The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Anyone Can Feel Popular If You Lower The Criteria To People Who Breathe.
May 17, 2012, 6:12 am
Filed under: Comment

You’re in a café having a plate of chips.

Suddenly a woman on another table asks if she could borrow the vinegar on your table because hers has run out.

“Sure …” you say, and pass it to her.

“Thank you …” she replies, “… I love vinegar on my chips”.

“Yep …” you answer, “… so do I”.

According to some agencies, that simple and casual interaction means you’re a ‘fan’ of the chip eating lady and the company that made the vinegar, has just acquired 2 valuable ‘brand ambassadors’ who have balance sheet value.

What am I going on about?

Facebook likes … that’s what.

The way some people go on about them, you’d think they are a declaration of love, but given the clay head from Lionel Richie’s 1984 hit, ‘Hello’ has over 11,000 Facebook Fans, the whole premise of people only clicking on things that mean a lot to them is absolute and utter bollocks.

And yet people still use them as a ‘gauge’ brand popularity.

I know why, because it’s easy to get and doesn’t have a downside – but I wonder what would happen if Facebook added a ‘don’t like’ button – what would happen then?

What would, say Unilever, think if their brand had 10,000 likes and 26,000 don’t likes?

Rather than use that as a way to get a better understanding of why/how [some] people don’t like the brand, I think it would probably just result in the immediate closure of many corporate Facebook pages … not to mention a massive downturn in Facebook revenue.

Facebook likes can be turned into something valuable – but not in their current guise – but few brands [or agencies] will take on that challenge when it’s so much easier to let the thumbs up, add up – even though in real terms, the average person puts as much consideration into a clicking on a Facebook ‘like’ as they do farting in their sleep.

Brands will never reach their full potential while they continue to filter the ‘facts’ to suit their own ego, agenda and pockets.


62 Comments so far
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Seems General Motors agree with you.
http://tinyurl.com/7ql8hng

On another point, what you’re saying is similar to the folly of awareness. So much money is (still) spent getting brands names into the public domain regardless whether it has any intrinsic value to the audience or the brand. Lazy habits for lazy marketers.

Comment by Pete

why the fuck does your link take me to a fucking pc world page? is that where mr fucking planner gets all his up to the fucking second news. fuck the bbc. screw cnn. everything you need is at pc fucking world.

Comment by andy@cynic

I don’t know how that happened. But it’s quite a comprehensive article so I will turn to them for all my future news requests.

Comment by Pete

Seems so doesn’t it Pete. But a couple of points:

1. I find it interesting this ‘news’ breaks the week of the Facebook IPO. Yes, it’s pure conspiracy theory and I’m not really sure who would prosper from it, but it just seems incredibly coincidental.

2. Based on some of the GM comments, it appears they believe people should buy a car the moment they see one of their ads – which is rather ridiculous.

But overall, yes – it’s interesting to see them make this move but I think it’s different to the issue I’m raising in this post and ironically, possibly a wrong move, at least based on the limited information we have available.

Comment by Rob

so let me get this straight, youre arguing with yourself. you fucking schizo. worse, youre arguing with the one person who pretends he likes you. bad fucking move campbell, not much fucking strategy went in to that decision.

Comment by andy@cynic

If a woman I didn’t know asked me to give her my vinegar, she is definitely saying she is up for it and that’s what I told the judge last time this misunderstanding happened.

Comment by Billy Whizz

vinegar and vinegar stroke are very fucking different things. you dont want to get them mistaken or youll never eat your chips afuckingain.

Comment by andy@cynic

I wish I hadn’t read that comment. I also wish I hadn’t had chips the last time I saw Billy.

Comment by Rob

What about the pokes? Why don’t people facebook poke anymore or have the civil rights bores ruined that bit of fun as well?

Comment by Billy Whizz

i fucking hate facebook.
i fucking hate that self righteous little twat that runs in.
i fucking hate people that “like” or “poke” shit.
i fucking hate people who create a facebook page for their unborn fucking child.
i fucking hate their ads.
I fucking hate friend requests.
i fucking hate companies that think theyre cool for fucking advertising on it.
i fucking hate it all.

Comment by andy@cynic

You don’t even get a Facebook poke? God Billy, I knew times were bad but I didn’t realise times were that bad.

