Caroline Monday

Starburst: Facebook Fan Page Example

Caroline Monday   February 13th, 2012

The next stop in our Facebook Fan Page Example series is Starburst. This brand has built a sizable following of about 10.4 million fans but has it taken full advantage of this opportunity to engage them? Let’s take a closer look to find out.

Starburst Landing Tab: Wall

When users come to the Starburst fan page for the first time, they land on the wall. The numerous fan postings on this tab show the positive sentiment consumers have for the product. However, the wall lacks a call to action and does little to share brand messaging with page visitors. Starburst has long established itself as a bold, colorful brand with a sense of humor. However, by having fans land on this tab, the brand is missing an opportunity to present that fun personality and to encourage fans to explore some of the page’s more interesting features.

Starburst presents VEVO GO Shows

The VEVO Go Shows tab gives page visitors access to videos produced as part of Starburst’s partnership with the music video website VEVO. The tab includes videos of surprise concerts by a number of top artists including Weezer, Florence and the Machine and Gavin DeGraw.

The videos are entertaining and definitely add to the content of the page, but the sharing aspects of this tab seem to be lacking. The share functions on the video itself, for example, are pre-loaded with messages about VEVO and the video, but have no mention of Starburst. The tab’s other share function, a comment stream, seems to have a programing glitch with its scroll bars and, at the time of this blog post, either has only three comments or only allows you to view the last three comments made.

Starburst Tell Us About You

The colorful Tell Us About You tab does a much better job of engaging fans in the brand. It presents Starburst’s personality (Starburst are a contradiction because they are solid, yet juicy) and invites fans to share their own personalities. This seems to have to resounded with fans because a large number of them posted statements about their personalities.

While this tab is well conceived on the whole, I do think it was a misstep to invite fans to sort entries based on what their friends had written. When I clicked on that option, I saw that none of my Facebook friends had submitted entries. Instead of comments about Starbursts from my friends, I was presented with a large space full of empty tiles. This function of the tab felt like a dead end on what had otherwise been an engaging experience.

Starburst iPhone App

It’s always confusing to me when brands create Facebook tabs encouraging people to download their smartphone apps because custom tabs (i.e. tabs other than the wall, info and photos tabs) cannot be viewed on the mobile version of Facebook or on the app Facebook has created for smartphones. Starburst’s iPhone App tab has two different links directing fans to the App Store, but once you click on the link there’s little you can do to actually interact with the app on your computer.

The app itself invites fans to play a game called Spot the Contradiction, which does a good job of engaging fans in the brand’s messaging. This tab would be more fun if it gave fans the opportunity to play the game from their computer right away, even if they don’t have an iPhone handy.

Starburst Wall Engagement

The majority of Starburst’s wall posts are in keeping with their overall messaging that the candy is solid, yet juicy, and thus a contradiction. Many of these posts are clever and receive an acceptable amount of response from fans; however, by only posting every two or three days, Starburst is missing an opportunity to build a stronger relationship with its fans.

This missed opportunity is best illustrated by comparing Starburst’s fan engagement to that of a competing candy brand, Reese’s. With about 8.5 million fans, Reese’s has a smaller following than Starburst, but it maintains a more consistent conversation with the fans it does have by posting updates about twice as frequently as Starburst.

If you compare Starburst’s last ten wall posts with Reese’s, the brands have similar rates of engagement.



But, compare the response to the brands’ wall posts from a single week and you’ll see something different. During the week of January 22 to January 28, Starburst posted three updates on its wall and 3,350 fans commented on, liked or shared those posts. During that same week, Reese’s posted on its wall five times and received more than twice as much response from fans with 7,613 total likes, comments or shares. Starburst could take better advantage of this opportunity to connect with its large fan base by posting updates as often as two or three times a day.

Starburst has all the raw materials it needs to become a major presence on Facebook: a clear message and a large fan base. But, it has not yet taken full advantage of this opportunity to engage that fan base. By increasing its wall engagement and creating smart, interactive tabs, Starburst could develop a following that is not only large, but that is also invested in interacting with and sharing the brand’s marketing efforts.

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About The Author

With a background in newspaper reporting, public relations and standup comedy, Caroline is the quintessential writer. A North Carolina native, Caroline graduated with a B.A. in English from N.C. State University. Since then, she’s written in just about every capacity you can imagine, and on just about every subject. Caroline brings that excitement, and a sense of humor, to everything she does for Ignite.