Big Brands Throw Free Ads Down Toilet

dontgetfacebooktoiletIf I offered you free, daily television or radio commercials that would reach hundreds of thousands or millions of your existing customers and fans, you'd be crazy not to take the deal. What if I threw in the opportunity to get real time, immediate feedback from thousands of those fans each time your commercials air? And, as another bonus, you can seamlessly change copy, images, and videos that you're sharing on a regular basis! Best deal ever! Where do I sign up?

But that's exactly what Facebook Fan Pages offer. And while a few huge brands such as Adidas and Victoria Secret are doing a great job sharing content with fans on a regular basis, most are not. We did a quick survey of some of the official Facebook Fan Pages with the most fans and how many updates they've made to the stream for their fans in the last 2 weeks. Here are a few examples:

Coca-Cola (3,749,644 fans), 4 updates in past 2 weeks

Pringles (2,791,242 fans), 0 updates in past 2 weeks; Last update: July 24, 2009

Live Messenger (2,490,794 fans), 0 updates in past 2 weeks; Last update: August 27, 2009

Dippin' Dots (900,681 fans), 2 updates in the past 2 weeks

Skittles (3,523,467 fans), 2 updates in past 2 weeks

Reese's (1,423,426 fans), 3 updates in past 2 weeks

Lacoste (1,113,806 fans), 1 update in the past 2 weeks

Pizza Hut (1,032,411 fans), 0 updates in past 2 weeks; Last update: October 3, 2009

These are just a few - of course there are hundreds of thousands of Fan Pages, some of which are well-maintained, but most of which are not. I'm not saying that Facebook Pages are simply about broadcasting your message loud and often- on the contrary - the real value of Fan pages lies in the ability to respond to fans, to interact, to gain real time feedback, and of course to get your messages out in a wide variety of formats (text, pictures, videos, links, and applications!)

But you would think that big brands with a million fans would at least realize they can send out 1 message a day, at different times, to their fans to get conversations going and stay top of mind. Whether your Facebook Fan Page has acquired fans by luck, by leveraging a Facebook ad buy, or by reaching people through other marketing channels, it just doesn't make sense to sit on thousands or millions of fans and not share content with them.

What do you think? How often is too often to update Fan Pages? What rate is just right, so that you're leveraging the power of Facebook and reaching your fans on a regular basis?