There have already been many reports of people finally saying ‘enough’ and deleting their Facebook accounts. Is this the beginning of a new trend? And what does it mean for brands devoting larger portions of their marketing budgets to social media?
One thing is certain: people aren’t going to be spending any less time online. So if they aren’t on Facebook, they’ll be somewhere else. Which is why creating a microsite devoted to fans of your brand makes so much sense today.
Take mystarbucksidea.com as an example. Stated mission: ‘To help us connect with our customers by co-creating the future with them.’ It has four basic components: Sharing – where community members post ideas for Starbucks. Voting – where you can vote for your favorite ideas. Discussion – community members interact with Starbucks employees. And finally, See (my favorite) – where everyone gets to see the best ideas ‘in action’.
This microsite received about 75,000 ideas from customers in its first six months of existence. And the Starbucks page on Facebook currently has over seven million people who ‘like’ the brand. That’s a lot of support, no matter how you take your coffee.
We like to call this kind of microsite a ‘clubhouse’ for fans of your brand. And what could be better than a clubhouse where everyone’s encouraged to contribute new ideas? Wouldn’t that make you feel better about almost any business you can think of? And isn’t that the essential point of social media marketing?
As Facebook becomes a bit too rigid (and commercial) for some, there will be a surge in branded microsites devoted to fans in the days to come. As always, the best ideas will win. No matter where they come from.