As TV viewership declines, newspapers shut down, and other forms of so-called “traditional advertising” continue to fail to put their clients’ message in front of new eyeballs – social media remains a constant reminder why a strong digital game is vital for the survival of any business that hopes to prosper for the foreseeable future.
In 2020, with 2.6 billion users, Facebook is still the juggernaut of social media. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of five Facebook pages everyone should follow. Each of the five pages has been evaluated by the social media marketing experts at Five Seasons Media and given a grade between an F- and A+ based on five categories (we like the number five). To be clear, these pages aren’t perfect, and we’re not saying they’re the best of all time, but for a business looking to take the first steps at improving their Facebook page, there are lessons that can be learned by regularly monitoring each one.
The homepage for Vineyard Vines is among the best that’s out there. The profile photo is of high resolution and is on brand. The cover photo is bright, evokes feelings that connect the consumer to the brand, and is also of high resolution. The page appears welcoming and even has a shop at the top where consumers are immediately introduced to their products and given an easy way to purchase them. We did however find some issues with other sections outside the home page. For example, we know Vineyard Vines has a great backstory (Ian and Shep, we know who are!) but that is not something easily accessible on their page. There also was no anchor video, more on that later.
Post frequency: B
Around six posts in the last 10 days.
Of the last six posts or so that were made, all but one appears to have been created internally. Most posts were created with the clear intent of engagement but nevertheless often do not emotionally resonate. When you’ve created a post that’s generated lots of one type of engagement (likes, comments, views, shares, etc.) but have nearly none of the others, that’s a red flag that tweaks need to be made.
Engagement level: D
For a page their size, a couple hundred engagements per post is a sign there is still much room for Vineyard Vines to grow when it comes to their digital footprint. We noticed most public comments to their recent posts are not responded to by administrators. We even found one account that was repeatedly asking for assistance but from what we could see was never responded to by an administrator. Not a good look.
Video content: C
The good news, Vineyard Vines creates video content. The bad news, most of it’s nothing to write home about. As we said earlier, there is no anchor video. They should create one immediately. Vineyard Vines has a great story, they should create more video content that surrounds this.
Also of note, while the video that is created is often well produced and employs myriad editing tricks – there is no strong storytelling, the production quality is inconsistent from video to video, and most can easily be identified as ads.
That said, while their videos may be under performing, they are still helping grow their social media footprint.
Overall grade: C+
The homepage of the John Deere Facebook page is certainly above average. The profile photo of their iconic logo is perfectly positioned (but could be of higher resolution). Their cover photo is eye-catching, emotionally resonates, and shows one of their products in action. As was the case with Vineyard Vines, we also found some areas that should be completed to better tell the compelling story behind the all-American brand that is John Deere. An anchor video would have also been nice to see.
Post frequency: D-
Two posts in the last ten days.
While we wish John Deere would post more often to Facebook, the posts they do produce are almost always out of the box in the best possible way. For example, to mark the return of professional baseball, they posted a short video of a man mowing a baseball field with one of their mowers with the caption, “Play ball!” The post was perfect for the time and positively inserted their brand into a topic that was trending. A scroll through there Facebook wall shows creative ideas like this are well within their wheelhouse.
Engagement level: B
If John Deere posts something to their Facebook page it usually does well. Really well. So well in fact, while we’ve found areas where they can improve, their level of engagement is that which deserves high marks. That said, should their administrators interact more with the consumer questions and comments we saw on their wall, that looked mostly ignored, we’d happily change this grade from a B to an A.
Video content: C
The production value of John Deere’s Facebook videos are well above average, as should be expected with any publicly traded conglomerate. Their videos however are posted in a format that may cause them to under perform. We noticed even though their page has more than 4.6-million followers, the last six videos they’ve produced only has racked up an average of around 14,000 views, likes, comments, and shares per video. Not to brag but at Five Seasons Media, we constantly create videos for our clients with far less followers that perform significantly better on Facebook. John Deere can do better.
Overall grade: B-
The Yankee Candle factory in Deerfield, Massachusetts is a must visit for anyone who finds themselves in western New England. The feeling you get when you walk through their main doors is like you have taken a step back into your warmest childhood Christmas memory. We’re not exaggerating, this place is awesome. The feeling you get when you visit Yankee Candle is hard to recreate online but credit needs to be given when its due – the essence of their homepage makes a solid effort to come close. The logo featured in their profile photo is of high resolution and their cover photo takes us right back to Deerfield. There is however no anchor video (really?! For a company as visual as yours?!) and we also found some sections that appear to have been neglected.
Post frequency: D+
Two posts in the last 10 days.
