What started as a place where people could create personal profiles online to keep in touch has now grown into a very popular platform where businesses have also entered the game, creating profiles to also keep in touch with their customers. The brand has become an essential element of a company’s Facebook page and is an arena where customers connect with the personality of their favorite companies. Companies with the best Facebook pages know exactly how to personify their company through their brand to better connect and engage with their followers. Not even Zuckerberg himself would have predicted that Facebook would grow into the undeniable powerhouse and social media rock star that it is. Facebook quickly became a household name and has over 1.65 billion monthly active users worldwide (venturebeat.com). While there is definitely a case for social media creating a disconnect from reality, users have become increasingly more connected, proving that social media has—in a way—connected society more. The six degrees of separation theory, the one where everyone is a six steps away from any other person in the world, is reduced to 3.57 degrees of separation between every Facebook user (research.facebook.com).
Since Facebook is where most people’s attention is directed on social media, it has become a place where businesses now vie for customer attention. It was argued years ago by many (I’m sure you yourself can recall a naysayer or two) that social media doesn’t have any ROI. Why waste time on it? Or how about, “Facebook won’t be around for much longer.” Well to naysayers, Facebook is still going strong and there are now Facebook ads, CTAs and more. Brand equity, an undeniable benefit to social media, has seen a close link and “upgrade in status” if you will, to clicks on ads and CTAs, which results in more web traffic and… sales! If you don’t believe it, then maybe some of these case studies will change your mind. Consumers interact with their favorite (and sometimes not-so-favorite) companies in a place where they feel they can be heard, really be responded to or acknowledged. Businesses now gain huge insights from customer feedback and can reach customers directly, engaging them through online conversation.
Which brands are killing it (aka winning at Facebook)? Which brands have the best Facebook pages and use it to fuel their brand’s equity and drive sales? There are many different perspectives one could take about what pages are doing great things in terms of creativity, cleverness or hilarity. But at the end of the day, likes are likes. It’s the Facebook currency we all crave. It’s the pat on the head or the back we get to quench our popularity thirst and need for approval. There are many elements and tactics a business can employ to aspire to be the best Facebook page out there:
- creating strong content: images, ads and videos
- keeping content relevant (shareable, great topic and graphics)
- fueling brand equity throughout the page (and all company Facebook actions and interactions)
- encouraging engagement (crowdsourcing for answers is ok if relevant, but don’t beg with questions all the time, use them sparingly—don’t come off as desperate)
- creating calls to action (this can be a hashtag, it doesn’t need to be a question and answer)
- posting frequently (but not too frequently)
- posting at the best times
We’ve scoured Facebook—ok the best of Facebook—to bring you the best of brands and what makes them so darn “like”-able.
Ironic, right? How is Facebook at the top of the list of the best Facebook pages? It would be surprising if a company wasn’t the master of their own product. There are many elements to creating a
great Facebook page, and Facebook covers a lot of them. After all, there is a lot of pressure on their shoulders. The image and brand Facebook puts out is consistent and clean. From the posted images to the videos, there’s a clean and consistent look and feel. Facebook is all about bringing friends and family close together and hitting people right in the feels so there’s a lot of feels everywhere. Lots of warm fuzzies. Tabs are used strategically, such as the about section, where it’s clean and simple. Any company should fill out the information but don’t tell your company’s entire life story.
Adding a human element to a brand can be a big win, as a company is no longer seen as a corporation, but the people behind that
corporation. The big guy, Mr. Zuckerberg, is in Q&A videos and can be seeing actively “liking” things from his own personal account. Is he the one actually liking things or does he have people for that now? We’ll never know, but the sense that the company cares is apparent and consumers feel like Mark is someone they can talk to as people continuously tag him and ask him questions in posts. There are how-tos scattered throughout the page to help people with the many questions that arise. The company spends a lot of time creating their own fresh content—the page isn’t riddled with shares everywhere. Engagement on the page is also huge, with people commenting and often asking questions. No matter how repetitive the question, the Facebook team is on it with answers, showing that they care. Well done, Facebook.
