About the Author: Social Media and The Big W is the place where news, talent, testing, resources, and love for the social media, and web community in general intersect to provide meaningful information for the global social media market. Jason Small is a social media strategist and digital marketer with SEO, website design and development expertise and working with Revolution Digital to service several major brands in various industries including entertainment, pharma and other industries. For more information on Revolution Digital, please visit: www.RevolutionDigital.com DISCLAIMER: This blog is maintained independently of Revolution Digital, and the views and opinions expressed by the author, or guest authors, do not necessarily state or reflect the opinion of Revolution Digital.
But for those major brands spending big bucks to generate fans via marketing dollars, are these funny and sometimes clever fan pages generating a less expensive way to drive fanning?
By fanning the page, users had the name of the fan page show up in their wall feed and found some enjoyment out of it. Generally, after viewing many of these myself, this was the extent of their participation. They simply liked the idea of the phrase or name of the fan page, and ‘liked’ the page to have it show in their status.
Here are a few examples:
Are all of these fans being generated in a way that leave major brands scratching their heads? After all, these brands spend a lot of money to reach and generate new fans. And here we have all kinds of fan pages created by all different types of people, with numbers that meet or exceed some major brands.
At first glance, it might appear that these fan page creators a ‘genius’ in their own right. That they have unlocked a ‘secret’ that other marketers haven’t, and that secret is equivalent to the money spent for major brands to generate fanning. But this is not true, for all of the following reasons.
All fans are not created equal. A ‘fan’ who happens to see a funny title or fan page name, and decides to ‘like’ it, does so in a much different state of mind with a different set of expectations. He or she thinks it’s funny, and knows that some of his or her friends will likely see the name or title of the fan page appear on their profile wall. And that is literally the extent of the expectations for the majority of users. Now, consider that a fan generated through a promotion, facebook ad, or other activity used by major brands to recruit fans has a much different set of expectations. These fans are much more ‘durable’ in the sense that they are ‘liking’ the particular fan page with a specific set of expectations in mind, that likely exceed the ‘title or name’ showing up in their wall feed. Thus, they are more likely to hold increased value for the brand as extended participants.
So, two fan pages held side by side – one created by a major brand, and the other created by a ‘rogue’ creator do not hold the same value even if both have the same amount of fans, or a reasonably similar amount. If you look at the interactions from the fans, you will see a difference in the ‘type’ of interactions and the ‘value’ that the users put in their comments and actions.
Here is one example for you to view and judge for yourself:
‘Official’ brand page.
‘Rogue’ fan page not affiliated with the official brand.
View the ‘types’ of comments along with the perceived value of those comments, and judge for yourself.
It seems that Facebook will have to sort out how to handle the trend. Now, they have a large and growing group of fan pages being used for what seems to be an unintended purpose – which could ‘water down’ the overall perceived value of fan pages. Yet, there is something justifiably permissible in that the users, in large numbers, feel that something in the viral nature of humor and how fan pages are shared, fits together. It might be wise for Facebook to consider this further and find a way to elevate the use of this learning and improve the platform appropriately.
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