Facebook is becoming a lot more useful for entertainment marketing now that fan pages can look more like profiles.
As the LA Times tech blog explains, “brands” that people are fans of can now control their own pages, just like us commoners. They can now get a wall where anybody can see all their recent activity. And the have “info” and “boxes” (aka applications) tabs, just like all us commoners. They can even do status updates, giving fans micro-messages on what their latest episode or product or tour date is (kinda like Twitter).
Previously individuals could only have up to 5,000 pages, which doesn’t work for big brands. So they were limited to fan pages. Above on the left is an example of what the old-fashioned fan pages looked like, in this case for “Heroes.” As you can see, it’s really basic. Fans can leave notes, pictures and reviews. But there’s no real “activity” by “Heroes” (or rather the people behind it).
By contrast, check out this newfangled page for “South Park.” It looks just like your or my page, except with 1.7 million fans/friends. The wall is updated with new videos, photos, contests, and other stuff the folks at Comedy Central want us to see.
Unlike the old fashioned fan pages, the content on the front of the new one is controlled by the brand itself. It’s all the stuff they want us to see. Fans can still comment, of course, but most of the talk is limited to the special “discussion” tab. It’s basically like a message board.
Lettings brands own their pages is, of course, one step further away from Facebok’s original mission to let Harvard students post individual profiles. It later on became Ivy League students, then all students, then everyone. Along the way members started creating groups around the content they love and brands could make little pages to let people show they are fans.
But now you don’t even need to be a person to get a Facebook profile. “South Park” gets a page just like the rest of us. Members may debate whether it’s a good move for the purity of the social network. But for entertainment brands like movies, TV shows, and bands, engaging with fans on one of the two biggest social networks just got a lot more powerful.