Facebook’s annual Studio Awards competition spotlights the15 best social brands on Facebook for the year. The winners are the most outstanding examples of marketing with Facebook, based on excellence in creativity, scale, targeting, and business results.

Knowing how the best social brands are marketing on Facebook can help your franchise become mega-successful with your own Facebook efforts.

Learn From the Winners

This sampling from Facebook’s 2014 Studio Awards shows how each company resourcefully used Facebook to ignite their online communities:
  • Heineken USA got the top spot for their non-existent Super Bowl ad. They newsjacked the hype around the Super Bowl and instead of paying for 30 seconds of glory, they created an “If We Made It” campaign and mirrored the online activity of the Super Bowl advertisers with teasers, storyboards, etc., and got the same exposure for a fraction of the cost. Result: 56.6 million impressions, 1.3 million engagements, 1.16 million video views, 69K likes, 16K shares, 8K comments and a 19% increase in target market sales.
  • Brazil’s Count Chiquinho Scarpa created explosive controversy with five Bentley Burial posts about his plan to bury his $500,000 Bentley in his garden like the Pharaohs of old. Over 172 million people complained on social networks. Over $22 million in earned media on TV, radio and print pushed the Count to the #1 trending topic in Brazil and #2 in the world. He did a sixth Facebook post revealing this as a stunt to draw attention to the valuable human organs that are buried every day. His real purpose was to launch the National Organ Donation Campaign of Brazil. Result: His Facebook fans increased 120%, page interactions increased 179X. Organ donations increased 31.9% in one month. (And, he didn’t bury his Bentley.)
  • Toyota of Norway built on fan ambassador loyalty with their Try My Hybrid campaign. Through Facebook they recruited Toyota hybrid owners who were willing to let friends and strangers test drive their hybrids—for free. These owner volunteers were featured on Facebook and in print, TV and radio ads, driving all users to a website connecting owners and people wanting a test drive. Result: the site generated 1,650,000 unique visitors and 2.8 million Norwegians on Facebook either knew, or indirectly knew, an owner they could go to for a test drive.
  • Wendy’s Bacon Portabella Melt on Brioche pre-product launch had people talking before they ever tasted it. To cement the name in people’s minds, Wendy’s ran two ads mispronouncing “brioche” and 1.7 million people took to Facebook to correct Wendy’s “ignorance” as well as to instruct their friends in the correct pronunciation. Result: Facebook fans increased by 50,000 in just two months and test sales of the new sandwich surpassed goals.
  • The German DIY and home improvement chain, Hornback, built its campaign on curiosity and exclusivity to generate massive engagement around The Hornback Hammer. While DIYers are usually looking to save money, by creating a very limited unique product, Hornback saw the price of this special hammer go from the original $34.66 to $893.25 on eBay in a very short space of time. Result: Facebook fans grew 15% and Hornback took the lead in the home improvement market with 15 million impressions and media value of around one million euros.
  • An orphaned niche market was targeted by Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s (CKE) when McDonald’s discontinued its Angus burger. Reclaim Your Angus brought CKE to all disgruntled Angus burger lovers on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, promising to fill the void with their own Angus burgers and offering coupons. Result: 6,000 coupon redemptions in three days, 37,000 new fans of CKE and 13.9 million people were reached.

Strike an Emotional Chord

In social media marketing, we know that emotion motivates and sells. Whether you’re a large corporation or a franchisee small business owner, the same rule applies—use emotion to draw in your audience. Each of these winning companies had an emotional component to their campaign that they knew would generate engagement with their target audience.
  • Heineken went for humorous (with deadly serious marketing intent) with a parody of the Super Bowl hype surrounding the most-viewed moment of the football season.
  • Count Chiquinho Scarpa used controversy with slight-of-hand at the last minute, converting the negative uproar to positive engagement by promoting a very vital cause—organ donation. He whipped people into a controversial frenzy and then brought them back around to complete agreement with a gesture of true humanity.
  • Toyota gave recognition and applause to their brand ambassadors by letting them brag about their hybrid cars and share the good news with others.
  • Wendy’s set themselves up for ridicule with the mispronunciation of “brioche” and allowed people to feel superior. And helpful, as they corrected the company and clarified the correct way to order the sandwich.

  • Hornback targeted curiosity and exclusivity. With a limited number of hammers available (supply and demand), they made the desire to have one go off the charts with a Facebook campaign that chronicled the creation of the unique hammers, selling them first to their Facebook fans, then in stores and then in a “treasure hunt” scenario all over the world.
  • Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s zoomed in with meeting a need among orphaned Angus burger patrons. They acknowledged the pain and provided the solution with coupons and burgers.
Discovering the right emotional triggers that resonate with your customers and prospects will supercharge your content, and you’ll see higher response rates to your Facebook posts.

As these 2014 Studio Awards brands illustrate, there is much to be gained by having a dynamic Facebook presence to help grow your franchise business and promote your brand. Following Facebook’s winning formula of a novel idea turned into a well-crafted, smart and personable campaign will ensure that your users get better content and you get phenomenal results.

All 15 winners can be viewed on Facebook with video and written commentary here.

How are you using Facebook to advance franchise sales and generate more business for your franchisees?

Feature image from facebook-studio.com
Copy image from Wendy’s Facebook