Branding failures and successes on Facebook


Facebook is an important branding tool because of its social nature where dialogue and engagement are the key words. It’s a unique opportunity to interact with stakeholders and even learn about their needs and behaviours through useful data. If done right, Facebook can work magic on a brand by unfolding it in creative ways and extending the brand universe. It’s been a while since the biggest Danish corporations discovered the potential in Facebook. But do their Facebook pages present the brands in the best possible way? Not exactly… We have had a closer look at who the uncrowned kings of Facebook are, and who could use a few tips.

Everything is awesome on LEGO’s Facebook page
The toymaker LEGO is one of the biggest corporations in Denmark, they have a very strong brand and are quite an interesting example of successful branding on Facebook too. You might recognise “everything is awesome” as the song lyrics from the LEGO movie, and yes, it is awesome in the world of LEGO –on Facebook as well. LEGO has 12.539.360 followers and their page is inspiring and fun. With videos of new ideas for what to build with the LEGO bricks, LEGO’s core product is promoted. The essence of the brand, active and creative playing, is easy to spot on the Facebook page too. The content is highly relevant for the followers, and they reward LEGO by commenting on their favourite products, participating in the games on the Facebook Page and tagging their friends. Visit LEGO’s Facebook page

The C20 corporations on Facebook
OMX Copenhagen 20 is the Copenhagen Stock Exchange’s leading share index with the 20 most actively traded shares. The Corporations on the index is often referred to as “the C20 corporations”. Combined, they have almost 19 million followers on Facebook. In the bottom of this blogpost you will find a list of the C20 corporations arranged after who has most followers on Facebook. Pandora is the ultimate winner with 12.087.840 followers. The brewery Carlsberg is in second place with 2.733.511 followers. Carlsberg strengthen their brand on Facebook by communicating their engagement in sport and innovative beer brewing. It works well and interested followers tag their friends to tell them about a new beer, or participate in one of the many competitions on the page. The history and rich heritage of Carlsberg becomes visible in an interesting way with fun facts and drone videos of the old and charming Carlsberg buildings in Valby. Visit Carlsberg’s Facebook page

While Carlsberg is doing well on Facebook, some of the other C20 corporations have a lot of room for improvement. Here’s why:

YouSee (TDC)
The telecommunications company YouSee has 208.165 followers on Facebook. That alone indicates that they are in a completely different and smaller league than LEGO and Carlsberg. They are not an international corporation, and that is one reason for the smaller number of followers, another is the management of the Facebook page. Their Facebook page has a strange mix of content and doesn’t give the reader a clear impression of what they would like to communicate. The posts are a mix of competitions, a music campaign, information about cable TV and product news about phones. Some of the posts seem misplaced next to the others. For example, there is an unboxing of a phone, which is far away from the brand’s DNA since YouSee is a service provider and not a phone retailer. Customers post complaints on the page and the critique is handled in various ways. The result is, that YouSee’s customer policy and service becomes very public. YouSee could definitely benefit from tidying up the page and focusing on how to communicate their brand identity more clearly. Visit YouSees Facebook page

Coloplast develops medical devices and services has 104.048 followers on Facebook. When visiting the Facebook page, you might actually doubt whether you’ve landed on the right page. The content of the posts differs a lot and the focus is unclear. The biggest challenge is that Coloplast often writes like you have a preunderstanding of what they are talking about. One post is a share of the event “MS WALK & TALK”, but there is no explanation of what the event has to do with Coloplast. This is why, it’s a good idea for the sender to pause for a second, and look at it from the reader’s perspective before posting. Think about who the target group is, and always ask yourself if the post will be easy to understand, even if they don’t know the corporation as well as you do, or haven’t seen all of the previous posts where you might have explained the context. Visit Coloplast Facebook page

Lundbeck is a global pharmaceutical company. When we looked at Lundbecks Facebook page a few weeks ago, they had 244 followers, and were number 17 on the list of which C20 companies has most followers on Facebook. A few days after, The Danish newspaper Børsen wrote an article about corporations on Facebook, where Nikolaj Stagis commented on Lundbecks challenges on social media. The Facebook page was removed afterwards. Finding Lundbeck’s official Facebook page in the first place wasn’t easy, and it remains unclear if they actually had an official one. However, there were several pages carrying the name Lundbeck. One of the pages had a lot of negative reviews with comments like: “Disgusting! You create psych drugs. Those kill people worldwide, make them dependent, and ruin their lives. You make Psych Victims!” Even if Lundbeck had chosen not to have an official Facebook page, it is important that they control their digital presence, to avoid situations like this, because it can affect the brand in a negative way. Read the article on Børsen here and learn more about how Lundbeck and the other C20 Corporations are doing on Facebook.

Improve your Facebook page by getting three things straight:

  1. Decide what the goal with being on Facebook is
    It might seem obvious, but remember that Facebook is a social platform. The examples above clearly illustrate, that communicating on social media is easier said than done. Think in other communication methods than the traditional one way communication. Be clear about what you want to achieve on Facebook, and remember to focus on that in practise as well. Do you want to inform, educate, inspire or something else? Are there other brands, persons, or pages you would like to be associated with through the social network?
  2. Decide who your target group is
    Knowing your target group is essential, when trying to create social engagement and dialogue. Be completely clear about who your target group is. Is it customers, employees, potential employees, influencers in society? Then think about the best way to address them. What should tone-of-voice be, what are they interested in, how do they like the content to be presented? Quick videos, photos or links for longer detailed reads? The content should be receiver oriented, and not only say what the corporation is passionate about, but explain how the readers and the corporation can be passionate about it together.
  3. Be strategic about what messages to communicate
    Plan the effort on social media so contributes to reaching the goals of the brand strategy. If a goal for example is to be perceived as an innovate brand, the content should reflect that in both substance and form. Check that the messages is in line with the corporation’s mission and vision. The communication should be true to the brand, the values and identity of the corporation. Remember that the content still needs to be receiver oriented to catch and maintain the target groups attention and interest.


List of C20 corporations arranged after number of followers on Facebook:

  1. Pandora – 12.087.840
  2. Carlsberg – 2.733.511
  3. A.P. Møller-Mærsk – 2.455.140
  4. Novo Nordisk – 486.127
  5. ISS – 483.882
  6. TDC (YouSee) – 208.165
  7. Coloplast – 104.048
  8. Danske Bank – 95.560
  9. Vestas Wind System – 75.697
  10. Nordea Bank – 43,198
  11. DSV – 36.711
  12. Jyske Bank – 28.268
  13. DONG – 15.688
  14. Novozymes – 9.846
  15. Chr Hansen – 1.985
  16. GN Store Nord – 454
  17. Lundbeck – 244 (Page has been removed)
  18. FLSmidth og Co – 166
  19. Genmab – 0