I was checking out my Facebook news feed today at lunch, and noticed two very different levels of reaction to status updates from two of the pages I am fans of.  One of the pages belongs to San Antonio Spurs basketball hero Manu Ginobili and the other is for online retailer Zappos.com.  As you can see below, Ginobili’s update quickly generated 61 likes and 39 comments, while the Zappos update only got two likes and comments.

Many Ginobili


















This despite the fact that Zappos has 16,745 fans as compared to Ginobili’s 11,663, and the fact that Ginobili’s update is in Spanish and probably can’t be read by many of his fans.  If you go through the fan pages of Ginobili and Zappos, you’ll see that Manu’s updates consistently produce significantly more activity than Zappos updates.  Why?

Manu is a living, breathing person, so his updates fit in seamlessly with the news feed items produced by my friends and family.  It is written in the first person, and publicizes an upcoming charity event he is putting on.  It is actually the kind of update I’ve seen my actual friends write.

Even though I have chosen to be a fan of Zappos, its updates feel a bit like advertising when I see them in my Facebook feed.  They seem out of place and I tune them out.  In Zappos’ case, I tune them out despite the fact the company is doing a great job of making their updates compelling and providing a behind the scenes look at their brand. 

As I’ve written before, Facebook is still primarily about friends.  In this example, Ginobili’s fan page looks and act a lot more like my friends do than Zappos does.  So it drives more activity, and Ginobili’s fans are more engaged with his page than fans of Zappos.  It will be interesting to see if this changes as Facebook continues to grow. 

About the Author
Todd Zeigler
Todd Zeigler serves as the Brick Factory’s chief strategist and oversees the operations of the firm. In his sixteen year career in digital, he has planned and implemented campaigns for clients including the Pickens Plan, International Youth Foundation, Panthera, Edison Electric Institute, and the American Chemistry Council. Todd develops ambitious online advocacy programs, manages crises, implements online marketing strategies, and develops custom applications and software. He is bad at golf though.