Companies who believe that having millions of “Likes” on Facebook is important to their bottom line have it absolutely wrong.
“Liking” Coke or “Liking” The Avengers on Facebook isn’t going to make a person drink more Coke or see The Avengers more times – it just means they’re going to get nothing but product blasts for the rest of their lives.
I would argue it might actually make you drink less Coke because you’re so fucking annoyed with the relentless marketing from the Coca-Cola Company.
Social media would be incredibly valuable if companies would just leave it alone, make products people really like (not “Like”) and stay out of our faces.
People talking with each other (real people) and texting and emailing and chatting, etc. is the greatest marketing tool ever invented (and it wasn’t actually invented by anyone – save God). And companies are figuring out new and clever ways to fuck that up.
If you mention in your status that you are running out to Starbucks – there is really good chance your Picture and Status Update will appear in one of your friends News Feed as ads.
So, you are now, unwittingly, a Corporate Shill for Starbucks. Most people don’t like to be Corporate Shills. The term “Corporate Shill” is not a term of endearment. It makes your real friends hate you just a little bit more than they did before you pushed a product on them.
I did a little experiment over the past month. I decided to accept everyone who requested to be my friend on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/jill.kennedy.5095
I had my own little circle of work colleagues and college friends (around 30) – but decided to accept all comers in the hope that I could expand the number of “Likes” on my newly-created Company page – http://www.facebook.com/MankaBros
So I accepted and sort of went begging for “Likes” as so many people do. “If you ‘Like’ my page I’ll like your ebook or Erotic Blacklight Art Page in return…'” etc. etc. etc.
This was an eye-opening and humiliating experience – I now have 768 Friends (and counting) and not many “Likes.”
But, surprise, suddenly there was pornography in my News Feed.
There was every kind of racist Poke imaginable. Scary sexually advances. (And, to be fair, a few genuinely nice people.)
But, in general, a stunning display of what’s really out there.
Are these the people Coke wants to “Like” them?
The marketing world’s latest buzz phrase is “Big Data” – gathering everybody’s information. Seriously, there are people out there whose information should never be shared except with some type of law enforcement.
Personally, I can only speak for big media companies (and myself), but I can imagine it applies to every company (and person) out there – be careful what you wish for when you start your social media campaigns because once people “Like” you, they never leave you alone.
Jill Kennedy – OnMedea
P.S. – “LIKE” ME ON FACEBOOK!” – http://www.facebook.com/onmedea