Dec 6, 2009

Facebook: What's The Point?

Three cute little kids playing soccerIt's time for end of year rankings. This week the top fifty brands on Facebook were identified.
...a ranking of the brands that are currently making the best use of Facebook. Various metrics—including fan numbers, page growth, frequency of updates, creativity as determined by a panel of judges, and fan engagement—were factored into each page’s score and ultimate rank on the list.--More from The Big Money.
The list included beverage companies Dr. Pepper, Coke and Mountain Dew to food companies Crispy Creme, Ben & Jerry's and Taco Bell to lifestyle brands like Louis Vuitton, Audi and Victoria's Secret.

These companies made the list--with very few exceptions--for the lamest of reasons. And without a discernible formula for success.
  • Two companies with millions of fans have "impressive fan base even though it rarely updates its page." Does this mean that you shouldn't interact with your fans?
  • One company was cited as a success because it posts frequently for fan engagement. Another was successful because it posts infrequently--their fans don't like to hear from them. Some companies post fan pictures or videos on their corporate pages. Does this mean you should interact with your fans? Or not?
  • A number of companies proved that buying ads on Facebook led to more fans. Well, duh! But what happens after the ad buy? What do these fans do? How does having fans help reach organizational goals?
  • A few other organizations found out that when they gave things away--hamburgers or danishes--people become fans. Again, after the promo was over, fan growth rate slowed. And it's unclear what the fans will do--buy another danish?
  • And, to great fanfare, a few media companies get "many" people to "like" their Facebook entries. How many of these fans who "like" a post actually click through and read the entire article? Is there a small core of people who click "like"? Do they share the link? Do their friends click through, increasing traffic? Why is "liking" important to an organization?
I am not saying that growing a fan list on Facebook is unimportant. I am wondering, however, why these companies are doing it. The raw number measures are not very meaningful. I would like to know
  • Do more people use free danish coupons in the Sunday paper? How do those customers compare with Facebook "fans?" Are they the same?
  • What does it mean if someone "likes" a page? Are people who "like" pages more likely to partake in another valued activity?
  • How do you find out how many fans are blocking your organization from their news feeds--basically hiding your messages? What is the percentage? Is there a natural falloff?
  • There are 350 million people on Facebook. What's the big win if 8,000 (2%) of your fans--a grossly insignificant number of Facebook users--vote in your contest? How do you grow that into something? What would success look like?
One bright light, Audi is using it's Facebook fan page to ask people to fill out a survey to tell the car company how they would like to interact. Not so lame.

Bottom line, it's not U-6 soccer, where everyone gets a trophy for showing up. It's past time where showing up is good enough.

A while back, I reminded government to be careful in believing its own hype. It all comes down to measures that mean something. Let's show that we take engagement seriously and create goals and measures for social media--otherwise we will not know if it's "working."

It's time for the big leagues, with stats collected and analyzed for each game, pubic win/loss records and accountability.


  1. Well... Its a huge social networking media... so networking will be the fast connection which is done among the people who uses it,... Going with the crowd of the people is not bad even... its gonna be situating in a big grop of people where the connections of networking and socialism will be faster to grow... its a worth enough..!!

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  2. Oh... The facebook is counts to be as a conjunction points to just deliver and share the thoughts... let it do since its again better way of communication..

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