Thousands of brands have jumped on the Facebook bandwagon, but few companies stand out above all the rest: Coca-Cola, in particular. Within three years, the beverage brand has jumped from 700 Facebook “likes” to over 20 million and climbing.
Interestingly enough, the Coke Facebook page was not created by the company itself, but by two fans, Dusty Sorg and Michael Jedrzejewski. But even Sorg and Jedrzejewski themselves are unsure of what made the page so popular. For his part, Michael Donnelly, Coke’s director of worldwide interactive marketing, thinks that people were attracted to its avatar, “a crisp, high-resolution image of a Coke can covered with a thin layer of condensation.”
But despite the lack of bells and whistles on its Facebook page (also known as “promotions and offers of free stuff”), Coca-Cola has become the “most liked consumer brand” on Facebook (19,514,362 “likes”).
Trailing close behind is Starbucks, with 18,384,964. But this time, the Starbucks page was conceived by the brand itself, rather than its customers.
Neither Coca-Cola nor Starbucks interact much with page members via the page’s Facebook wall – rather, they let users chatter amongst themselves about brand likes and dislikes. But with no incentives, what is the real advantage for a consumer to “like”? From what we can tell, there isn’t much aside from solidarity, but due to the fact that these are two of the world’s largest [and most popular] brand, consumers don’t mind such a laissez-faire approach to social-networking. Unfortunately, smaller brands can’t, leading them to devote much time and energy to similar fan pages.
Starbucks fans should remain hopeful that they will be rewarded for their loyalty: the coffee chain was among the first (out of 20) to sign up for the upcoming “Facebook Deals” program.