In last week’s blog post about crafting a successful Facebook fan page (or public profile, as they’re now officially called), I promised a post on five pages that get it done. They aren’t the top five pages on Facebook (Coke comes in at #1, followed by Pringles at #2), but they use a variety of approaches, content and tools to perfectly target their markets.
From smallest number of fans to largest:
Zappos has an impressive social media campaign spearheaded by their CEO (who is on Twitter @zappos) and their Facebook page is no exception. The page has amateur video shot around the Zappos office and interactive photo galleries where fans are encouraged to submit captions. From blog posts to musical videos sung by staff, the page has everything – except shoes. You see, Zappos is in the shoe-selling business. They also sell clothes. And that information is conspicuously absent from their page.
So why is this page a success? Zappos can’t compete on shoes alone. They sell the same brands as every other online shoeseller. They compete on service – and their videos and other quirks are a testament to their interaction with their customer base. Fans at Zappos already know what they can buy at the main Web site – their fan page is a broadcast of customer loyalty. And in that way, a huge success.
Us Weekly Magazine
Us Weekly magazine’s fan page highlights the same content that made them famous – celebrity gossip. The page has many of the same features seen in other Facebook fan pages, from videos to polls to the magazine’s Twitter feed – all powered by Involver. What sets this page apart from others? Two main points.
First, the magazine has done an excellent job of cornering their target market – online. That’s no small feat for a print product. If you don’t believe me, take a peek at the number of newspapers closing in the U.S. because they failed to conquer the Web. The print magazine’s major drawback is just that – it’s a print magazine. Pretty tough to stay ahead on the gossip front when you publish once a week. Their Facebook page is the venue for new gossip and it allows users to share in the rumor mill with wall posts.
Second, they know their product, know their target market and know what works. What sells the magazine? The cover. What features prominently on their page? A gallery of magazine covers. Playing on the same idea, fans are invited to “guess the cover” each week.
Sometimes the simplest strategies are the ones that work best for a Facebook campaign.
1.1 million fans
If your approach to social media (and marketing in general) is to spread the message far and wide with whatever tools you’ve got at hand, you want your Facebook page to reflect it.
For this reason alone, Red Bull is a success story. The beverage manufacturer that “gives you wings” might be best known for the Flugtag (German for flight day or air show) where fans compete in homemade, human-powered flying machines – with a variety of success. Red Bull also sponsors a litany of professional athletes in many sports. And hosts a wealth of sports-related Web sites. Recently, they added a magazine to the marketing effort.
The Facebook page serves a clearinghouse online for all of the company’s other marketing efforts – sponsorships, print publications, events, partnerships, and the Red Bull blog. You can find it all in one place – indeed, it’s the only place on the Web (aside from Google’s search results) where you can find all of Red Bull in one place (even other Red Bull fan pages).
Victoria’s Secret PINK
1.2 million fans
A funny thing happens when a company posts its commercials on the Web. Those commercials, abominable things that we skipped over when watching television, become videos. Instead of skipping them, we’re transfixed, spending more time on the site than usual and clicking the button to share them with our friends afterward. In short, it’s a marketing dream come true.
Victoria’s Secret does an excellent job of balancing upfront advertising with content. Using Facebook Markup Language (FBML – Facebook does not allow HTML in fan pages), the company has populated the page with traditional ads – you’re hit with “5 panties for $25” as soon as you open the page. In this case, the videos are also advertising, but it seems more palatable on the Web. Finally, the page allows users to upload their own videos – and users have answered the call. It’s social media marketing at it’s finest – allow your fans to do the marketing (even the content generation) for you.
1.7 million fans
In case you haven’t heard, Starbucks is having a bit of an identity crisis.
After expanding at a ridiculously rapid pace, the coffee giant lost touch with what made it great. Corners were cut to save time making drinks. Pair that with a worldwide economic recession the likes of which hasn’t been seen in decades and those $5 Frappucinos just aren’t selling as well. At it’s heart, Starbucks isn’t a coffee company – Starbucks is an image company that also peddles caffeine. When that image gets tarnished, you have a major problem brewing.
Starbucks attacked the problem head on. Massive changes were made in store structure, with a renewed emphasis on what made the coffee chain great. Instead of dismissing the populace while growth exploded, the company has opened its collective ears – begging for feedback from customers, critics and fans alike. A social media campaign – complete with crowdsourcing – is at the heart of this and their Facebook page is no exception.
A robust discussion board elicits fan feedback on everything from how to deal with recycling their paper cups to discontinued syrup flavors – in short, Starbucks is listening.
A final touch: Instead of just uploading blog RSS feeds (a timesaver, but not always a good fit for every company), Starbucks uploads each link individually (tracking the results via bit.ly – very smart) referencing the blog writer on a first-name basis. Those of us who enjoyed the coffee back in the hey day probably had a similar relationship with our barista. It’s a small touch that goes a long way toward recalling the nostalgia that made the company great – and that’s what marketing is all about.
Those are my five – did your favorites make it in? Other amazing ideas I’ve missed online? Please post in the comments so that we can all get a glimpse of what successful companies are doing with their Facebook fan pages.
Next week: Come back for five tips to help you get the most out of Twitter.