Financial Times on Facebook and the “Condescending Corporate Brand Page”

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You may have already seen it ‘The Condescending Corporate Brand Page” – a brilliant lampooning of brand Facebook Pages that takes aim at all the engagement monkeys out there destroying brand credibility with lame attempts to collect Likes (see accompanying Twitter Feed @corporate_brand). Like us if you think you’re special, Like us if love animals, Like us if you want World Peace.

The Financial Times this morning approves, and thinks the-all-too-prevalent Condescending Corporate Brand Pages are desperate and decidedly uncool.  Dad at school disco kind of thing. Hotpoint is singled out as a prime example. We agree.  Brands are not people.  They’re trademarks imbibed with value designed to extract margin.

So what’s a brand to do?  Simple, get real and add a little value by realising that Facebook is a word of mouth platform. So use Facebook to listen to unfettered word of mouth around your brand. And as good friend and bestselling author Emanuel Rosen (The Anatomy of Buzz (still the best book ever written on word of mouth)), says the secret to word is simple – get your product into the hands of your fans and give them something to talk about. That’s what Facebook is for – a seeding platform for activating fan advocacy with fan-first exclusives and fan-first promotions.

So stop collecting Likes and start driving value. And put the engagement monkeys back in the zoo.

About the author

Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.

1 comment

  • Engagement is an intermediate product in Facebook marketing; not an end-product. It’s essential to maintain earned reach among a follower audience, but that doesn’t excuse midless and off-brand behavour. After all reach without content is just – well – noise.

    However I tend to disagree about the ability to listen to “unfettered word of mouth”. Facebook’s privacy settings are pretty tough; and while there are still many individuals who post statuses publicly, the great (and representative) majority are hidden from our view. Probably a good thing, no matter how frustrating.

By Paul Marsden

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Paul Marsden

Chartered psychologist specialising in consumer behaviour and technology. Certified CX professional experienced in Design Thinking. A researcher, writer and speaker, Paul is head of Digital Insight at SYZYGY.