Branding, Facebook, social networks

Top Five Facebook Fan Pages in terms of active fan base

From Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook’s presentation .  Top 5 facebook fan pages in terms of fan base.

She talks about the importance of allowing people to interact with brands the way they interact with friends and family.

1. Micheal Jackson = 10.2 million fans
2. Barack Obama = 6.7 million fans
3. Vin Diesel (?!) = 6.3 million fans
4. Facebook = 5.1 million fans
5. Megan Fox (already?) = 4.9 million fans
10. Starbucks = 3.8 million fans


Oh shiza kookens – the Facebook page is actually a group!

So I’ve been up since 4:30am this morning – initially woken up by my hungry son but then as I settled back and I had an epiphany.  Egad! I sat up. That Facebook fan page our company was just hired to help shape, seed and feed is a group!

Damn – I should have figured that at first glance –  the ‘George Bush is still disliked by 1 million people” related group should have tipped me off.   Groups have no control over their associations (other than to disable it) but, as one would expect, Facebook pages do.

Not many organizations are building groups these days – the focus is on pages! so I wrongly assumed it was page – not looking at the obvious signs.   I won’t make that oversight again.

Facebook groups arrived first, pre-2008, and so if your non-profit or organization was ambitious in 2007, chances are that their facebook presence could be a group not a page.  Unfortunately, groups are rather limiting compared to pages.   And so for growth, the transition is necessary.

I found an excellent blog post reviewing the issues called “Facebook Pages vs. Groups” by Peter Leonard.

For a while, in 2008, Facebook was allowing conversion from groups to pages but they are not doing this anymore.   I don’t know why.

Added note from Facebook support

We’re no longer able to convert Facebook Groups into Pages. You’re welcome to create a Page and notify your Group members that you’ll be using the Page instead of the Group going forward. If your Group has too many members to send them a message, we unfortunately aren’t able to provide you with any other solutions for how you might contact them about this change.
SHIZEN KOOKENS!!!!!  (i don’t know how to spell sh*t cookies in german)
Facebook, recruiting 2.0, social networks, twitter, using social media in job search

Teaching Social Media in Job Search

Its not what you know but who you know.  Provocative.  Not entirely true – I’d say its both but ‘who you know’ is on steroids with the advent of social networking hitting the recruiting industry.

The recruiting industry is undergoing profound changes in 2009.  Hiring managers and recruiters are more satisfied with the quality of candidates from employee referrals and social networks  (sns) over job boards.  And social network sites are making finding passive job seekers easier, background checks a snap all the while making the route to placement faster and cheaper.

The better ROI on referrals and social networking use is shaking up the industry.  Major placement firms will need to adjust and develop social media strategies pdq as from what I’ve seen online, in-house hiring managers are exploring how to better leveraging employee referrals and sns.  An easy statement to say in a great recession.

I delivered a course yesterday requested by Tcet – an employment resource centre in Toronto.  As a sign of the times and the need, 85 people registered, 65-70 people turned out for what was anticipated to be a 20 person course.

The audience varied from newcomer to Canada, to boomers, from all industry backgrounds, many of who had been laid off and looking for over three months.

I was advising those with no linkedin, nor facebook to focus on those two medium first.  Not to worry about twitter until the first two are done.   From Dan Schawbel’s excellent blog on personal branding —  of the hr professionals using social media – 76% use linkedin, 67% use search engines, 44% use facebook and 21% use twitter.

I suggested that while the room was full of people trying to understand sns for job search, that the next room was likely recruiters doing the same thing.  Its a wild west world in recruiting.

I look forward to posting my presentation on slideshare.



Blogging, Facebook, retail 2.0, social networks, Starbucks

“To all you silly, sad caffeine addicts” –Starbucks employees pollute FB fan pages

Wow.  There is an incredible rant by Veronica, a current Starbucks employee, on the Facebook “Fan” discussion board. 

To all of you silly, sad caffeine addicts who line up like lemmings for your overpriced lattes every morning: there are some things you should know.

1. We are not your friends. We are usually not your neighbors. In most cases, we absolutely loathe you,

[Added note:  15 hrs after this post, Starbucks removed Veronica’s comments.  But added no comment as if it didn’t exist, Added note:  I don’t think Starbucks removed the comments now.  I think the comment author did as other employee rants still exist.  Which would mean the board is still unmoderated.]

The absolute worst faux pas in employee communications that I’ve ever seen.  One that will likely cost her, her job or more.   Its damaging to the brand, its talking to over 1MM loyal Starbucks fans from around the world and it was posted over 15 hours ago with no response so far. 

I’m a fan of Starbucks, and I’ve written a few posts now about the Facebook Starbucks fan pages [1st post 1MM fans, go wild] and [2nd post Still ignored] .    But even I have to admit the Starbucks facebook pages are poorly run.   It is an example of a corporate communications effort rushing out to use social media but not putting in place the right resources, strategy plan nor risk mitigation plans for engaging in the conversation. 

