5 examples of great Facebook brand pages

This post was originally published on Smart Insights on 2oth December 2011. I cross-post it here with all the links and tags for your reading pleasure!

As marketers constantly look for better ways to use social media to engage with customers and generate positive word-of-mouth and sentiment, a well-designed, thought-out Facebook page is a key platform to target consumers. Facebook brand pages can offer businesses, both large and small, an excellent opportunity to create a presence and a brand experience, but only if this experience is well planned and executed.

In this post I’ll look at some examples of companies that I think have created a great experience on Facebook that fits with their brand well. I hope these “best practices” give some ideas of improvements that could work for your Facebook presence. These examples all show these key ingredients of a great Facebook brand page, including:

  • A clear objective and raison d’être for the page
  • A good, professional design which is consistent with all other marketing communications
  • An impactful welcome page with a clear call-to-action
  • Integration of other social media outposts, such as Twitter, YouTube and a company blog
  • A lively, diverse set of updates on the Wall that generate conversations and comments
  • Rich media, especially good quality photos and videos
  • A newsletter sign-up form to capture more detailed information about fans
  • A set of house rules or posting guidelines to keep fans ‘on message’
  • Fun and interesting! People come to Facebook to chill out and to connect with their friends

So, here are 5 top Facebook brand pages that contain many of the ingredients listed above and my thoughts on what we can learn from them:

Coca-Cola

Likes: 36,294,451

Coca-cola Facebook page

What makes this page great?

With well over 36 million likes, Coca-Cola is one of the most followed consumer brands on Facebook. And how have they done this? By providing a rich mix of innovative, fun and immersive promotions and features that are exclusive to their Facebook followers.

Coca-Cola keeps their campaigns simple and uses a blend of photos and video to encourage fans to join in and participate. The page is fun and there’s plenty to do and see.

Key takeaways:

  • Be creative and encourage participation
  • Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm favours photos and videos more highly than regular status updates, meaning they’ll stand a better chance of finding their way into followers’ News Feeds
  • Post both original and user-generated rich media to grab people’s attention and spark discussions
  • Use fun, simple and intuitive competitions to keep fans engaged

ASOS

Likes: 1,409,490

ASOS Facebook page

What makes this page great?

The online fashion retailer was one of the first companies to move into f-commerce and create a fully integrated Facebook store that is easily accessible from within the page.

However, it isn’t just the Facebook store that makes the ASOS Facebook page great – it’s the brand’s focus on creating a memorable customer experience for its fans.

ASOS regularly posts pictures of new fashion ranges to generate discussion, announces deals and promotions and have also created an Instagram feature showcasing behind-the-scenes pictures from magazines and photoshoots.

Key takeaways:

  • Follow the golden rule of effective Facebook marketing: create a customer experience that keeps users ‘in-system’
  • Create an environment that gives your followers everything they need within the Facebook page
  • Focus on engaging fans on your page by posting regular updates and answering fans’ questions on the wall
  • Be different and stand out from your competitors. Integrate features, competitions and social outposts that others haven’t (e.g. Instagram)

Manchester United

Likes: 20,637,665

Manchester United Facebook page

What makes this page great?

The Manchester United Facebook page gives fans an immersive brand experience by offering behind-the-scenes videos, exclusive interviews and timely, considered posts that range from breaking news to birthday wishes for the players.

The page also encourages fans to interact, not only through its use of (good quality) photos and videos but also through polls, contests and questions. Every fan responds differently so Manchester United covers all options.

Key takeaways:

  • Offer your Facebook followers an exclusive, behind-the-scenes experience they won’t find elsewhere
  • Use polls, contest and open questions to encourage comments and interaction
  • Don’t replicate your website on Facebook. Create a unique identity that keeps followers interested so that they comment, like and share content with friends
  • Post regularly but not so much that it annoys and frustrates your fans

Cisco

Likes: 233,091

Cisco Facebook page

What makes this page great?

Facebook pages are not just for B2C brands. On the contrary, brands like Cisco have leveraged the popularity and appeal of Facebook to create a very well-designed, informative and immersive Facebook experience tailored to their customer’s and stakeholder’s needs.

Cisco has used its Facebook page to integrate its Twitter stream, blogs, YouTube videos and Flickr photos so that followers can discover more social content and information about the company.

What is also cool is a tab that allows followers to find a Cisco Facebook page specific to their country using the Cisco Facebook Global Map.

Key takeaways:

  • Don’t create a Facebook page because it’s the ‘cool thing to do’. Make sure your Facebook page has a clear raison d’être, preferably based on customer/ stakeholder research
  • Integrate other key social channels into the page to provide other social options for fans and increase visibility for those outposts
  • Create custom tabs that provide easily digestible information about your company or product
  • As your page, ‘like’ other pages to show your support for them and to comment on other pages and on users pages who have public profiles

EasyLunchboxes

Likes: 15,945

EasyLunchboxes Facebook page 

What makes this page great?

Just as B2B brands can make an impact using Facebook, small businesses can, too.

EasyLunchboxes has embraced many of the key ingredients that make up a great Facebook page, including a clear, impactful ‘Welcome’ page, lots of colourful, interesting photos and the integration of their blog, Twitter and YouTube channels.

However, one of the most impressive features is the company’s personable approach and responsiveness to anyone that comments, ensuring that fans feel as though they are interacting with a person rather than a faceless organisation

Key takeaways:

  • Make sure you design the page to a high standard and in a way that is consistent with the company website and all other marketing communications
  • Take the time to respond to comments and where possible initiative conversations and discussions
  • Stay on topic and post updates that are consistent with the product and what the brand stands for
  • Add a newsletter sign-up form with a clear call-to-action to capture more detailed information of your followers and fans 
What are your favourite Facebook brand pages? What is about them that makes them so good?