Brands that boost their Facebook fan base by offering freebies and discounts to people who sign up could face a backlash in the not-too-distant future, warns Augie Ray. Social search engines are likely to find ways to weed out “fake” fans, just as conventional search engines learned to screen out “black hat” marketers who sought to manipulate their algorithms. “Brands hoping to help their social search engine relevance by amassing fans should take heed — the easy way may work for a while, but the authentic and hard way always wins in the end,” Ray writes.
About 70% of brand coverage by bloggers around the world is disconnected from the core messages being promoted by digital marketers, according to a study by PR firm Burson-Marsteller.
Some degree of message distortion is inevitable, but experts say that companies can reduce the noise by creating powerful content of their own – if bloggers can link directly to high-quality content, the theory goes, they’re less likely to put their own spin on things.
Nearly three-quarters of blog posts don’t reflect corporate messaging
Marketers and other corporate communications professionals may sometimes feel they have a thankless task: carefully craft messages about their company’s thought leadership, social responsibility efforts and new product or service launches, only to find those messages distorted as they’re disseminated through the media.
About a year ago, Starbucks overtook Coca-Cola as the most popular corporate brand on Facebook, with its page drawing 3.7 million fans. Now the coffee brewery has become the first brand to hit the 10 million-fan mark on Facebook.
The nearest rivals, Coke and Skittles, are both trailing behind at about 6.5 million fans.
To put Starbucks’ success in perspective, the company is quite close to catching up to pop icon
Lady Gaga in Facebook fans, who has about 10.4 million fans, according to data compiled by the Inside Facebook blog. Only other celebrities like Michael Jackson and Vin Diesel, some games (“Texas Hold’em Poker,” “Mafia Wars”), “Family Guy,” Facebook, and the President of the United States, stand ahead of Starbucks in the number of Facebook fans.