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Brands on facebook-part one

November 25, 2007

In the last week or so everyone has been commenting on Facebook’s Beacon and the  problems and privacy pitfalls of opening up the “social graph” to brands and other third parties. Some have mentioned they don’t think it’s a good idea for brands to be people’s friends, where others have argued that brands are important social currency, so they naturally fit into social actions and display.

I thought it made sense to explore what brands are up to on Facebook.

This is a two-part post.

Part one is a look at some basic counts and part two will examine some strategies behind the successfull brand efforts.

This is by no means exhaustive, but it’s a very quick glance at who is doing what and it’s pretty interesting to see the inconsistent approaches. The simple analysis here is just to look at the brands and to do a simple count for the member or fan base for their group or page. This doesn’t include consumer generated efforts on behalf of brands, there are lots of those, just the ones that appear to be initated by the brand itself.

You can see clearly that some brands are leveraging the presence, while others have just put their toe in and have yet to take real action. It’s surprising to see product brands that are well loved, like iPhone and Halo 3, have so little traction. It’s also clear that some brands have a lot of catching up to do- United against Southwest, is just one example. You can also see how brands are using Facebook for campaigns- Reebok’s “Run Easy” is a good example.

What distinguishes success from failure here appears to revolve around execution and content; you’ve got to offer content and offers direct to your Facebook audience and you’ve also have to give them a reason to belong and take actions, but more of that in Part 2.

Here are the counts:

Abercrombie and Fitch- 235 fans

Adidas- 148 fans

Altoids- 2 fans

Amazon- 18 fans

Apple Students -431,288 fans

BMW- 264 fans

Coca-Cola- 803 fans

Dell Spot- 2,485 members

The Economist- 41 fans

Halo 3- 329 fans

H&M- 25,449 members

Phone- 476 fans

iPod Touch- 145 fans

Mountain Dew-Dew Uncapped

New York Times- 3,318 fans

Nike-14 fans

Nike- Greatest Team You Have Never Heard Of (US Women’s Soccer Team)- 26,345 members

Patagonia- 29 fans

PBS- 827 fans

Pepsi- 58 fans

Pepsi Platinum- 20,144 members

Pizza Hut- 5 fans

Ralph Lauren- 136 fans

Reebok- Run Easy- 13,162 members

Saturn Astra- 212 fans

Sony Playstation 3- 277 fans

Southwest -46,670 members

Target- 16,869 members

Taco Bell -33 fans

Toyota Prius- 48 fans

United Airlines- 13 fans

Victoria’s Secret-Pink- 351,622 members

Posted by Ed Cotton

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