What Makes the Top 50 Facebook Fan Pages Work? Part 1


Share on LinkedIn

The Big Money published a list of the top 50 companies on Facebook the other day. They measured both the number of fans and the amount of fan interaction. They did not include pages run by fans – though the company in the top spot (Coca-Cola) has a site that was founded by a fan who continues to run that page with Coca-Cola’s support.

It would have been nice to have some more analysis from The Big Money so – over the next few days – I will try and drill down and provide some additional thoughts.

Facebook ads seem to work. This should be good news for Facebook since, from my outsider’s vantage, old-school advertising is their only real revenue potential at this time. The Big Money reported that JC Penney purchased Facebook ads for the back-to-school shopping season and its fan base went from 22,000 to nearly 500,000. Kohl’s (another retailer in basically the same category as JC Penney) ran a Facebook ad in August and grew its fan base from 10,000 to 350,000 during that time period.

It would have been nice if there were some measurements that showed how many of those fans turned into customers…so I decided to take a look at both JC Penney and Kohl’s to see how they are using their pages to promote business, and if they are creating a method to track sales from Facebook fans:

JC PENNEY: The morning of “Cyber Monday,” JC Penney announced an offer code for all online orders for the day.

JCPenney: It’s our biggest Cyber Monday Sale ever! Shop over 20,000 deals now, plus get free shipping on orders of $25 or more: http://bit.ly/JCPCyberMon

If that code had been exclusive to Facebook (and it doesn’t seem that was the case), then the value of those (now 591,000) fans could have easily been measured. As it turns out, there was such an overload on the JC Penney online site that the offer code was extended for an additional 24 hours.

JCPenney: If you ran into problems checking out last night or today, we want to help. Please email us at [email protected]. The free shipping code 25MERRY is still good on orders of $25 or more until midnight tonight. Thanks for being patient with us.

KOHL’S: Kohl’s is now up to 871,000 fans and, although there was an offer code for Kohl’s online, it was clear that it wasn’t exclusive to Facebook fans.

They also seemed to have even more problems than JP Penney in terms of their online systems jamming up. The vast majority of posts were angry complaints about the online system being down, about having problems applying discounts at check-out, and about in-store problems. Kohl’s did a reasonable job responding online – someone was up all night trying to put a good face on the problems.

However, the exchange below encapsulates the relationship that Facebook fans expect of companies they support:

Tonya: I was hoping that Facebook users would get some kind of coupon today but I guess not…..

Kohl’s: Tonya – feel free to use turkey15 promo code at checkout! Thank you for shopping at Kohl’s! :)

Michele: She meant FACEBOOK users…..special and separate from others that go online. You should of done something special for us….

I think that companies that put up fan pages need to remember that they are in a space where people communicate with their friends. They expect some special treatment above and beyond just being a customer. Exclusive offers, pre-announced sales, and extra rewards points could really capture the Facebook fan base and – potentially – make those “friends” more valuable than the average customer. And, with exclusive codes, that extra value could be measured and a true ROI developed.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Catherine Sherwood
Catherine Sherwood is a consultant specializing in social media, strategic marketing and common-sense search engine optimization. Her insights and expertise are backed by 20+ years of business experience at the senior executive level.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here