displayed on the regular wall post feed to more detailed applications such as the ‘fan highlights’ section.
Coca Cola’s success is also in recognising that Facebook should not be just about advertising your latest product – and that the bigger opportunity for them is to remind us of the iconic status Coca Cola has. As such, their photo albums are full of nostalgic Coke product or adverts, product from around the world and even pictures of their workers.
More interesting, and perhaps the best example of how committed the brand is to the fans, is the story of how the fan Page came about. Unlike other successful fan Pages, Coca Cola’s originates from two genuine fans. Instead of seeing this as ‘unofficial’ or as some form of threat to the brand, they decided to work with the fans and continue to build from the successful connections they had made.
adidas stands out in the way it utilises its Page’s tools to promote advertising campaigns and promote its other social media activity. A good example of its use of tools is the ‘Your area’ tab, which creates a localised stream of news, videos, photos and competitions for the fans.
Competitions are also something that adidas deploys effectively: firstly, in picking prizes and partnerships that resonate with its fans, but, cleverly, it also makes sure it follows up and documents the results of competitions when they have finished. Using photos, videos and blog posts allows adidas to gain extra mileage from a campaign that otherwise might have made minimal noise. More important still, it demonstrates a high level of commitment to its fans, keeping them engaged at all stages.
In addition to having all the usual attributes of a strong Facebook Page – engaged fans, a branded application and good notes – Topshop’s one demonstrates a perfect understanding of the role of content for young people: it must either inform or entertain.
When featuring a product like make-up, which is designated its own tab, Topshop will upload instructional videos demonstrating to the fans how to get the best from the product. Pairing up the creative advertising with relevant and informative content helps mobilise the fans and gives the Page a sense of usefulness.
The strength in Red Bull’s Page stems from its integration with other social media channels. Through this integration, Red Bull manages to make its Page feel genuinely different from other brand’s Pages.
The best example of this is its ‘athletes’ tab. Within this tab is a collection of Twitter streams from Red Bull-associated athletes. So fans can read tweets from popular skateboarders or snowboarders, crossing between two different social media channels as they do so.
A key component in a successful Facebook Page is knowing – really knowing – your audience.
Pringles has recognised the content its audience enjoys and realised that if this content is carefully delivered it will increase the chance of fans ‘sharing’ it. Essentially, Pringles has found a method of delivering their content virally.
In recognising that its Facebook fans, and the broader Facebook community, like to pass on humorous content, Pringles created short, low-budget funny videos for its Page. It has given users a low-risk, high-reward chance to spread the Pringles brand to their friends without resorting to paid ad placements.
• Ensure your Page is delivering regular content. Allowing user-generated content will not only make this process easier, but create a greater feel of engagement with the fan base
• Maximise your competitions and/or campaign initiatives. If you’re running a competition, ensure it’s about more than just picking a winner and delivering a prize. Even if they are simply winning some clothes, see if they can upload a picture of themselves wearing them. Not only are you engaging with one of your fans, you are also increasing the chance of their friends joining your Page so they can see their friend and comment, too
• Be useful. You want your Facebook Page to be a space that people can use. In doing so you’ll increase the chances of people recommending it. So offer advice, tips and information about your brand or product. Ideally, deliver this advice in a creative way (e.g. the Topshop videos)
• Integrate your communication channels. Your Facebook Page shouldn’t feel closed off. Introduce your fans to any other social media sites you are using
• Understand your audience and what content they want. If you understand what content your fans want, you will increase the chances of their using it. And if they are using it, there’s more chance of them sharing it with others