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We wanted to take a look at how some big companies are using Facebook and if they are using it well. So we are going to do a series of reviews of Facebook pages from big companies and see how they stack up.
We will start with a list of the top social brands in 2010 as determined by Vitrue.
Surely these “top social” brands would be among the first to implement the new Facebook page updates and put iFrames to good use? After researching Facebook pages for the top six brands, I found some winners and surprisingly some BIG losers.
Let’s dive in to 2010’s top social brands and break down how they are executing on Facebook.
I found no page for the iPhone as is the case with most Apple products and social media, there is none to find. But there was a page for the Facebook iPhone app that hadn’t been updated in months.
Now we can make the case that Apple does not need a Facebook page or any social media. But beyond that, the bigger lesson here might be that making sure customers can find your Facebook page in the first place is a pretty important item on every company’s checklist.
Lesson: If someone researching your page isn’t willing to put in the time to find it, neither will anyone else.
I found the page with my first Google search. The landing page promoted the new ‘Blackberry PlayBook,’ which looks pretty cool. It housed a few fairly effective videos and the latest ‘BlackBerry Playbook Updates’ from Twitter, Facebook and the official blog. How about some consistent branding? Is the ‘b’ in Playbook capped or not? The page featured both versions of the brand.
I also found this page with my first search. The main page housed the top 5 Disney Facebook pages and the top newsfeed updates from the likes of Dory, the fish from Finding Nemo and Captain Jack Sparrow. The page design looks very ‘Facebook-y’ with the light blue headers and embedded ‘like’ buttons.
The page header had worldwide fan ticker that presumably updated anytime someone ‘liked’ the page. I tried this out a few times and although the numbers did update, it appeared to update in multiples of ten. So it felt a bit buggy to me.
The top updates included in-character comments by Disney characters and open-ended questions like this one from “Toy Story”: ‘Have you ever misplaced one of your favorite toys?’ This simple question solicited over 3,000 comments!
Another case of mistaken identity. First Facebook page listed by Google hadn’t been updated in over a month. 3rd one on the list – AndroidCentral – sounded promising. It looked good, but the info claimed it was for the blog androidcentral.com. So no idea if it’s official or not. FAIL.
I wasn’t able to find the official iPad page – if there is one. I was able to find an iTunes page that was announced in a related blog post as the ‘Official Page on Facebook.’ With 10 million fans, I have to say I was underwhelmed. The page still has the old page layout along with a simple ‘fade into the background’ blue profile pic.
The custom tabs include a page with polls and I was happy to find a question on which film would win ‘Best Picture of the Year’ at the Academy Awards. With the award ceremony taking place in just a matter of hours, the poll was extremely relevant and curious to see the responses, I voted. “The King’s Speech” was ahead, earning 33% of the vote.
The video Showcase tab didn’t house any live video but instead had you redirect to a page with a Quicktime streaming video of some comedy TV show that I had little to no interest in. I started typing this paragraph and then was off the page before the video even began to play.
SEARCH YOUR BRAND IN FACEBOOK! When I searched for ‘Sony’ in the Facebook search box, this popped up first under pages: I Have a Defective Sony TV. The page has almost 5,000 ‘likers’ and I was tempted to join the cause just to be on the side of the underdog. The first update read: “It’s nice to see so many people ‘standing’ behind William, instead of Sony”. The photos spanning the top of the page – thanks to the newly updated page lay-out – featured shots of distorted and discolored TV screens. NICE!
Turning once again to Google to see if I could try and find the ‘official’ page,- the 3rd result seemed to be the one. The Sony Ericsson Facebook page seemed to be taking queues from Disney, with a banner counting worldwide fans. The Sony banner requested you ‘like’ the page – which I did to see if I could get that fan count to increase. It didn’t.
I was happy to see the profile pic featuring the ‘Fan of the Week’ – from Malaysia. Although I was a bit baffled by the ‘legalese’ that was posted just below the photo:
By posting your profile photo with your inspiring photo, video or comments, you are giving us permission to use your photo for the Fan of the Week profile image. It will not be used for any other purpose.
So now I was suddenly worried that by ‘liking’ the page, I had somehow given them permission to use my Facebook profile pic to endorse Sony on their fan page. Granted, I do have a tendency to be a bit paranoid but the language was confusing. I would hope that only fans who had explicitly submitted their photo to be the ‘Fan of the Week’ were featured on the page.
Other than this main landing page, the other page tabs were fairly standard. They did have a tab called ‘Future News’ that housed a sign-up for their email list.
So my round-up of the top brands in social media for 2010 resulted in mixed reviews. Thankfully most of the brands have updated their page to the new lay-out. But at least three of the brands are not even on Facebook officially.
I was most impressed by Disney, who offered up a great service by indexing their top Facebook pages – since Facebook does such a bad job at it. They were also brave enough to have some fun with their characters; not taking themselves too seriously by allowing characters to comment on Facebook. Bravo!
Stay tuned, as we plan to break down and review more big brands and how they are leveraging the largest social network in the world, if at all.