Inspiration is our goal for today’s blog post. We have talked a lot about how to incorporate social media tools into your communications and marketing strategies. Now we want to take some time and highlight the best of the best and explain why these brands are getting so much attention within the social media kingdom. You will recognize the names, and these will likely not come as a huge surprise, as these brands are already considered marketing royalty, it just makes sense to see their reign expanding into mediums like Facebook. Take a look at these examples and then go on your own expedition and discover how your favorite brands are maximizing their social media presence.
Traditional marketing and communication strategies tend to make a very big deal about “controlling the message.” Yet when faced with a rogue marketing situation, the innovators at Coca-Cola decided to enlist their amateur spokes-folks rather than issue a gag order on these fans. Two early adopters on Facebook realized that their favorite brand didn’t have a fan page, so they created one. Now Dusty and Michael, the official creators of the Coca-Cola Facebook fan page, are not only loyal superfans for life, Coca-Cola has sent a message to its customers that they matter and that they are heard by the big wigs. This kind of insight is invaluable to word-of-mouth marketing and the viral nature of social media.
The fan interaction on this Facebook page is off the charts, including a rotating fan of the week as the profile pic, virtual games, the ability to see how your friends are interacting with the page, and even online video chat built right into their fan page. But the most clever and interactive is also the easiest and most basic to pull off. ESPN has mastered the art of the status message. The brains behind this brand post regular updates on their wall asking fans specific questions, and boy do the fans respond! Using tactics from fill in the blank to posting links to articles on their website, when ESPN asks, their fans answers by the thousands. Just check out their wall right now and get a glimpse of how connected this brand is to its fan base. You could spend hours perusing all that ESPN has to offer on its Facebook page, so kick back grab a Fanwich and learn from these marketing pros.
The Food Network is using its Facebook page to grow its “family” feel. They regularly ask questions of their fans and encourage sharing of tips, ideas, photos and videos of recipes created by their own stars and replicated by their fans. The discussion board on their fan page is full of recipe questions and answers between fans, you see people encouraging each other to try new things and develop not only a skill but a love for cooking. They even host Facebook online chats between their fans and their stars, most recently featuring the newest addition to the Food Network Family, the Pioneer Woman! This is truly a great example of building community around a brand.
The story is complete in both bookstores and movie theatres, but the fan base continues to grow. There is no arguing that this is one of the top brands of last decade with a Facebook page to back up the hype. As of today, 34,169,162 muggles “like” the page and their responses to wall post’s average in the tens of thousands. Directly from the fan page, you can watch entire movies, get the latest scoop on the new website “Pottermore,” buy movie tickets and even discover your Patronus. Children and adults alike are flocking to this site, years after the story is complete. The J.K. Rowling/Warner Bros. machine must be congratulated on stretching the longevity of this brand way beyond its natural life.
We can’t possibly list all the brands that get it right but here are a few more to explore as you continue on your brainstorming journey: U2, Mumford and Sons, Compassion International, Samaritan’s Purse, Ford Motor Company, Harley Davidson, NCIS, Barak Obama.