There is no shortage of reasons for brands to move away from the social media giant, Facebook. From the algorithm changes to the fake news stories that plagued the 2016 election and the ever-increasing cost of advertising, the environment on Facebook seems to get more challenging every day. But despite all of these reasons to move away from Facebook, there is no denying the influence the platform still holds.

According to a recent Pew Research study, 69% of adults report using Facebook. This is more than Instagram (37%), Snapchat (24%) and Twitter (22%). 93.7% of businesses also report maintaining a presence on Facebook (2019 State of Social Media Report).

69% of adults report using FacebookSource: Pew Research

So, the challenge for brands remains: how can you stand out on a platform that prioritizes content from friends and family? Here are 7 brands that are achieving killer results on Facebook in 2019 to get you inspired.

#1 Norfolk Police Department Humanizes Their Brand

Norfolk Police Department Humanizes Their Brand

You might not typically think of a police department as a brand, but the Norfolk Police Department has built an audience of over 180,000 fans on Facebook with their relatable content. Instead of sticking to typical news updates and bulletins, they create videos that offer a behind-the-scenes look at the officers and staff that make up the department. This type of content doesn’t require a big budget or a marketing team, but it does require their officers to put themselves out there and be a little vulnerable. For example, the lip-syncing video above shows police officers getting silly with Uptown Funk.

RESULTS: The Lip Syncing Video has garnered 1.5 million reactions and 250K comments.

TAKEAWAY: By making themselves vulnerable and creating fun, relatable content, the NPD has been able to build a “brand” that their community (and the Facebook audience as a whole) can engage with.

#2 Aflac Overcomes the Algorithm Changes

When Facebook announced the algorithm changes last year, insurance brand Aflac wasted no time identifying ways to adjust to the “new normal”. According to their research, the algorithm favored the use of Facebook-native tools, encouraging engagement and utilizing paid advertising. As Aflac launched their My Special Aflac Duck campaign (a part of Aflac’s ongoing Aflac Childhood Cancer Campaign), engagement rates became their prime indicator of success.

To increase engagement across this campaign, Aflac looked for ways to demonstrate authenticity and transparency. They considered what would appeal to the childhood cancer community, and tapped into the emotional reality of those affected by cancer. Posts spotlighted both the childhood cancer community and company initiatives in a way that made viewers want to keep watching.

RESULTS: Aflac’s My Special Duck campaign achieved an average engagement rate of 5% (compared to the platform average of less than 1%). Aflac exceeded 2019’s goal of $1.5 million in #Duckprints donations for the fourth consecutive year and grew their page likes by 11.6% over 2018.

TAKEAWAY: Understanding Facebook and how the platform prioritizes content allowed Aflac to create content that had the best chance of being seen, despite decreasing engagement rates.

#3 CBS Spreads Goodwill with The Uplift

The Uplift is a social series from CBS News that focuses on the positive, uplifting side of news stories. The series uses CBS’s resources, standards, and reporters to share the news that brings people together. CBS believes that journalism is journalism, regardless of the platform it’s shared on. The Facebook series upholds the same journalistic integrity CBS is known for while tailoring the language and packaging of the content to a social audience. For example, The Uplift videos rely heavily on “text over video” to engage an audience that is watching without sound.

RESULTS: The Uplift launched in October 2018. Since then, videos have driven 2.7 billion views and garnered a following of 1.7 million Facebook users in under a year, without any paid promotion.

TAKEAWAY: CBS recognized the lack of positive, feel-good content on Facebook and created a series that would attempt to address this problem. The content strategically taps into what their viewers want to see on social media, rather than recycling content from other channels.

#4 In the Know: Conservation Uses Video to Raise Awareness on Environmental Issues

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Posted by In The Know Conservation on Tuesday, July 16, 2019

In the Know is a non-profit with the objective to share, celebrate and raise awareness for environmental issues and efforts across the world. On Facebook, In the Know shares content in easily digestible formats about environmental issues including eye-catching social videos, important news updates, and heartwarming stories. The content is easy to share, comment on, and continue to keep top-of-mind long after the video has ended.

