There have been real analyses done on what a facebook fan is worth, but let’s not take too seriously such pseudo-marketing perversions of science coming from the pseudo-authority blogosphere, shall we not? OK, then.
Here is something I hear from marketing folks and ad agencies all the time:
“We need Facebook fans.”
OK then. Yes. It’s like saying you need traffic. But then what? THAT is the million dollar question. I don’t have an answer. Shit, that’s not my job. I CAN get a couple hundred thousand facebook fans, however. And despite the self-absorbed blogerati, doing so has nothing to do with how pretty the coke can is on your coca-cola facebook page. It has to do with two things:
1. How recognizable the brand is
2. Facebook’s poor search engine
Around February 20 of this year, I took on one of the most obvious, most-loved, and recognized products around: The Cadbury Creme Egg. Who doesn’t love those? I know. It’s too easy. It’s like the rampantly-fanned “Not being on fire” page. That guy is selling t-shirts now. Anyway, here was the step-by-step approach:
1. See that Cadbury has spent some effort promoting stuff on their Facebook page, which is called Cadbury Creme Egg
2. Understand that Facebook search for Cadbury Creme Eggs (plural) will pull up a page called exactly that, based on string matching. It isn’t Google.
3. Create the page
4. Post whatever the hell I want, including vulgar Creme Egg rap tributes, sexually explicity commentary, user-generated youtube videos, and a picture of a home-made goatse creme egg (look it up if you don’t know what goatse is)
The Goatse Creme Egg
5. Collect over 200,000 fans
OK. Now what? Legally, Cadbury can simply ask Facebook to remove the page, even though when I put it up there was no “I legally declare” mumbo jumbo Facebook asked for (they do now). The reality, though, is that this is different than cybersquatting. Cadbury might think “well I don’t want to piss off those 200,000 people and have the page shut down…but I want them to know about the real page and fan that…then I can show the CMO the number of fans and apply my pseudo-scientific mumbo jumbo analysis and look better.”
The truth is, Cadbury probably doesn’t give a shit, and, in fact, some jackass is doing something for them for free that they cannot do: build irreverent content around the brand, use copyrighted material for parody purposes, and bring traffic and discussion about it together as a complement to their official Facebook presence. Some may laugh, some may be disgusted and contact Cadbury’s customer support, others may not have a clue what is going on. But hey, who cares? It is eliciting some emotion. That’s good.
So – any CMO’s out there? Give me a call. We can talk off the books. The goofy white guy rapping schtick seems to work for some percentage of the market every time…
In the meantime, it would be pretty simple for Facebook to tweak the search engine and offer brands who do media buys a “stamp of approval” – which would automatically mean top search results billing for all related brand names. I know the search is not as important as the viral sharing, but it’s important. This way users can recognize official brand pages easily. But perhaps the problem is that then they would ignore them. And that’s a discussion for another day.
Click to play, right-click to download “I Got Goo”
Click to play, right click to download “Every Egg has its Creme” (Parody of Every Rose has its Thorn)