A Facebook User Asks: What’s the Holdup, Fortune 500?

UPDATE: Several of these companies have now set up their business pages officially in Timeline format:

From the link above: “Some 332 (66%) of the 2012 F500 now have a corporate Facebook page; among them, 8 of the 10 largest companies (Wal-Mart, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, General Motors, General Electric, Fannie Mae, Ford Motors, and Hewlett-Packard) have a Facebook Page. Exxon and Berkshire Hathaway do not use Facebook.”

Coca-Cola gets it. Starbucks gets it. Nike gets it (of course).  Even NBC’s “The Today Show” and The New York Times both get it, and they’re both suppose to be out of touch with the “new” media.

If you take a look at all of those companies’ Facebook pages, you will see masterful uses of branding through artful, stunning, and relevant cover photos and logos in the new Timeline format for businesses on the platform. These brands were all generally there on Day 1 of the launch of the new look in early March, taking full advantage of the freshly coiffed layout.

Maybe you’re thinking that those companies are all huge entities, with marketing teams and even (gasp) specifically assigned social media and Facebook administrators put in place JUST for that purpose (This is most likely true). If that’s the case, then why have only 4 of the top ten Fortune 500  companies (as of the most recent 2011 list) converted their pages to this point? Don’t they also have teams in place for the purpose of defining their brand? Don’t they know the deadline is March 30…..ONLY 5 DAYS AWAY AT THE TIME OF THIS WRITING??!! And then….their page will be published automatically regardless of what may be there!!

Of the Top 10 companies in the world, only Wal-Mart (#1 on the Fortune 500), General Electric (#6), Bank of America (#9), and Ford (#10) have converted over….as a result you will all be spared since you have handled yo’ bidness (pages) already. Count yourselves lucky.

As for the others…..

EXXON MOBIL (#2) & CHEVRON (#3)

UPDATE: Chevron switched over.

I understand that, with gas stations, consumers are generally going to get gas at either A) the cheapest place or B) the closest place….so branding is not always relevant. Having said that, I know PLENTY of folks down south in the Gulf area that are probably going even a little bit out of their way to not have to buy gas at a BP station. And for those of us 30-and-over, I know that in a Carl Jung-style word association test I would STILL spit out “Valdez” or “tanker crash” and “oil spill” when I see or hear the word Exxon….so they could certainly always use positive brand enhancement. As for Chevron? I never buy gas there, it’s way too expensive, especially compared to the ARCO or AM/PM across the street (actually lately it’s all about Sam’s Club….with membership it’s 10 cents less a gallon than anywhere else!)

CONOCOPHILLIPS (#4)

“ConocoPhillips uses its pioneering spirit to responsibly deliver energy to the world”. That’s from their own website (So are these). Ok so maybe they’re not the hippest conglomerate out there….but they DID use the word “pioneering” in describing what they do as a company. They’re the number three petroleum-refiner in the world behind the two I listed above….they can’t shell out $40k a year for someone to maintain their Facebook page?? How about grabbing an intern from (insert east Texas community college name here) to do it for free? I know I know…the company isn’t primarily consumer-based so why go all out on the Facebook platform….well, I see $185 million in annual profits that screams “BECAUSE WE CAN.”

FANNIE MAE (#5)

Yes, that’s right…only ONE of the top FIVE companies in the world has seen fit to convert their page over before the automatic switch. It’s baffling actually, and very surprising. Especially with Fannie Mae, who could definitely use a little upbeat branding of their company. SEC and FBI investigations pending and/or ongoing? CHECK. Stock de-listed from NYSE? CHECK. Massive sell-offs of assets for pennies on the dollar? CHECK. “Hey how much can we charge someone to use our cover photo for advertising space….we need an influx of cash TODAY.”

BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY (#7)

Huge, and I mean the BIGGEST insurance company around. Financial god Warren Buffett is the CEO. Billions in cash just sittin’ around for a rainy day. No Timeline conversion on Facebook business page. Weird. #BerkshireHathawayHumblebrag

GENERAL MOTORS (#8) 

GM….REALLY? Ford has done it. Toyota has done it. Harley-Davidson has done it. You KNOW even Kia and Hyundai are all over the conversion too. But not GM or its properties….except for two: GMC and Buick (yes, I said Buick). The Camaro and Cadillac are still sitting in non-converted Facebook page no man’s land on stylistically out-of-date pages, while the line of vehicles that typically no one under the age of 50 drives (unless they’re still in high school and have been given the keys to grampa’s old Skylark) is looking so fresh and so clean in an 850 pixel by  315 pixel landscape photo. I just don’t get it.

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