Thanks to a story by Niall Harbison on Nextweb.com, I saw something I’ve been telling so many people. The article lists the top 20 brands on Facebook, and at the top, Coca-Cola, Starbucks, Disney, Oreo, and Red Bull. The top brands on Facebook have something in common. It’s not the approach to social media. It’s not number of updates per day, number of videos, use of landing pages, amount of interaction, use of unemployed real-estate agents as consultants, or any other common trend I’m told are supposed to yield success. Do you know what they have in common?
They spend a metric shitload on advertising.
Coca-Cola has long been known as one of the largest advertising spenders in the world. At over $2 billion annual marketing spend, they have earned that number one spot on Facebook. 31,847,519 fans, which at $2 billion means they’re spending $62.80 for each fan. How much are you spending? And you expect to be an overnight success by having a page on Facebook?
Of course, it’s not accurate to measure advertising spend to number of fans like that, but it’s as sensical as a lot of the ridiculous marketing metrics out there. The point is, that these companies who have so many “Likes” have spent a lot of money getting their name out in the public. And they continue to do so today. To believe that you will find success on Facebook without spending some money on a proper advertising, PR, and marketing plan disregards how much these major brands are spending to be known, and provides a benchmark of reality.
Take Starbucks for example. Over 23 million fans on Facebook, over 16,000 stores (corporate & licensed) worldwide. 1437 fans per location. Over $176 million in advertising dollars spent in 2010. Does your bakery or coffee shop need to be Starbucks? No, but do you see what you’re up against? Now don’t give up, but realize you cannot battle that competitor without putting some time, money, and effort into your marketing plan.
Advertising is a legitimate business expense that you need to budget into your operations. Starbucks, McDonalds, Converse, and other big brands get this. It’s time you understand this as well.