RESULTS: Year-to-date, In the Know has received 70 million video views and grown their following to 1.5 million. Some of their top-performing content is related to important issues like animal and wildlife conservation and the impact plastic usage has on the planet.

TAKEAWAY: On average, video posts on Facebook get at least 59% more engagement than other post types. In fact, more than 81% of the top Facebook posts in 2018 were videos. In the Know recognized that using video effectively is a key driver of success on Facebook in 2019.

#5 Planned Parenthood Tackles Complex Topics with Strong Visuals

Planned Parenthood Tackles Complex Topics with Strong Visuals

Source: Planned Parenthood

For Planned Parenthood, the top goal of their Facebook page is to build a safe, digital space where the brand can provide medically accurate, non-judgmental sexual health information and education. Facebook has the ability to be a great facilitator of discussion and information sharing, but Planned Parenthood makes sure that their conversations stay safe for everyone by closely monitoring posts, moderating discussions, and following Facebook’s best practices.

Additionally, Planned Parenthood also ensures that all content is on-brand, yet memorable. Before any content is shared, it goes through a strict vetting process by public health experts. They collaborate closely with their creative team to find interesting, but easy to understand, ways of communicating issues that can be very complex.

RESULTS: follower count jumped from 520,275 on January 1, 2017 to 828,019 on December 31, 2017.

TAKEAWAY: Social media is visual. Planned Parenthood creates community and open discussion around complex topics by taking the time to create a graphic, image or video that illustrate the topics they are discussing. The result is an audience that can better relate to the content and is more likely to retain the information.

#6 – Chevy Builds a Virtual Neighborhood for Trick or Treating


In true Halloween fashion, stroll through our neighborhood. After the video head to Chevy Trucks.

Posted by Chevrolet on Wednesday, October 31, 2018

With the knowledge that their holiday content typically underperforms, Chevy set out to create the first ever virtual trick-or-treat experience. Each Chevy Facebook page (6 in total) were converted into one neighborhood. Videos on each page took viewers to different ‘doors’ where trivia questions were revealed in exchange for treats. Viewers were then encouraged to move onto the next Facebook page to open all 6 doors in the neighborhood.

Chevy posted a teaser video on October 30th and managed engagement throughout Halloween day with community managers. The goal was to encourage fans to explore new pages they may have not previously considered – ultimately increasing traffic and improving opportunities to share the experience.

RESULTS: The campaign generated 551,000+ organic impressions with a 95% video completion rate across all of Chevy’s Facebook pages. No paid media was used to achieve these results.

TAKEAWAY: Chevy’s Facebook data showed that holiday posts typically underperform. They took this information as a challenge to create a holiday campaign that would not only engage their audience but also get them to spend more time interacting with other Chevy brand channels.

#7 AT&T Creates a Facebook Watch Show Just for Millennials

AT&T Creates a Facebook Watch Show Just for Millennials

Source: Starter Pack Show

84% of millennials say they don’t like or trust ads from brands, so AT&T knew they would need a different approach to engage this demographic. Enter Starter Pack, the first branded Facebook Watch series. Starter Pack is a quirky workplace comedy painstakingly created by AT&T to show just how well the brand understands millennials.

From the drop time (Monday afternoon, a time when Millennials reported needing a breather from work), to the storyline (the show’s Heroine is tasked with creating a “Meme Museum”), every detail had Millennials in mind.

RESULTS: The average time spent viewing episodes of Starter Pack surpassed Facebook Watch benchmarks by 52%. Those viewers were more likely to consider AT&T relevant to their generation.

TAKEAWAY: Define your target audience. 2.23 billion people may login to Facebook every day, but that doesn’t mean you need to speak to all of them. AT&T’s content was successful because it was very targeted to a Millennial audience.

Facebook remains an important social media channel for brands, but it can be challenging to cut through the noise and create an impact on a channel that is so crowded. What is your brand doing on Facebook to stand out from the crowd?

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