Why do Old Spice UK redirect visitors to their Facebook page?
August 12, 2013 at 3:34 PM
by Mikul PatelDigital Marketing Consultant at Matraxis
The website is often regarded as the first port of call for consumers to find out more about your brand. If you don't get marketing message right, you could lose their interest.
However, there has been a recent trend for brands to focus on their social media strategy and ignore the website altogether. Old Spice UK, off the back of successful social media campaigns such as "The Man Your Man Could Smell Like", have done this by redirecting visitors from their UK site to their Facebook page. Is this a clever tactic or is it actually damaging the brand's image?
There could be a variety of reasons for this approach by Old Spice UK so we can only speculate why such an organisation would do this:
1) Large following on social media
Whilst it can be difficult for brands to attribute social media to sales, brands may want to show off their social media credentials. Old Spice UK have nearly 150k fans on Facebook which is a decent return for the creative social campaigns they produce. This still pales in comparison to the 2.5m followers on their US Facebook account
2) Expanding the brand to new markets
Primarily a US brand, Old Spice may be testing the UK market by quickly establishing their brand whilst in developing a UK website in the meantime. During my research, I did stumble across what appears to be a temporary UK site (http://www.oldspice.co.uk/en-UK). However, some of pages contain basic search engine optimisation errors such as poor URL structure for product pages.
3) Testing the impact of redirection
A risky strategy, Old Spice might be using the UK market to test the social and business impact from redirecting all users to their main Facebook fan page. If successful, Old Spice could expand this to other countries.
4) Corporate hierarchy and ownership
For global brands, ownership of digital assets can become complicated. An agency might be in charge for one country whilst another is used for a different territory. The Old Spice UK team may have difficulties in controlling the website with their US counterparts. The redirect to Facebook could be a short term solution to a digital strategy overhaul.
5) They forgot to turn off the page redirect!
A crazy theory, but following on from point 2, it could be that the Old Spice UK team have forgotten to redirect users back to the UK version of their website (even if it does appear to be a mirror of the US site).
Conclusion - is Old Spice taking the right approach?
With a large corporate backing, brands such as Old Spice can afford to experiment with this approach as the impact on business is likely to be low. It's an interesting approach and it would be interesting to see the analytics behind it. Whilst there are around 1bn accounts, there are people who are not always signed into Facebook and being redirected to a fan page may discourage them from interacting with the brand any further. For Old Spice UK, the user experience on mobile is not brilliant as you are directed to the basic mobile version of Facebook.
The corporate website still serves a purpose for brands to support offline campaigns and it'll be a long time before we see organisations abandoning their websites.
Matraxis are independent experts in analytics and helping organisations understand how visitors are interacting with their digital campaigns across website, social media, email and mobile. To learn more, contact us and let us review your digital strategy.
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