I Liked You on Facebook and All I Got Was A Boring Status Post
A few months ago, I fanned [editor's note: Facebook continues to shift its terminology-- fan pages are now something that users "like"] all of my favorite brands on Facebook. I had read dozens of articles about how many brands were using social media and I wanted to see for myself what was going on.
So what did happen, you ask? Surprisingly little.
I fanned over 30 brands and I did hear from most of them, so I guess they can check that box. Mostly though, I was pretty underwhelmed.
The bright spots were some of the smallest brands. My favorite childhood ice cream stand, Dairy Joy in Weston, MA had surprisingly robust Facebook posts – including one on an unseasonably warm day a few weeks ago – “Take advantage of the gorgeous weather and grab a cone of your favorite flavor from Dairy Joy!”. If only I’d been back in my hometown – I definitely would have stopped by.
Another of my small favorites is Organic Valley, the organic farming co-op. Their posts were much more like the random thoughts of my friends than marketing messages–links to interesting articles on organic food, pictures of their cafeteria menu items and unique seasonal recipes.
Some brands perplexed me. A weekly magazine that I subscribe to posted links to interesting articles in their latest issue. It sort of made me wonder why I was paying for the subscription, when they were going through the magazine, pointing out the best articles and allowing me to read them online for free.
The sheer tenacity of Best Buy in the face of overwhelming customer criticism has actually given me a whole new respect for the brand. Dozens and dozens of angry posts to their wall each answered in a calm, helpful manner. I suppose it isn’t an ideal situation, but I do applaud them for acknowledging what is going on and responding to it.
Most brands just annoyed me posting little more than the equivalent of an email subject in their status. No sooner had I fanned a site than my live feed was bombarded with the equivalent of email spam – “Exclusive today, enjoy 20% off + free shipping on any purchase”, blah, blah, blah.
The Big Money’s recent Facebook 50 annual ranking of companies making social media work points out that Facebook has become a very handy way to coordinate free promotions on a nationwide, even global level.
Quite frankly, if this is all that brands are going to use Facebook for, then I say count me out.