If you’re like me, you’re very selective when it comes to which Facebook brand pages you follow. Some post waaaay too frequently (I’m looking at you, TIME), some try to be witty or edgy and fail, and some just don’t understand how to connect with their customers. (For example, that cringeworthy time Epicurious thought sharing recipes relating to Boston would help those coping with the marathon tragedy. Or that time K-Mart sent the same exact reply to hundreds of people.)
But by posting the right content, at the right time, with the right tone, you can use Facebook to your advantage as a free content marketing tool. Content marketing doesn’t just need to be limited to magazines, newsletters and websites; you can post content directly on social media networks, giving you even more opportunities to promote content online.
These seven Facebook brand pages have mastered what to post, when to post and how to effectively engage with customers. Look at what they’re doing for tips on effectively using your organization’s Facebook as a marketing tool extraordinaire.
1. NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover
This Facebook page has mastered humor and tone. As we all know, it can be difficult to hit the nail on the head when it comes to mass appeal humor. But NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover gets it right. For example, its Facebook page bio (which you should always remember to fill in) reads: "Who’s got six wheels, a laser and is now on the Red Plant? Me. I’m Curiosity, aka the Mars Science Laboratory Rover." The Curiosity Mars Rover Facebook account also knows how to appeal to the consumer — it recently linked to an article from NASA about how the rover helps astronauts learn about radiation and made a connection to the recently released Matt Damon film, "The Martian."
Etsy wins the award for best cross promotion with other brands and accounts. By its nature, Etsy lends itself well to cross promotion, as it is a DIY/handmade goods marketplace. Etsy's Facebook page does an amazing job curating content it knows its customers will enjoy by featuring unique shops, as well as the stories behind many of the shops' owners. And it keeps up with two Facebook best practices: 1. Linking to the Facebook pages of the shops it mentions and 2. Using beautiful, high res imagery.
In case you can't tell, we're all about video at madison/miles media. Everyone's favorite adventure video company, GoPro, wins the award for best use of video on Facebook. Their Facebook account features a "Video of the Day" and a "Photo of the Day." GoPro knows most of its customers are travelers and adventure seekers, so it features thrilling video clips and photographs. The video company also adheres to Facebook marketing best practices by tagging its users and companies in Facebook posts (see below for an example). This garners more shares, comments and likes from both accounts. And, consistency is king: GoPro posts a photo and video every single day, so users know exactly what to expect when they sign in.
Budweiser makes its way onto this list for its amazing ability to know who its customers are and to provide content that appeals to them. While the majority of the account's posts are about beer, not every single one is. And that's a good thing. Budweiser knows most of its Facebook fans are men, and most men like sports. Therefore, the company recently shot a custom video about soccer player Tim Howard's struggle to achieve success. The video received numerous shares. Kudos, Budweiser.
5. Intrepid Travel
Intrepid Travel takes the crown for incorporating another Facebook best practice: variety. The travel company's posts range from videos, photos and inspirational travel quotes to contests, articles and charity involvement tips. The company knows its consumers are both practical and aspirational travelers, and it curates its Facebook content as such. Intrepid Travel features pictures of faraway, exotic destinations in Iceland as well as pictures of attainable destinations in Canada.
ModCloth is a master of social media etiquette. The company doesn't pigeonhole its customers (I’m looking at you, Victoria’s Secret). Instead, ModCloth includes all members of its community, including transgender, petite and plus size shoppers. And on top of all that, they do an amazing job responding to customer complaints and concerns - despite having 1.3 million Facebook fans. If a customer wants the link to a dress in an image, they provide it. If someone just says they adore something (without even asking questions) they’ll give that user the details on it. And best of all: no template, canned responses. Each one is unique.
7. St. Jude Research Children’s Hospital
St. Jude Research Children's Hospital does an incredible job sharing content that is inspirational and moving. While many of the hospital's posts are about St. Jude and its charity projects (as they should be), many also tell the moving stories of children who have been treated at St. Jude. This follows another Facebook best practice: post things that people actually care about. For example, one post (below) features the story of two girls who became friends while undergoing treatment together. This type of moving, emotionally-driven content will gain more followers than a simple message about how to donate $50. Well done, St. Jude.
Don't Forget: When You Post Is Critical
These seven companies all follow best practices for when to post on Facebook as well. Our friends at HubSpot have nailed down the best times to post on Facebook. Eighty-six percent of all Facebook posts are published during the work week. Thursday and Friday see the biggest engagement from followers, while Monday and Wednesday see much lower amounts of engagement. And when it comes to the time of day to post, early afternoon — from 1 to 3 p.m. — appears to be the best time in order to receive the most clicks and shares.