Oreo meme

5 great Facebook brand communities, and what you can learn from them

With Facebook set to further chop and change the make up of its newsfeed in the coming weeks and months, what can your brand learn from the best page communities on the world’s largest social network?

Here’s a quick look at five class leading brands that could change your social strategy for good.

EA Sports Fifa

Gaming companies are having to fight for market share in an increasingly cluttered market, but one brand that keeps coming out on top is EA Sports’ Fifa title. On Facebook, the brand has over 11 million fans worldwide, and is possibly the best example of using branded content effectively. From the ever popular in game shots of the ‘goals of the week’, to relevant football issues projected onto the console screen, Fifa’s community managers are very effective at ensuring the conversation remains on brand but still interesting to fans.

Takeaway:
You’ll have heard the phrase ‘content is king’ thousands of times in the past few years if you work in marketing, but in this instance, it’s particularly relevant. Many brands think Facebook is a silver bullet, the holy grail of ‘free marketing’. However, only the best brands realise that investing in a Photoshop wizz or a crack team of video editors can be just as effective as a thought leading community manager.

Paddy Power

A quintessentially Irish brand with liathroidi of steel, Paddy Power’s Facebook page is one of the best examples around of understanding your core customer. Playing on a ‘Jack the lad’ tone that runs throughout all of its marketing, the community management team hold little fear, taking the proverbial out of footballers and sacred cows from the sporting world. Interspersed with this are links to the brand’s excellent content hub (like Red Bull, Paddy Power can be seen as a content provider with a side business, gambling in this case, syrupy drinks for Red Bull) and Facebook fan special offers, used to drive real revenue from social.

Takeaway:
PP’s takeaway is very simple, know what your core audience wants to see and deliver it to them in a timely fashion. The page provides ‘lads down the pub’ with plenty of ammunition and talking points, and this results in a very high engagement level.

Hubspot

So it’s so easy for brands in entertainment, tech and sports to be relevant and interesting, but what about B2B or less ‘sexy’ industries? Surely Facebook isn’t the place for that sort of thing? Well think again B2B marketers, and take a look at Hubspot. The marketing software provider has recently opened an office on ‘Silicon Docks’ in Dublin and certainly practices what it preaches, operating a really tight content strategy.

Takeaway:
Providing value is absolutely key for community managers. With the news feed only getting more competitive, offering something valuable for free is one certain way to gain traction, and Hubspot does this very effectively.

Samsung Mobile USA

Apple’s biggest rival to the smartphone provider title, Samsung are stealing a march on their Cupertino rivals with a savvy social strategy. Staying on the right side of sales focused, Samsung utilises interesting imagery to drive product learning, and make sure to endear their fans with regular events and competitions. Most important though is the conversational tone and a focus on calls to action in posts. Research shows that image based posts under 80 characters that end in a question mark get the best response, and Samsung have certainly taken this on board in their content plan.

Takeaway:
A focus on talking to your fans rather than at them, and asking interesting, on-brand questions can be very powerful. Integrate this into your strategy and you’ll reap the rewards.

Oreo

While most of the recent conversation around Oreo has been Twitter focused, after their ‘real time’ Superbowl win, the brand’s social assets continue to go from strength to strength. The next time a naysayer tries to tell you that social isn’t worth its place in a marketing plan, point them to Oreo’s 33 million engaged fans, and the value the brand derives from them.

What do they do well? Like Samsung above, posts are kept short and sweet, with a heavy focus on branded imagery, and meme type posts. Key though, is the facilitation of the Oreo community. Positive fan comments, collected via a ‘Moments’ app, are used as updates, and for 2012, the brand ran a ‘fan of the week’ competition, rewarding engaged users with some free merchandise and a place on their cover photo.

Takeaway:
Saying thanks can be a very powerful tool. Oreo are masters at putting their brand on the same level as its fans, and, crucially, don’t step over the line of being condescending in comms.

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