Starbucks is a great example of what not to do on Facebook – chiefly, ignoring and not moderating the discussion board which has gone absolutely WILD with complaining employees, to unaddressed loyal customer complaints, to passionate feedback about pike place roasts and via instant coffee. I’ve been searching and I’ve only seen one moderator commnent (on a via discussion I think).

Moreover, I find the event pages very North American focused when I find the fan base is quite international.   Facebook with its continued global growth will require business to communicate using a global voice.  I suspect we will see some cottage industries emerge as loyal fan and employee moderators from around the global will be needed to support the pages.

At the moment, I dont’ really know a lot of examples of well run Facebook business pages – certainly, I’ve seen a lot of tweets  asking for FB business examples.

Want a great website example that incorporates loyal fans?  Go to Moleskine and mymoleskine pages.  Absolutely fantastic and all on the Moleskine website.

Facebook, social networks

Still ignored: Starbucks FB discussion board

I’m finding this Facebook  “disappointed by Starbucks” discussion thread very interesting.  I wrote about this earlier – how with over 1MM facebook fans, Starbucks should consider some moderation of its discussion pages.  Hmm.. I would be interested in raising this issue up the chain. .

Its clear there is a lot of passion about Starbucks [great entry Dave Rice] [equally passionate Torgenson] and yet I don’t think the super brand loyalists amongst us can take the place of an official corporate responder.

Someone suggested to me that maybe Starbucks is purposely allowing its fan base to moderate this discussion but I think that’s a weak approach.  They seem to spend so much time on announcing the front page shyt…

What I like about Dave Rice’s thoughts – is that it was the same as my experience.  I had just joined and visited the discussion area and this was my first read.

Btw – Dave Rice – my upset was the price increase in kids’ drinks from $1 to $1.25 in Ontario only.  BC remains at $1.  I wrote a long letter to Starbucks about this – generally – charge whatever you want on my latte but don’t make money on my kid.

Importantly – the folks that complain in this thread are rather constructive.  I hear their passion and not a bunch of gripes.

And now … with my comments.. we are back up at the top of the discussion board once again!

Blogging, Innovation, social networks, web 2.0

1, 433, 939 starbucks fans but no corporate voice – go wild

Welcome to the Starbucks Facebook Fan discussion page – go wild. 

First of all – I’m fan of Starbucks.  I joined the “Starbucks Fan” facebook site because I should own shares for how much I’ve dropped in lattes, americanos and blueberry scones.   And whereas I do try to prefer the local yokal, small biz, organic fresh roaster ,  Starbucks’ free wi-fi two hours really seals my allegiance to the coffee king.   I love getting a free coffee coupon if my order is forgotten, and my daughters’ drawing is still taped to the back of my local Starbucks espresso maker. Its my office, my newspaper site, my cup of sanity with the kids.  

So join I did, added a wall post and watched it disappear after a refresh.  Hmm.. obviously there is protectionism on wall posts. 

Then I pursued the Starbucks discussion board and found “disappointed by Starbucks” – a discussion started by Florida’s John Parkes on February 9, 2009.   

There is a bit of John Parkes in all of us.  He loves Starbucks – wishes it was what it once was.  He posts and re-posts with the constructive, supportive criticism that can only come from a heavy user, loyal consumer.   Crap – he is just the kind of guy that oozes innovation.  His discussion posts are long – several paragraphs.  Over 33 people have commented and added their own voices.  He answers and reanswers  – all the while adding the kind of posts that qualitative researchers would die for.   Thru it all – I couldn’t see any corporate response.  None.   So I asked John if anyone from corporate ever answered his posts.  He admitted a few employees tried but as far as he can tell – no one from corporate office did.  It appears that the discussion board is completely unmoderated – at least in this thread.  So what is the point??

Interestingly – every time I added a comment to John, his “disappointed with Starbucks” discussion floated to the top of the discussions because the forum is organized by reply recency.  So that means his discussion has been at the top of the discussion list over 50 times.

John speculated that the Facebook fan site may not be ‘starbucks sponsored’ but with over 1MM fans,  join our Starbucks twitter feed, and corporate video section, it no longer matters who is sponsoring the site.  [added note – there is a community link from straight to the facebook fan page – and so it appears that community participation is valued..].

Get in there Starbucks!  If you don’t have one already – get a coffee lover (both employee experienced and customer only experience) and create a country specific starbucks community chief [or advisory board].   Pick up groundswell and read up on Charlene Li’s pages (great section on Bob Lutz’ authenticity).  Hey – I know business is hard right now – store closures, the lay offs etc.  But it might be the best digital head count spend you make.   Your fans want you to.

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