If you scan over the list of the biggest brands on Facebook, you're not going to find any surprises. Which brands boast the biggest fan counts? The ones with the biggest names, of course. And more importantly, some of the biggest marketing budgets.
OK, so your brand or your client might not ever boast 71 million followers. Or a million. Or even 10,000 for that matter. But that doesn't mean you can't be serving up Facebook content that's just as awesome as what the big brands are posting. Some of the best, most-engaging posts don't require massive resources.
The brands in this article represent the top 10 brands on Facebook, as ranked by fan count on Socialbakers. (Note: Due to the time elapsed between writing and publication, rankings might have shifted.) Now, of course, biggest does not always equal best. But it's safe to assume that brands with tens of millions of followers are doing something right, even if every post isn't a home run.
Let's see what ideas can be stolen from these giants by even the smallest brands.
Fan count: 71 million+
How many inspirational quotes have you seen on Facebook? A lot, right? That's because certain people use Facebook as a place to inspire themselves and others. Brands can too. But it doesn't have to be just through a bad-ass quotation from Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
Consider Coca-Cola. OK, granted -- the company, like others in this article, is a behemoth with enough clout and money to actually change the world. Your brand might not have that much weight to throw around. But there's still value in promoting goodness and equality. Whether it's showcasing your brand's support for a cause or its sponsorship of the local tee-ball team, you can tell a story -- one that your fans will feel good about "liking."
Call for the captions
Fan count: 39 million+
Red Bull is known in the social sphere for its breathtaking action photography. And I get it: You don't have that in the budget. It's cool. But you can easily steal one of Red Bull's most basic Facebook tricks: Caption contests!
I know. The oldest one in the book, right? But that's because it's one of the most powerful -- and easiest and cheapest to employ -- tricks of the trade.
Fan count: 37 million+
Take people inside an event. It doesn't even have to be your event. But your brand or employees show up somewhere, right? A store opening. A concert. A launch party. A sponsorship at the local Elks Lodge. Document it, create an album, and share. People love being transported away from their desks.
Product photos reimagined
Fan count: 35 million+
Rethink your product shots. Most of the biggies on Facebook do this and do it well. Starbucks is the master, but it's not a hard tactic to employ, provided you have a quasi-decent camera and a rudimentary photo-editing program.
Spread the news
Fan count: 34 million+
If you have news, post it! You might not be PlayStation and have an actual press conference to announce. But newsy behind-the-scene tidbits -- new hires, new products, events your brand is at -- these are all Facebook worthy, and often a nice break from other types of posts.
Hack your own product if you can. Or better yet, post other people's hacks. Oreo knows what I'm talking about.
Make them drool
Food brands are all over this one. But you don't necessarily have to be a food brand to post quick recipe ideas to Facebook. People literally eat them up.
Tap into celebrity power
Fan count: 30 million+
Post celebrity photos. Arguably, iTunes is able to do this in a way that's much more directly tied to the promotion of its brand. But make no mistake: Posting a coupon to your Facebook page -- no matter your brand -- in honor of The King's birthday, with a choice image of the man himself, will get some attention.
Yep -- puppies
Fan count: 29 million+
Just put a puppy next to your product. You don't need a good reason.
Drive them to your content
Fan count: 28 million+
This one might seem painfully obvious, but surprisingly few brands do it. Many tend to think of their Facebook posts as content that exists on Facebook alone. (Or, at best, they repurpose it to Twitter or Instagram.) But you have content elsewhere, right? Great blog content is a perfect fit, but even if you don't have that, look for other opportunities. An interview with your CEO in the local paper? Definitely. Use Facebook as a gateway to other online properties that can drive them deeper into your brand.