Welcome to Part 2 of our 3-part series intended to help your brand across the three biggest social platforms: Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
When it comes to social media marketing, there is no "one" approach. How to best use social media for your business depends on your industry, target audience, resources and overall business goals.
There are hundreds of brands that are using social media effectively; they provide value to their followers with high-quality content and engagement, and it’s helping them grow their audience.
There are also hundreds of brands that are failing to harness the power of social media marketing. They lack strategy, they aren’t clear on how to best use each social media platform to its full potential and they aren’t engaging or repurposing user-generated content.
When it comes to marketing on Facebook, you have to be both strategic and methodical about what you post, when you post it and how you engage with your audience. Through looking at positive use-cases and brand success stories, you’ll have valuable insights on how to apply platform-specific best practices to increase the reach, exposure and engagement of your social media content.
So, who is doing it well? The brands below are just a few examples — I’ll explain what makes their approaches effective and what that could mean for your brand.
Lululemon does a great job at creating content on a consistent basis, posting about 5 – 6 updates per week.
They share a variety of content; they post photos, status updates, links and videos to create a diverse and engaging stream of updates.
When it comes to shared links, they do a great job of mixing promotional links (links to their product pages and special offers) with valuable, informative content about fitness, health and wellness.
This “fluffier” content, although it's not brand-centric, is still relevant to the lululemon brand. They make athletic wear, so informative content about fitness, health and wellness provides value to their Facebook audience. It also provides them with a reason to come back to the page time and time again; fans know they’ll find special deals, healthy recipes and informational articles about exercise and wellness.
Takeaway Tip: Think about what types of information your audience values, and brainstorm the types of non-branded content that you could share with your audience. Start including informational and/or inspirational content to create a diverse, engaging Facebook page.
Kleenex does a fantastic job at finding creative ways to tie non-branded content back to their brand, often using the hashtag #KleenexMoment.
Kleenex makes tissues, but through storytelling they found a way to tie their brand to inspirational stories all over the world. This drastically increases the amount of interaction they get on their posts. The impressive part about what Kleenex does is that their followers would enjoy these videos even if they weren't branded as a #KleenexMoment. The stories have nothing to do with Kleenex, but by using a branded hashtag, the Kleenex brand benefits.
Takeaway Tip: There are ways to promote your brand even when you’re not sharing brand-centric content. Using a branded hashtag, and finding stories that you can share and apply the hashtag to is a great way to provide value to your audience while simultaneously increasing the exposure of your brand.
Sharpie does a great job of repurposing user-generated content to the benefit of both the Sharpie brand and their followers.
They regularly re-post images of pictures that people have drawn with Sharpies. This allows Sharpie to regularly post creative content without actually having to create it. It allows their followers to see work from creative people all over the world, and gives those creative people a platform for their work to be seen by a lot of people who would have never seen it otherwise. It's a win-win-win scenario.
Sharpie shows that a picture is worth a thousand words. Rather than spend the time creating wordy updates, they keep things short and sweet so that the attention stays where it should: on the Sharpie graphic.
Takeaway Tip: Encourage your users to generate content using your product. Then use that content to boost your page and engagement.
General Electric (GE) is probably not top of mind for most people when considering brands with a Facebook page worth following, but their 1.7 million followers think otherwise.
GE knows that an everyday consumer can't just walk into one of their factories, so they use social media to give people a look behind the scenes.
A lot of GE's product offering consists of complex machinery, but their Facebook page does an excellent job of presenting content explaining that machinery in an easily digestible way.
GE also keeps a lot of their posts topical. For example, during the recent women's marches they posted about a world where women scientists were treated like stars. This is great because people are more likely to engage with topical content, and it works especially well for GE here because they are able to promote the fact that they have some pretty kick-ass women scientists on their team.
Takeaway Tip: First, if you have a complicated product, make sure you simplify how you talk about it on Facebook – if it's too detailed, your followers are more likely to just scroll to the next post. Second, posting topical content is a great way to increase engagement, especially if you can make it portray your brand in a positive light.
Chubbies posts a lot of really ridiculous content, including The Best Guinness Pour of All Time. But what Chubbies does extremely well is stay on-brand. Most brands couldn't get away with posting the type of content that Chubbies posts, but it is in line with their brand.
This content generates tons of engagement and has been a huge factor in Chubbies success.
Takeaway Tip: Don't try to mimic Chubbies. What you can learn from Chubbies is that having a strong brand that is communicated through all channels (including Facebook and other social media platforms) can have a big impact on your business.
Sharing content that isn't brand-centric can be a great way to engage your audience, but finding a way to tie that content back to your brand makes it even more powerful. If you can get users to generate content while using your product, do it and use it. Even if you sell boring or complicated products, you can still have an engaging Facebook page. And most importantly, make sure you stay true to your brand.
Providing value, especially in creative ways, is going to be what keeps your Facebook audience growing for months and years to come. (It also helps to have a budget.)
Check out Part 1 of the series here and stay tuned for the next part of this series which will showcase success stories from brands that are creating meaningful relationships through marketing on Twitter.
If you still feel like you need some guidance, reach out to us!