The mostly official blog of the Hodges Partnership.
August 02, 2010 | by Jon Newman
Over the first half of this year we've had the opportunity to work with a number of clients as they expand their presence and communities on Facebook. In some cases, we have designed fun contests with viral elements. In others we have created customized landing pages for designed to inform, driving traffic, increase community and extend the client's brand. After some learning, I'm comfortable enough with our own experience to share those experiences and talk about what has worked and things to keep our eyes on. Two examples that we have direct experience with are landing pages for AMF Bowling and National Harbor. In both cases, people who discover these brands on Facebook but who aren't yet "likers" will land first on the branded landing page and not the clients "wall." As you can see, the landing page mirrors the look and feel of the client's brand and website, provides links to the website, provides direct links to events and information, and is easily updated. Once you "like" either brand, the landing page is accessible as one of the tabs on the wall and can be easily accessed. The client provides a wall update to drive "likers" back to the tab to get new information. While we have not worked directly with our client Kroger on its page, we do like the simplicity, how they encourage folks to "like" them, and how you can get information, updates, offers and coupons through the page. Kroger also has a separate "promotions" tab that is more coupon oriented, thus reinforcing those offers for customers. So what have we learned so far?:
- These pages, also teamed with offers and contests, are great ways to grow community in a relatively short period of time. Those growth rates vary from client to client and should be supported with Facebook advertising if possible.
- People who are on Facebook like to stay on Facebook in most cases so giving them the ability to get information ON Facebook and not drive them elsewhere is important.
- That being said, these pages are great "drivers" to linked information and websites. In some cases, like National Harbor, the Facebook pages drives significant traffic to additional information on the website.
- More "big brands" are using these pages and everything they have to offer. Ford launched their new Explorer with an entire day's worth of activities including taped and live streaming video on one of these pages. Look for others to follow.
- They are quickly being converted into "social commerce" portals where you can sell directly to consumers.
- They are great ways to extend and reinforce the brand and to differentiate the brand from all others on Facebook. This is similar to ten years ago when folks were doing the same thing with websites.
There are a couple of cons:
- For some this might be overkill. This is not necessarily the forum to create your brand, but to extend it. I'm not sure I'd want to launch a company's look and feel on a landing page.
- For some the investment might be too expensive. It does not and should not cost the same as launching a solid website, but it does cost money for design and FBML development, as well as the ongoing analytics to make sure your investment is paying off. So it is not for everyone.
For sure you can grow your Facebook communities without these additional bells and whistles but we may be quickly be getting to the point where this could become the additional "cost of admission" to separate your brand from others. If not your brand may literally "against the wall" with little to differentiate it from its competition. Would love to hear your thoughts and insights.