Finding the right balance between creating engaging content and trying to sell your products is not an easy task but Yankee Candle largely does it well. Case in point, marketing a car diffuser may seem like it would be a challenge for most on social media, but Yankee Candle showcased the one they make in a unique, engaging, and visual way. When your business model consists of creating candles with scents that include “crisp campfire apples” and “a night under the stars” we think it’s safe to say being original is simply par for the course.
Engagement level: A
Make a public comment that raises an issue and Yankee Candle’s social media administrators will likely respond, showing that while you may just be one of more than a million of their followers, they care about the issues that matter to you. The content they produce also gets high marks for the level of consumer engagement they generate.
Video content: B
Yankee Candle has produced lots of video content over the years. Some of it is great, much of it is not. As with most videos, the key to success is strong storytelling. One video we really liked, but could have been improved upon, had employees of Yankee Candle giving their fathers personalized gifts the company makes. In short, the moments were there that were needed in order to create a bond between the brand and the viewer but the low production value we think really prevented this video from taking off. That said, we see what they were trying to do, and applaud them for the effort. We would recommend Yankee Candle follow their own example of immersive storytelling, like the kind one is enveloped in at their factory, and create additional video content with these considerations in mind.
Overall grade: B
As a conservative digital publication, the Daily Wire‘s layout is clean, on brand, and the images used in both their profile photo and cover photo are of high resolution.
There is no anchor video, which we’d strongly advise their team to create soon. Anchor videos are often your first impression as a brand, and while their page has already racked up millions of followers, there is always room to grow. Unless you’re already an avid Daily Wire consumer, their cover photo as is won’t make much sense to a new visitor without an anchor video designed to make the connection.
We also found some areas of their page that could be expanded upon allowing for increased engagement and a more friendly user experience.
Post frequency: A+
32 posts in the last eight hours and counting.
There is a saying in the social media marketing industry, “content is king.” The volume of originally produced content by the Daily Wire is not only impressive but the consistent level at which their users interact with it makes an A for this category a well-deserved grade.
Engagement level: B+
While the content produced by the Daily Wire clearly gets a high level of engagement on most of their posts, we did not see the page’s administrators or the commentators featured in their cover photo interacting with their followers. If Ben Shapiro, Andrew Klavan, Michael Knowles, and Matt Walsh were to take this step, not only would it build a level of consumer loyalty, but it would help their social media game truly stand out from their competitors. Should they do this regularly, we’d be more than happy to increase this grade to an A+.
Video content: A
In the past 24 hours they’ve posted nearly 20 videos to their Facebook page, which their analytics show people are consistently engaging with. The production value is slick, but again, should there be more videos specifically surrounding the faces of their brand featured in the page’s cover photo, we really think this would take their level of video content over the top.
Overall grade: A-
The National Hockey League (NHL) runs one of the best Facebook pages around at every level. The layout of their page is simply excellent. Everything is on brand and their current cover photo compels visitors to engage with them not just on the page but outside the platform too. They have a well-produced anchor video (but if we’re nitpicking could have been made with a better story). They also post regularly to their “story” (which can be accessed by clicking their profile photo) providing additional content and yet another way for followers to interact with them.
Post frequency: A+
11 posts in the past eight hours or so and counting.
It should come as no surprise but the posts on the NHL’s Facebook page are heavily geared towards hockey fans. That said, whether you’re a fan or not, many of the posts appear to be designed to appeal to even the most lackluster of hockey aficionados. One of our favorites was a series of photos that showed a collage the Philadelphia Flyers put together for their players featuring their family members. Not only did this post share something that makes an emotional impact, but they also posted a link to an article in the post they created on the event back on their website. Brilliant move.
Engagement level: B+
In short, if the NHL posts content, it will get engagement. Where we think the NHL can improve their engagement level however is when it comes to direct consumer interaction. We get it, the NHL is an organization that can feel faceless, but we think it doesn’t have to be. When a fan interacts with their content, especially in today’s world where folks are seeking a sense of normalcy, a comment back would go a long way.
Video content: A+
From videos that feature a player’s stick-handling to long form videos that dig into the story behind the teams that make up their league, they’re nailing their video game at every level.
Overall grade: A
You don’t need to have millions of followers and a budget of hundreds of thousands of dollars in order to have a strong social media game. At Five Seasons Media, we pride ourselves at helping businesses of all sizes grow their social media footprint and in turn their bottom lines. While not all Facebook pages are created equal, what the pages we went through show is that there are steps everyone can take today to improve what they’re doing on Facebook.
This blog article was written by Five Seasons Media’s Chief Creative Officer, Josh Scheinblum. For questions about how Five Seasons Media can help your organization, please contact Josh via email at Josh@5SeasonsMedia.com.