Mark Higginson

How attention flows on the web


20 June 2014

Although most brands are active on social media, they’re also starting to understand the value of building their own communities through their own platforms.

4 Ways Brands Can Battle Facebook’s Fast-Decreasing Organic Reach

“A few months ago, Sephora built its own Instagram-like platform called the Beauty Board. Coca-Cola also has a platform dedicated to football (soccer) fans. And American Express has created a vibrant community of small business owners through OPEN Forum. (Full disclosure: Both AmEx and Coca-Cola are Contently clients.)”

I wrote about my suspicions regarding AmEx’s OPEN forum back in April 2013. Up it pops again in this post on Contently. Again, the examples given are not substantiated and form part of a post telling the reader what they ought to do, rather than showing them provable successes.

I signed-up for Coca-Cola’s site for soccer fans, built on a generic community platform service called Backplane. I’m still waiting for the confirmation email. It does not look like much is going on.

Compared to when I last checked OPEN forum’s top posts are getting thousands of shares… but only on LinkedIn. If you dig deeper the majority of posts see the same complete lack of activity. My suspicion is that whoever is running the site is throwing money at promoting a small selection of posts. The Facebook Page achieves less than 0.1% of followers ‘talking about’ its content.

Full disclosure: I think if paying to be liked is what social media has been reduced to then there is no point. It is disingenuous to keep repeating this message that people have any interest in being part of brand-created ‘communities’.

Let me know what you think on Twitter