Facebook fan pages overwhelm business

Facebook doesn't charge advertisers to create fan pages benefiting the 83 of the top 100 US advertisers

While much of the recent DOS attacks on Twitter have also affected Facebook & Google, it is evident that the Facebook platform is much more stable and suitable for business.  As Brand Republic highlighted it is actually Corporate America who seems to be leading the charge online reaching out through social media to consumers through corporate fan pages & facebook applications.

The Facebook platform has the advantage of scale with 250,000,000 users and 340,000,000 unique visitors each month and is now the 4th most visited website in the world.  Some mega brands like Starbucks have fit well within the Facebook platform with a massive 3,765,562 fans.

Nick Burcher has a great list of top 30 largest Facebook fan pages by number of fans, which was updated in June.  Based on the growth rate of Facebook these figures reported are slightly lower but still quite close and useful to understand the current leaders.  The only major shift is the rise in Michael Jackson fan pages since Nick updated his list.

Coca-Cola – 3,578,889 fans

Starbucks – 3,765,562 fans

Pringles – 2,765,695 fans

So who is the most popular brand or item? It is Pizza which has 3 of the top 30 largest Facebook fan bases with combined audience of 10,433,262, but the Pizza Hut group has only 993,815 fans. It would make sense for one of the big pizza chains to buy or sponsor one of these 3 fan pages if they want to reach scale quickly.

According to insidefacebook.com who provide a breakdown of page leaders, it clearly shows that the average number of fans per page is close to the average number of 2,104. This average figure is still far ahead of many corporate and business fan pages so can be a useful target to measure your social media campaign against.

Retail – Total fans in this category: 11,548,515 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 2,093
Actor – Total fans in this category: 193,520,303 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 10,865
Celebrity – Total fans in this category: 1,069,732 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 6,148
Food & Beverage – Total fans in this category: 261,930,703 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 11,478
Musician – Total fans in this category: 449,238,627 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 2,116
Automotive – Total fans in this category: 14,000,613 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 1,979
Consumer Product – Total fans in this category: 39,162,949 :: Avg fans per page in this category: 3,664

Nick from AllFacebook has analysed a large amount of Facebook fan statistics and the most frequent number of fans is only 7, with around 61,400 pages with no fans. There is a 40% change of your page attracting more than 100 fans, but this is reduced to a 9.5% change of more than 1,000 fans.  Only 5% of pages actually have more than 3,000 fans and only 2.5% actually have over 10,000 fans.  But compared to twitter where only 14 have over 1 million fans, there are 237 facebook pages who have reached this figure.

Advertisers can benefit from Facebooks powerful ad platform to target the right audience which Pringles has been doing recently to attract more followers to its fan page. The only issue is that sometimes the Facebook platform can become too open, with Primark staff insulting their customers. This open stream has also affected Tesco, Waitrose & Virgin which asks the question is open always the best way forward?

If you are thinking of social media for your brand, you need to decide who is in control and how much openness you want in case not everything posted is friendly.  Your fan page followers will grow slower but this maybe suitable for niche brands and products who don’t need 4,000,000 fans to be a successful social media campaign.

6 Replies to “Facebook fan pages overwhelm business”

  • Great post. As someone who researches Fan Pages and helps many businesses and brands with fan pages, I can say that ‘openness’ is something people definitely worry about when it comes to embracing social media. A lot of the brands we deal with are coming to us with ideas, ready to embrace their fans. We build custom applications and also offer other tools to help increase the ‘effectiveness’ of the fan page, whether its a coupon application or voting, there is a lot of room to engage people and draw in more people to specific tabs within the fan page through fB’s social ads.

    Ofcourse, nothing is more important than understanding WHY consumers would want to connect with you. Pepsi and Pringles continue to have a large following, well mostly because of brand awareness that they have built up over the years through magazine ads, commercials and other tactics. Here’s a great post talking about should Facebook dominate your social strategy:


    What if you’re a smaller guy? It’s best to focus on the deeper meaning. Check out this post about Trust Agents, a new book by Chris Brogan and Julien. They started a Facebook Page not about their book, but about the principles behind their book.


    Focus on the principles and add value to your users (whether its B2B or B2C), and you will develop authority. And authority rules, doesn’t it? http://www.authorityrules.com

    Anyways, had fun writing out this comment. We’re working on many interesting things in Facebook for brands thru a lot of agencies. Here’s a link to something we did for Pringles: http://apps.facebook.com/pringlesextreme

    Ciao 😉

    -Azam Khan

  • Nice straight-forward article with good case studies as examples. While most companies don’t have the brand cache of Pink or Coke, we all can learn about what facets of their success we can replicate by understanding how to provide value to the consumer

    • Diane, thank you for the comment, just read your post and if only it was that easy to grade your campaigns. Ive seen companies with a handful of followers/fans and been happy and then i have seen the reactions from clients who claim they should have more because they are a better brand and we have been there longer. Social media is about engagement not just being there the longest, but i do see value in having a presence so when fans/customers look for you they can find you.

      I think social media can bring out the small child in all of us, when it doesn’t work you take you bat and ball and head home instead of doing what you do in marketing and evaluate and try a new strategy. 2010 is going to be a whole new wave of social media but this time it will be tied to budgets, goals, ROI and measurement of engagement.

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