Home > Marketing Strategy, Social Media > Facebook Fan Pages: the Future? Er, no

Facebook Fan Pages: the Future? Er, no

I generally enjoy the Church of the Customer blog and I don’t knock Ben McConnell, whose passion is admirable.

But his piece, Facebook fan pages are the future makes a leap which – aside from presenting a world vision of marketing I assiduously wish to avoid – strikes me as having little chance of coming true.

McConnell writes:

“When fans interact with a fan page on Facebook, that interaction is sent through the fan’s news feed, which goes to all their friends, practically daring a chunk of them to see what the page is about.

Compared to Twitter, Facebook fan pages rule. You’re not limited by Twitter’s 140-character posts, plus it’s far easier for fan page members to preview a photo, video or weblink than what Twitter offers.

What more could a brand manager want?”

Plenty. Authenticity; credibility; and even value spring to mind.  I firmly describe these types of promotional pages on social media sites as extensions of corporate blogs, which we all know finish dead last in terms of consumer credibility.

Link Economy

Of course it’s true, Facebook’s fan pages offer brand managers a channel to connect with customers.  And, yes, there is the exposure gained from appearing in life streams. But any value derived from this connection must be taken with huge mountains of salt on All Salts Day.

After all, considering a single click marks the difference between a fan and a gawking bystander, it’s hardly the basis for a durable, long-lasting relationship.  As far as clicks are concerned, it’s easy come, easy go.

Moreover, for anyone with even a handful of active friends, the feed churn is so significant that a single fleeting entry is hardly the asset advertisers want to be carrying the future of their brand.

Can such a fragile economy be the future?  Some very smart people have made compelling arguments about the value of links.  There’s more to debate on that topic but for sure we can agree that a single fan page link is not enough to take to the bank.

Had McConnell stopped at making the point about fan pages offering a simple, fast outlet for brands to connect with customers, I’d be right there in support.

But considering the tendency for flighty Facebook friends to flit and float past brand communication on social media pages, I find it far more likely brand managers will resist pouring any serious strategic capital in Fan Pages, no matter how expertly constructed.

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