It is interesting to note that Facebook doesn’t have a review section or a visitor post section. This works for Facebook because they are, well, Facebook. This leads to the point that just because there are a number of features available, doesn’t mean a company has to use them all. A strong mix of features that makes sense for the company is ideal. But…companies shouldn’t be afraid to get reviews and completely filter out bad comments. Learning how to respond to reviews properly and take into consideration customer feedback is a huge part of handling a company’s reputation, and handling it well. I know as a customer, I’ve been pretty put off when a company has poor customer service and then tightly controls any feedback or reviews. Customers only need to be burned and feel muzzled once in today’s customer-centric economy to switch brand loyalties in a hurry and tell all of their friends.
It almost doesn’t seem fair that at number two on the list, YouTube (due to the nature of their platform), always has a bunch of content available to share and post. There are tons of YouTube shared posts on their Facebook timeline. While it makes sense, any social media content writer/creator can almost be a little jealous! There are a lot fewer responses by YouTube on their Facebook page to users comments than Facebook. It seems that people are posting to hear their own voice, and also responding to one another sharing their opinions about the content and life in general. YouTube conveys more of a fun buoyant vibe through their posts, images and videos, which all stick to their brand. Since they are a general entertainment source, their on-brand relevancy casts a wider net and they can really post about anything, as long as it is appropriate to their demographic groups and is entertaining, tastefully funny and interesting.
YouTube keeps their posts and content fresh,
posting different types of content one or two times a day. Whether it’s cute, funny or just plain entertaining, YouTube brings their users some good ol’ fashioned Facebook-worthy content. I bet you will never root for a guy in a T. Rex suit so much as you will on American Ninja Warrior. Users who like YouTube’s page will always be brought up to speed with the latest and greatest YouTube videos because it’s important to know what’s always going on in popular culture, right?
To the contrary of many business owners not wanting to create or claim a company Facebook page, they are missing out on creating a connection with their customers. Many consumers want to
feel connected to their favorite brands, and social media is a great outreach tool. McDonald’s has come a long way in reestablishing their brand once consumer tastebuds experienced a health revolution. Becoming one of the best Facebook pages in Facebook-world is a great example of how the McDonald’s brand continues to adapt to the times.
The imagery and branding is fun and on par with either subtle branding or golden arches apparent somewhere. The McDonald’s red and yellow instantly create brand recognition… and the burger and fries help too. Fun fact: the famous burger and fries that are so recognizable by many as McDonald’s actually get the food equivalent to hair and makeup for photoshoots.
How creative can a company get with being a fast food brand? Well, a french fry doing yoga on a beach won me over. Is it just me or could anyone else go for some fries now? While McDonald’s posts don’t get quite as many comments and questions as Facebook and YouTube, it does appear that McDonald’s is on top of responding to customers, for the most part. While it looks like they are responding to a lot of positive customer feedback, we hope that they are at least responding offline to those unhappy customers.
How engaging can a fast-food company get with their content? Well it looks like they find a way to keep content coming and post about once a day and customers are posting comments and questions. Social media in the corporate world needs to strike a balance between being careful so as to not over-post yet post enough to still stay top of mind with customers. It’s akin to having that friend on your timeline that posts way too much and you contemplate un-following them so they don’t clog your timeline, to the other friend that never posts anything and you check on their profile from time to time to make sure they are ok or to see if they have unfriended you. Also, the company is creating a lot of their own content and not simply sharing content and posts from other sources. Do customers feel connected to the McDonald’s brand when they visit their page? Absolutely.
First of all, who wouldn’t like a company with a profile picture of Mickey Mouse? When it comes to branding, Disney knows what they are doing. To reinforce my point: have you ever heard of Disney? Can you instantly name five of your favorite Disney movies? That’s what I thought. So it’s no surprise they would have one of the best Facebook pages out there. Watch any Disney cartoon and pause it at any moment to see if you can see the almost subliminal branding that Disney incorporates into their films. For those of you that are parents, it will be a fun new way to annoy your children during their favorite movie or a great new game you can play together.
