3 brands that have won at Facebook marketing

With 2.32 billion monthly and 1.52 billion daily active users, there’s no question that Facebook is one of the most powerful digital marketing channels around. And the numbers certainly prove it.

Despite facing slow growth in Q2 2018, Facebook’s ad revenue jumped 42% and topped US$13.4 billion at the end of 2018, placing it second only to Google in terms of total ad revenue.

While there’s no doubt that Facebook is an effective marketing tool, the sheer volume of advertisers is making it increasingly difficult for businesses to stand out from the crowd. That said, it’s not impossible for brands to still reap the benefits of Facebook marketing.

The key is to create exceptional, relevant ads that are visually appealing, creative and engaging. Here’s a look at the brands that have succeeded in this.

#1 National Geographic

National Geographic

With millions of followers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest, there’s little doubt that National Geographic is one of the top influencers on social media. Over the years, this popular magazine has successfully maintained its print tradition at visual excellence and captivating storytelling to engage millions around the world with their amazing photos, videos and ads on Facebook.

Besides travel stories and helpful tips, National Geographic also regularly runs social media campaigns and contests such as “My Nat Geo Covershot” and “Wanderlust”, which showcase their readers’ love for nature and adventure while helping to drive social engagement.

Looking at the growing number of likes and followers on their Facebook page, it’s clear that National Geographic has struck a chord with its fans.

What you can learn

Stay true to your brand: The biggest reason that National Geographic does so well on social media is because of its visually spectacular content and staying true to its roots of showcasing the best that nature has to offer. Despite its transition from print to digital, the brand continues to deliver top quality storytelling through images and text.

#2 Carlsberg


Since ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi gave Carlsberg its iconic tagline “Probably the best beer in the world” in 1973, the brewing company has embarked on a mission to extend its presence around the world.

Today, Carlsberg has built a huge social media presence, earning itself the title as one of the most influential beer brands in the market. Carlberg’s prowess in Facebook marketing has also seen it ranking first on Facebook among UK beer brands.

Beyond its award-winning campaigns such as “If Carlsberg did…” and “Probably the best job”, it is the brand’s social media strategy and use of memorable hashtags (#ProbablyTheBest, #IfCarlsbergDid, #Probably) that have won it millions of fans and followers.

Case in point, in September 2016, Carlsberg released a “Carlsberg Taxi” video under its #IfCarlsbergDid campaign, which addressed the various problems of taking a taxi in Hong Kong. The campaign garnered more than 509,000 views, 2,100 shares and 5,800 likes on Facebook within a week.

What you can learn

Use short, memorable hashtags:  Much of Carlsberg’s success can be attributed to its ability to create campaigns that resonate with their fans and capture their imagination. Plus, the brand has found a winning formula via linking their campaigns to short and memorable hashtags that spread.



When OCBC Bank launched its new payment solution application OCBC Pay Anyone, it engaged promotions aggregator Sqkii to create a Facebook campaign for a treasure hunt for a golden coin that would yield a $100,000 cash prize.

The strategy was to fully utilise Facebook to announce the start of the event and in the dissemination of hints. To supplement the campaign’s social strategy and reach, 50,000 announcement cards were given out across Singapore, and advertisements could be seen at selected MRT stations.

Over the 23-day campaign period, the event went viral on Facebook. With a media spend of just $1,500, the launch post reached 746,191 unique individuals, garnered 175,724 engagements, 8,400 reactions, 3,400 shares and over 7,300 comments. In all, the campaign saw over 2,879,682 engagements and 30,000 comments on social media.

As a result of the wildly successful campaign, OCBC Bank saw a 14% increase in the number of monthly downloads of its OCBC Pay Anyone app and close to 5 times more transactions via QR codes.

What you can learn

Include a highly attractive proposition: OCBC’s success lay in its ability to entice, engage and reach its audience within an extremely short span of time. The draw: the promise of a $100,000 cash prize. By having an enticing reward, OCBC answered the key question in every consumer’s mind of ‘what’s in it for them’ to create a winning campaign.

Looking at these brands and their creative campaigns, it’s clear why they’re dominating Facebook. That said, any business can create high-converting Facebook ads by keeping it creative, relevant and engaging.

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