Top ten ways the smartest marketers become the most ‘Liked’ brands

With so much understandable anxiety over budget allocation and concrete ROI, especially is you’re a small company, it’s valuable to study the best practices of those brands that have earned their way into the likability Hall of Fame. So here’s ten brands that are each among the most liked and a unique strategy they employ to achieve this:

1. HERITAGE: Burberry has done a masterful job of leveraging their heritage to engage loyal fans and to win new ones. Fans can even access Burberry Acoustic to watch videos and hear music about the company.

2. FIRST MOVER ADVANTAGE: Levi’s was the first brand to launch a Facebook brand page and it created the first Facebook focused shopping experience, the Levis Friends store.

3. TIMELINESS: Zara is a specialist in timely updates as to what is in or out in the fashion world specific to different looks or seasons. they even launched the Zara Lookbook that gives you weekly, monthly and seasonal updates.

4. ORIGINALITY: Focused on originality and creativity, Adidas specializes in contests such as the Adidas Originals #Represent. Fans were asked to submit photos, videos or audio representing what they stand for.

5. FUN: Target has done a great job of investing their brand with personality. For instance, during the Olympics they posted the Target logo around the City of London and posing cheeky (and very English) questions. One such post got 15,630 likes, 1,592 comments, and 231 shares.

6.  SERVICE: Despite its size, Walmart interacts with customer requests on a very personal level across the mind-boggling array of product categories it sells. This extends to pages specific to individual stores and employees.

7. CROSS-POLLINATION: Victoria’s Secret needs to do little heavy lifting to sell itself in light of its imagery, but one smart strategy they employ is to promote a Pinterest contest on Facebook challenging fans to build Pinterest pages featuring their products.

8. CREATIVITY: Pringles does a great job of tapping into the daily life and emotions of their fans, poking fun at everything from Monday mornings to working late. By not taking themselves too seriously they encourage their fans to write much of the content on their page.

9. EMPLOYEES: McDonald’s does a great job of letting employees serve as brand ambassadors. Recently they followed five employees as they discovered the Olympics in London.

10. INTEGRATION: Skittles consciously migrates its community from its website to its social channels. It also features it’s fun and often weird TV commercials on You Tube which it then posts on its Facebook page.

Finally, the most liked brand on Facebook, Coca-Cola, has excelled at perhaps the most powerful ingredient in social media engagement – TRUST. Coca-Cola trusts its content to fans, artists, and musicians, allowing their community to co-create the story of the brand.  Ultimately this strategy stands the test of time best of all, because it positions the brand in the service of its customers to the point of literally sharing the brand with them, and that consumer ownership is what propels the brand’s success.

Is there one strategy above that captures your interest the most? What the first step you must take to implement that strategy?