Whether a person calls this type of hidden branding “easter eggs” or something else, Disney knows that the more times people see something, the more it becomes familiar to them. That brand recognition creates trust with a brand and trust creates more aptness to purchase. I didn’t believe the whole easter egg theory either until I saw a business seminar hosted by Disney. Much to my shock, case and point examples shown here, several Disney characters and logos are hidden ever so slightly within other Disney cartoons. It’s a pretty fun game,. Once you start, it’s hard to stop. I digress…
Since the Disney brand has such a wide and far reach across their vast portfolio, it isn’t a huge surprise they have engaging on-brand content on their Facebook page. Disney shows some behind the scenes to connect people with their company, offers fun character based quizzes, Q&As and not surprisingly, a lot of great animation and videos. The content is engaging, very shareable and loads of family fun. If that last part doesn’t sound like a Disney preview, then I don’t know what does. Disney pushes out a few posts a day but no more, and they don’t leave a time gap in their posts and ask for engagement without asking a question. It appears that Disney doesn’t openly respond to and moderate the comments on their Facebook page. Hopefully they do it offline, or maybe they don’t because they are Disney.
MTV has managed to stay the trendy source for entertainment while seeing through generations of teens and young adults graduate on to others sources as the newer youngsters take the baton as the brand’s target market. MTV fuels Facebook fans with the content it craves, info-tainment, the kind of gossip about celebrities and popular news we all love to dish out and talk about. Writing for MTV’s blog seems like it would be pretty darn fun, as you would get to be constantly up on the latest and greatest of popular culture and dashes of political awareness. BTW, kudos to MTV for always highlighting the importance of voting with youth. MTV has mastered the art of (and the nature of their content helps with this) posting information that triggers people to talk. To round out the best Facebook page list, this brand keeps it fun, real and hip, which is a challenge for many youth oriented brands.
Consumers who like this page know that once liking the page, they will be kept up to date with the latest and greatest pop culture news that will provide a level of entertainment. The content, whether image or videos, all speak to the MTV brand and culture. It appears that consumers don’t write quite as many comments about the posts, the posts do get a high number of reactions. MTV doesn’t moderate their page by responding to user comments directly, rather the strategy is to just push out content, which as a media source company, is something that they can get away with.
Knowing what’s cool, popular and relevant to your customer base is something that all companies need to do. Companies such as MTV not only know how to forecast what’s cool and popular, but they also know how to make it that way. Any company can take a note from this—know your customer so well that you will know what they want to know before they want to know it. Easier to say and harder to do.
Lessons From the Best Facebook Pages
The companies with the best Facebook pages are indeed doing something right by getting the most likes and driving engagement and shares. What have they all done? Well I hate to sound like a broken record (insert corny joke here), but there are some lessons to take away from the common themes. The best Facebook pages know their consumers, are consistent in their brand messaging, drive engagement… how? Relevant and engaging content at the right place and the right time at the right frequency. It’s ok for it to take some time to get the formula right for your company. Yes, these best Facebook page companies may have brands that can drive more “fun” content than most businesses can, but the lessons are still the same nonetheless. Their pages are an extension of their brand’s culture, and customers are so excited about that, that they want to feel connected to that company by liking the company, reading the company’s posts and commenting on that company’s page. Companies that successfully entertain and engage with their customers are maximizing their brand equity potential through Facebook.
It’s also important to look at the leading companies to see what they aren’t doing anymore. Companies that beg for engagement through direct questions on every post, and use sharing contests are not creating content that really drives real engagement. As a Facebook user, do you see a like and share contest and roll your eyes? It’s time to create something more meaningful, visually appealing or fun, folks. Be creative. A company’s Facebook page should be an extension of their brand. Don’t be something you are not, and don’t create a Facebook business page just to be on Facebook and then just advertise. Use it as an opportunity to convey your brand, reach out to customers and create loyalty and trust. Sprinkle in posts with advertisements for your company, but don’t go so heavy on it that you just get ignored. Use other Facebook elements like ads and boosting to reach new customers and advertise through other aspects of Facebook and keep that Facebook content coming.