While catching up on our advertising news feeds this week, we came across an article on LinkedIn entitled “8 Brands That Have Found Success On Facebook and What We Can Learn.” Once we got past that incredibly long title, we clicked over the article and found some really good, interesting information on a bunch of different brands that are using Facebook as a successful part of their marketing strategy. One of the things we particularly liked in this article is that it covered a wide range of marketers, from huge global brands to smaller, local retail outlets. There’s something useful in the article for any marketer looking to increase their presence via Facebook.
The eight marketers mentioned are: the Pampered Chef, Restaurant.com, Oreo, Vitamin Water, Boloco (a local Boston restaurant), LOFT, 1-800-Flowers.com, and the Brooklyn Museum. Here’s a quick synopsis of the Facebook marketing strategies and the key lessons learned:
- Pampered Chef: This was, frankly, our least favorite “success secret”, despite it being listed as the #1 brand in the article. They launched their Facebook page live at a national conference in front of thousands of consultants and earned 10,000 “Likes” in their first 24 hours, and are now up to 260,000 “Likes.” The key takeaway listed is “Ask your staff, customers, vendors, and partners…to ‘Like’ your Facebook page first.” While that’s a great strategy and makes a lot of sense, it doesn’t answer the underlying question of “What does a ‘Like’ on Facebook get me?” One of our former clients had a goal to simply increase the number of likes on their page, and were prepared to spend money with a PR firm to achieve this goal, but there had been no underlying analysis done to determine what the value to their business was. Getting likes on your Facebook page should be a tactic, not an end-all goal.
- Restaurant.com: There was some really good insight from this marketers’ strategy, which was to engage people with questions and polls, which not only gave them valuable feedback from the answers, but also helped them appear more often in users’ newsfeeds on Facebook, due to the way that Facebook’s EdgeRank formula works.
- Oreo: The key takeaway from Oreo’s strategy was to share pictures and encourage your fans to share their pictures to help keep things personal. Facebook (and all social media) is great way to keep your customers involved with you brand with an almost one-to-one relationship, but when you’re the size of Oreo (they have 19 million fans, worldwide), that intimate relationship can be lost. By creating a “World’s Fan of the Week” and showcasing that fan’s picture, Oreo has figured out a way to help keep things personal.
- Vitamin Water: The main lesson from this example was that Vitamin Water has figured out a way to continually engage with their 2.3 million fans by allocating the resources necessary to respond to every inquiry they receive. This is a very simple lesson to learn, but sadly it’s one that many marketers on Facebook overlook. If you don’t maintain your page and engage with your fans in a very timely manner, then you’re better off not having a Facebook page at all.
- Boloco: This Boston restaurant has taken advantage of a relatively new feature on Facebook by designing their Facebook as a “Place Page” so diners can check-in and receive local special deals. They have also incorporated a Reviews app to solicit and showcase reviews. The article recommends that any marketer with a physical location use Place Pages and Deals to drive traffic. We addressed the traffic-driving ability of social media in one of our previous blog posts, and continue to believe it’s an under-utilized, but powerful, use of social media.
- LOFT: The main point behind showcasing this clothing company was showing how they used social media to “fix” a gaffe they made. They posted a series of pictures of super-thin models wearing their clothes, which generated a huge backlash from their fans. The very next day, LOFT used social media to apologize to their fans and even went a step further, sharing photos of their own staff members, of all shapes and sizes, wearing the clothes line. Their fans responded very positively to this outreach by LOFT. Almost two years ago, we recommended that one of our clients use social media in a similar way to help deal with some negative press that had been published in the news media. Within 24 hours of the negative story going public, our client addressed the issue on their Facebook page and provided links to a YouTube video of the CEO addressing the concern. Our fans, much like LOFT’s, responded very positively and actually went on the offensive by claiming that the news media was misreporting the situation.
- 1-800-Flowers.com: This particular marketer has integrated Facebook’s functionality into their main website, by adding a “Like” button onto the page of every product they offer. The benefit of this strategy is immediate – a person visiting the site to buy flowers as a gift can immediately see which arrangements their friends have liked.
- Brooklyn Museum: We were very happy to see another local, physical location round out the list, if only to strengthen the idea that Facebook business pages aren’t just about getting “likes” but can be used much more dynamically. In this case, the Brooklyn Museum has chosen to promote the pages of other artists and organizations, and in return those artists and organizations reciprocate by using their pages to promote the Museum.
The bottom line of the article, we feel, is that as social media becomes more and more prevalent, we need to relook at its potential for helping achieve our marketing objectives. There is so much we can be doing with Facebook if we take the time to look at what it offers to marketers.
What innovative, clever, or creative uses have you seen lately for using Facebook to promote a business or brand?
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