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Why Starbucks has more friends than Costa on Facebook

June 29, 2011

Global or local; mutli billion pound turnover or struggling to stay afloat; celebrity, toothpaste, or fish foot spas; whatever the brand, they all want one thing… to be your friend. Or rather to infiltrate your most valuable space – your news feed. The golden ticket to you. The place where you spend most of your time, the space where you are most engaged. Almost every single brand is doing it, investing huge sums of money, time and effort to carefully place their brand between the thoughts and dribble of your closest friends.

But these days we’re much more media savvy than we might have been a few years ago, or perhaps even a few months ago, and in order for us to press that grey little rectangular ‘like’ button, you’ve got to do something to impress us. There is a reason why Costa Coffee only has a respectable 186,919* fans and their fierce rivals Starbucks have a rather impressive place in the top branded pages on Facebook with 23,472,711 fans. Take a look at these two photos:

Both pictures have been put up by the owners of the page rather than fans, which means both photos have been approved by the companies central marketing department. I would imagine that both photos have been carefully selected too, but there is a clear difference between the snaps too.

In terms of a good photograph Costa is a clear winner. In terms of obvious branding Costa wins hands down. But overall Costa is the obvious loser on Facebook, because Costa’s photo should be in a corporate brochure or press release, whilst Starbucks offers some authenticity. The Starbucks picture is poorly lit, out of focus, low resolution, but above all it is real. It has been captured by the average person, probably on a smartphone and the type of picture that fits right in on Facebook.

Costa photo has 119* likes, Starbucks photo has 1370* likes. No surprise there.

Now lets look at some status’:

Happiness Moment #3: Waking up before the alarm, and then going back to sleep.

A nap every once in a while is not a waste of time. It’s an investment in dreams.

Happiness Moment #1: Successfully parallel parking on the first attempt.

Now look at these:

Hello pretty ladies (and gentlemen)! Take a look at the exclusive world premiere of our new Seriously Mixed Up Vimto ad. Let us know what you think!

Hey Vimto fans! Check out our new and improved page, especially for all you Vimto lovers. Come back and visit us over the next few weeks for exclusive competitions, seriously great free stuff and much more.

Even Eastenders love talking about Vimto.

You might struggle to work out who the first set of status’ came from, but you’ll have no problem working out who the second set come from. However, the first set are far more likely to have made you smile or experience positive emotions and guess which brand you’re now going to associate those emotions with… Coca Cola. Vimto on the other hand are offering nothing of any great interest.

Vimto Fans:181,701* respectable, but not exceptional.
Coca Cola Fans: 31,522,109*

I could go on, but my point is, we don’t like pages as the master key for brands to come along and fill up our news feeds with status after status or mindless corporate advertising of their product; we like pages for something much more fruitful than that. A page on Facebook shouldn’t replicate a website, or a press release or even an annual report, rather it should provide us with randomly timed, totally un-corporate and ultimately fun gems of information every now and then. Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Skittles all get it, but most pages still have a lot to do before they can earn that special place on our wall of likes.

Eaten Today:

08.45 Bacon, egg, tomatoes, mushrooms, toast
11.00 Cake Bar
14.30 Chicken & Bacon Baguette and Lion Bar
19.00 BBQ sausage fajitas with lettuce and cucumber

*At time of writing

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