Dave Kerpen is the CEO of Likeable, a social media agency that has worked with more than 200 leading brands including 1-800Flowers.com, Verizon and Neutrogena. He is author of .Likeable Social Media
Any brand worth their social media salt has a presence on Facebook. But just because a brand is online, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is doing a good job.
While it’s possible to suggest some tips and best practices, there’s no greater teacher than learning from example.
Below, find eight brands that have found success on Facebook, including some takeaways on what they did right and how you can emulate their success.
The Pampered Chef launched their Facebook page at a national conference in front of thousands of enthusiastic consultants. The page earned 10,000 likes in its first 24 hours and now has over 260,000 likes.
Lesson: Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners — who already know you and like you — to “Like” your Facebook page first.
Restaurant.com combines exclusive Facebook offers with lots of engaging questions. This drives higher results in users’ newsfeeds because of Facebook’s EdgeRank formula. Last week for instance, they asked, “When the weather is nice, do you prefer to dine on the restaurant’s outdoor patio or stay indoors?” and “Which American Idol finalist would you like to dine with — Haley, Lauren, or Scotty?”
Lesson: Ask a lot of questions. You’ll get valuable feedback, plus you’ll be more likely to appear in your fans’ newsfeeds.
Oreo is a global brand with over 19 million fans, and yet they still manage to make things personal for their fans. They consistently run fun content, creative pictures and links. They also have a “World’s Fan of the Week” that showcases one Oreo fan in their profile picture based on uploaded fan photos.
Lesson: Share lots of photos, and ask your fans to share photos. Facebook’s Photos remain the most viral feature of its platform.
Vitamin Water has been trailblazing on Facebook for years, including crowdsourcing an entirely new flavor back in 2009. Today, they have over 2.3 million fans with frequent posts featuring pictures, videos, events and links. Most importantly, they are responsive to fan questions and inquiries, breeding loyalty even when their answers aren’t exactly what customers want to hear.
Lesson: Find the resources to respond to your fans questions and inquiries.
Boloco is a Boston restaurant which has set up their Fan Page as a “Place” Page, allowing people to check-in. In addition to using the Reviews app to solicit and showcase reviews, Boloco is engaging and has fun with their audience. Most importantly, as a Place Page, they can leverage one of Facebook’s newest features, Deals, offering customers specific and local specials.
Lesson: If you have a physical location, use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic through your doors.
Last June, LOFT upset its fans after they posted a series of photos of super-thin models wearing their clothing. So the very next day, they apologized and shared photos of their own staff, of various shapes and sizes, wearing the line. Fans responded enthusiastically, and since then LOFT’s Fan Page has grown from 50,000 fans to 250,000 fans. They also post a lot on weekends, when their audience is online and there’s less competition from other brands.
Lesson: Know your audience well, and when you make a mistake, quickly own up, do right by your audience and fix the problem.
1-800-Flowers.com was one of the first brands to establish buying opportunities inside Facebook, and now leverages in-stream sales. But the most important thing they’ve done is to deeply integrate Facebook onto their website, putting the Like button on all products. Imagine visiting an ecommerce website and seeing what products the person you’re buying a gift for “Liked” — it would make choosing the right gift a lot easier, wouldn’t it?
Lesson: Integrate Facebook outside of your Fan Page, on your website, in as many places as you can. Create more compelling opportunities for people to buy your product based on their friends’ Likes.
This local non-profit has used pictures and an art app called Wall Paper to attract more than 37,000 fans. One thing they do particularly well is engage other entities. A look at their Wall shows lots of artist pages and other organization’s pages interacting with the Museum’s page — not just the fans.
Lesson: Find synergy with other organizations and entities, and then work together to promote each other’s Facebook pages so that everyone benefits.
These eight brands all demonstrate worthwhile lessons in Facebook marketing. What are your favorite brands doing on Facebook? And what other lessons have you learned? Let us know in the comments below.
Disclosure: The Pampered Chef, Restaurant.com and 1-800-Flowers.com are clients of Likeable.