Being in charge of a brand’s social media image can be a big task. Many times people in this position are responsible for creating the content, understanding the community, and curating material that will enhance the social experience of your fans. But it doesn’t stop there, there’s strategy and the big picture to consider as well as a keen sense of knowing what is happening around you, right now. Since social media is a relatively new means of communication and has recently developed into part of many brands’ marketing strategy, it’s no wonder there’s still a lot of questions surrounding the topic. What yields the best results, who are the leaders in the field, and how does one produce an effective social media presence?

In order to learn from the best and most experienced, it’s interesting to review whatImage other brands in the space are including in their social media plans. Thanks to this recent post on the most popular brands on Facebook, I started investigating some of these brand’s Facebook Pages and Timelines. I gathered that there must be some similarities between these five brands’ strategy as there is only so many different options you have on Facebook. For my research, I took a look at the Facebook Pages of Converse, Coca-Cola, Disney, Red Bull, and MTV.

After a detailed look at these Pages, it was apparent that there were some definite consistencies between them. These consistencies are likely what help them retain an active and enthusiastic community without bordering on too overwhelming or boring.

1. Photos - The most commonly shared piece of information on these brands’ Facebook Pages  were photos.  Across all five pages, photos were the top choice for content. Most times photos were accompanied by text describing the image or in Disney and MTV’s case, sharing a famous quote from one of their movies or television shows.

2. “Highlight” - Many of the brands are using the “highlight” option to call attention to certain posts on their Timeline. The highlight feature was rolled out at the time of the timeline transition and didn’t see much attention. However these brands, especially Coca Cola, are taking full advantage and highlighting anything from events to photos or on-going campaigns. While the highlight feature doesn’t add much value to the post itself, it does drastically change the look of a brand’s Timeline and can make it look more interesting when scrolling through.

3. Timing - If you work in social media, you’re probably aware of the posting “sweet spot.” Depending on your community, there is a number of posts per day that will garner the most engagement without receiving negative feedback. This negative feedback refers to unlikes, hiding posts, unsubscribing from the page, etc. According to Facebook’s Edgerank, that number is typically between one and four posts a day. These brands realize this and typically post on average twice a day with the exception of MTV who averages four posts a day.

4. Variety - While photos were the post of choice, most pages also shared links, videos, and polls. Having a variety of entertaining content is what helps these brands succeed. Disney posts images from their animated movies, scenes from their theme parks, video trailers of upcoming releases, and popular quotes from their films. For someone following Disney, each day is different and will strike a different chord.

5. Call for user generated content - To engage fans and continue to offer exciting new content these brands call for help from their fans. Converse does this incredibly well by asking fans to share photos of their Chuck Taylors. In their most recent campaign, Show Us Yours Summertime, fans self-submit photos of their shoes and a summertime activity. Converse chooses a selection of the submissions and posts the images to their Timeline. How cool would it be to be featured on your favorite brand’s Page?

If you are just now starting to plan out your social media strategy or are in full swing, take a minute to review your page. Do you follow these brands’ posting approach? Are you posting too often and worried about your negative feedback? If so, Viralheat Facebook Analytics can make understanding your negative feedback simple. If you aren’t using these techniques, maybe it’s time to try them out and see how your community reacts. Any way you look at it, social media is a learn by doing field and with constant changes, strategy and plans will need adapt in order to stay current.

In the comments, I would love to hear your thoughts on what approaches work best for you!