It’s one thing to talk about how to be successful on Facebook, but seeing how an actual brand has successfully grown and sustained one of the best Facebook pages? Positively inspirational.
I wanted to write a blog post about a few of the top brands on Facebook, but found myself coming back again and again to one in particular: The Coca-Cola Facebook page.
According to Inside Facebook’s recent list of the top 25 Facebook Pages, Coke ranks in the top ten best Facebook pages in terms of number of fans, and in fact grew by around 5 million just in the 2 months since this list was created.
On average, Coke increases it’s fan base by 75K per day, with an average of 900K people ‘talking about this’ (a measure of how much conversation is being generated on the page). Not too shabby!
After taking even a quick look, it’s immediately obvious that Coke’s Facebook page isn’t about advertising or trying to sell their products. With a good mix of colourful photos, interesting questions, and – generally speaking – non self-promoting posts, their page is eye-catching and engaging.
How it All Began
The goal of the page appears to be about getting fans to interact with the brand, and, in fact, the story of the creation of the Coca-Cola Facebook page is itself a testament to the commitment of Coke to it’s fans.
The page was created in August 2008, not by Coca-Cola itself, but by two regular joes, Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski. Mr. Sorg had been looking for the official Coke Facebook page, and had found none. Rather than joining an existing fan-created page (there were hundreds at the time), he decide to start one that would more accurately represent his favourite brand.
Armed with a high-res photo of an ice-cold Coke can, he created the page and it quickly took off. But In November of that year, Facebook made the decision that official branded pages had to be authorized and managed by the brands themselves. They gave Coca-Cola an ultimatum: Close the page, or take it over.
But rather than strong-arming the pair of dedicated fans, Coke called the pair up and asked if they would like to co-manage the page along with a couple of the company’s senior executives.
To this day, Dusty and Michael are co-administrators of the page.
What Coca-Cola is Doing Right
So, what exactly is Coke doing that’s eliciting such explosive growth? What can we learn from this multinational brand that continues to grow by leaps and bounds every single day?
I took a look at 3 months’ worth of posts on the Coke Facebook page to see if I could figure out how they’ve built one of the best Facebook pages in just a few short years, and how we can replicate it on our own pages. Here are a few interesting findings:
- On average, Coke posts once per day. On occasion they’ll skip a day, but I didn’t see any instances of more than one post in a single day.
- On weekdays, they post around 1:30pm. Sometimes it will be as early as 1:15 or as late as 2:00, but it’s almost always within a few minutes of 1:30.
- On Saturdays, they post at 9am, give or take a few minutes.
- On Sundays, they post around 8am.
- New user-generated content is posted to the Coca-Cola wall about every 2 minutes (that’s around 700 wall posts by fans every day!).
- The majority of fan posts are not replied to by Coke, however it appears they respond to every 10th or so post (and I mean literally every 10 or so…I think they must scroll down their wall and space out their responses evenly!).
- They don’t appear to make comments on their own posts.
What Coke is Posting on Their Page
In looking at these 3 months’ worth of posts, I decided to keep track of exactly what types of updates they posted, and how often they posted each type. I also found out which types of posts generated the most interaction via comments, likes and shares (see below for these findings).
It appears from my very non-scientific observations that in a typical month, Coca-Cola posts the following types of updates:
4 product related questions
5 general non-product related questions or comments
2 contests or promotions
2 holiday greetings
9 promotions of a charity or cause
3 promotions of a new product
Most Popular Types of Posts
Although I of course don’t have access to metrics like reach and virality, and can’t know which posts were promoted as sponsored stories, I did find some post types in general received more engagement than others.
In general, posts promoting a charity or cause received the most likes, product related questions received the most comments, and both of these were also tied for most shares.
Here are a few of the most popular posts from January-March 2013:
Another Point for Coke: Non-Pushy Branding
One of the first things you notice on the Coke Facebook page is their use of branded images. Each and every post is accompanied by an image, and each and every image is branded with the Coca-Cola logo or name (whether the post has something to do with Coke or not).
What Can We Learn from the Coke Facebook Page?
So how does this all translate into growing YOUR business Facebook page? Here are some takeaways:
- Brand all your images.
- Keep the selling to a minimum, focusing instead on asking questions, holding contests and posting testimonials.
- If your business supports a charity or cause, go ahead and promote it on your page.
- Include a bright, eye-catching photo with each update.
- Don’t be all business, all the time; don’t be afraid to occasionally post random comments and questions unrelated to your business.
- Make an effort to reply to comments on your wall (granted, Coke doesn’t respond to every post. However with 700 new posts a day, can you blame them?).
- Figure out what time of day results in the best interaction rate.
- Don’t post too often or too little: Generally speaking once or twice a day is plenty.
In your opinion, what’s the absolute best Facebook page? What kinds of posts make you want to interact with that brand? Any takeaways from the Coke Facebook page that I’m missing? Let me know below!