Comment by Rob

whoever buys facebook stock is a fucking twat. they might have a billion registered fucking users (which is different to a billion active users) but their revenue is falling and as jobs knows, popularity doesnt mean profitability, especially when you have a child in charge that can blow a billion on a fucking camera app.

more stock tips available by credit card.

Comment by andy@cynic

That is one of the best overviews of Facebook’s business I’ve read in a while. No wonder you can buy new cars with insightful advice like that.

Comment by Pete

you better not be taking the fucking piss.

Comment by andy@cynic

and its not a new car, its art so stick that in your planner fucking face.

Comment by andy@cynic

No, I meant it. I know all the information is in the public domain, I just thought you summed it up well. And if you say you bought it as art, you bought it as art.

Comment by Pete

What did you buy?

Comment by Billy Whizz

cant you read billy. art. modern fucking art. so modern it can drive itself to wherever you want to display it, which is not in fucking canada i can tell you.

no more of your fucking shit, i have a beautiful daughter to inspire.

Comment by andy@cynic

Careful Andy, you’re letting people see the clever [or should I say, cleverish, ha!] side of you.

Comment by Rob

I like what you said.

Comment by supermarkart

id fucking pay to see the results of a facebook like and dislike button on this fucking blog. or on planners. or ad agencies.

Comment by andy@cynic

There’d be no point putting a like button on here.

Comment by Billy Whizz

“Brands will never reach their full potential while they continue to filter the ‘facts’ to suit their own ego, agenda and pockets.”
This can be said for more than just brands but I like how it’s been said. I’ll be sending this post around Robert. there’s some people here who need to see it and will want to see it.

Comment by George

Tomorrow will be interesting.

Comment by Pete

Isn’t everyday?

Comment by George

Sack him George.

Comment by DH

The title of this post is wrong. Billy has lowered his criteria for a girlfriend down to “must have once been female” and “must have one been alive” and he still can’t get one.

Comment by DH

Truth hurts.

Comment by Rob

Aren’t you a fan of Lionel Richie’s clay head? I suppose that proves your point of this post even more forcefully.

Comment by DH

Yes and yes.

Comment by Rob

Excellent post Robert. Every now and then someone or something comes along to claim there’s a new way to create, manage or run a successful business and every time they are shown to be wrong.

Regardless of model, distribution, product or communication theory, if you fail to have more money entering the business than you have going out, it is ultimately an unsustainable venture, relying on the “generosity” of new investors. Or pyramid scheme sellers as I like to call it when I’m feeling particularly feisty.

As the old saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same.

Comment by Lee Hill

Excellent.

Comment by George

+ like.

Comment by Pete

As you taught me Lee …

Awareness [or popularity or turnover or any other none financially beneficial metric] is vanity. Profit is sanity.

Comment by Rob

creeping for another free flight campbell?

Comment by andy@cynic

There’s only one way to gauge brand popularity. It’s called profitability.

Comment by John

Unfortunately for you John, that means we have more in common than you thought. Or would want.

Comment by Rob

Agree with John.

Comment by CarolWeinfeld

Another point to this is a Facebook ‘like’ just stays, I doubt many people go through the effort of ‘unliking’ brand pages they’d just clicked at some point and forgotten about. As if whatever we liked was fixed even though most people change their minds about what they like and don’t often, or in the case of most brands people don’t really care that much as long as they have vinegar on their chips as it were (I’d argue there are different qualities of vinegar and why would you put it on chips in the first place but that’s just me being French about it).

Agreed with John as well. And on that I’ll go and do something meaningful for a change and poke a few friends on Facebook so they know I care.

Comment by Willem van der Horst (@Hippowill)

Hi Rob,
From experience I think GM may have pulled out of FB advertising because the overall traffic quality from FB social ads is garbage. A lot of people treat FB ads as a direct response media because its bought on a CPC basis but really its just an awareness media when advertising big decision items like cars. The high bounce rate and non existant average time on site probably drove GMs decision – doing the maths they probably worked out they could generate better quality traffic more cost effectively via other digital channels. It’s a shame really because FB communitees around their brand or even model of one of their cars could have yeilded some valuable feedback about their product, brand and consumers

Comment by Rob B

Hi Rob B. You could be right … a few months ago, I paid for my own Facebook ad campaign just to ‘see’ what would happen. It was pretty ghastly and the only time I actually got the ‘clicks’ I had said I wanted was when I changed the ad to say, “Every time you click this, it costs me money”

Oh people clicked on it, and judging by the comments left on the temporary site we set up, it was acne and hormone ridden American teens who would buy a bag of crystal meth before a car.

What a waste of my cash – but not as much as others have been spending. As I said, I do think there is value in Facebook etc, but it needs to approached in a specific way with a specific strategy rather than blowing cash to let your corporate ego think you are liked.

Comment by Rob

Random aside, I was thinking the same about GM. There is that, and then there’s the fact that car manufacturers in general are struggling to get people to see the relevance of a car when there are a lot of odds against them: price of petrol, cost of a car and mountain of debt associated with it (enough people are already wary of the fact that they have degree-related debt, why would you want more?), people glued to their devices (if you can walk into a bear while texting, you can’t check your online universe while in the car). Negative vibes all over on that side of things, also depending on which country you’re in. They may go back at some point. Though not everywhere.

And I’m not just defending Facebook, I’ve done stuff with the platform and sad and annoying as it may be, some people are better off spending their money in other places. It’s like online dating – everyone isn’t for everyone. But it’s not a popular view in meetings. Or a ‘can do’ attitude etc.

It also depends on who runs the things I think. If it’s social media experts, they’re not web copywriters, they might also not be marketers in some cases, in the worst case they’re people who think they know ‘facebook’. Knowing the technology is one thing, knowing people is different. And then blending the two, well..

Comment by Andrea

I ‘like’ your post. I want to ‘share’ it. Sincerely, does that make me a “non-digital-native”:/

Comment by Brenda Kassir

That’s the modern definition of ‘dilemma’ right there.

Comment by Rob

This is why I find Brandkarma to be such an interesting site. Facebook sadly will never risk revenue by adding a dis-like button… but I too would love to see the chais that would ensue.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

I’d love to be able t unlike a Media Arts Facebook page
Even more complicated, I can’t resist Living on a Prayer (a decent desctiption of my brand of account planning come to think of it) yet hate Bon Jovi as much as Simon Cowell hates low waisted trousers. Or good taste.

Comment by northern

What’s really getting on my tits these days are companies that basically make you ‘like’ their Facebook page to get to the information you were curious in finding out more of.

It’s not only desperate and ultimately provides a false indication of whether people like the brand or not, it’s – at least for me – the most off-putting thing for creating any brand loyalty whatsoever.

Comment by Rob

Amen to that.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

And don’t get me started on the false god that is brand ‘loyalty’ in the first place

Comment by northern

Don’t worry, I ranted on your behalf at the Asian Effectivenes Awards.

Comment by Rob

Excellent

Comment by northern

It’s not about how many fans you have there, it’s about what you’re doing with them

Comment by Vitor Amos

All marketing is about awareness – the subtlety lies in understanding the different types of awareness and how they can be effetively harnessed,

Comment by John

very fucking smart doddsy but you know perfectly fucking well what were all going on about. awareness as a goal and awareness as a byproduct of doing something with a modicum of fucking value are very fucking different things so stop being a smug and pedantic fucking mr confucius and get back in fucking line.

Comment by andy@cynic

It’s up to you to decide what you want existing and potential customers to be aware of.

Comment by John

Blimey, did Confucious kidnap Dodds?

Comment by northern

Men’s natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.

Comment by John

im not one to sing campbells fucking praises but lee, doddsy, vitor and every other bastard is basically saying the same fucking thing campbell bleated on about in his post. sure, they said it better, easier and shorter but he still fucking said it. the only reason i can think of you repeating his bollocks is you couldnt be fucked to read all his shit so didnt realise he was yapping off on the same fucking thing.

worse. that old irish ego twat bono is going to make a fucking fortune when facebook floats because some how the jammy gypsy had invested in them at the beginning. that makes him luckier than campbell and i didnt think that was fucking possible. luck of the irish? luck of selling your fucking soul to the fucking devil more fucking like.

Comment by andy@cynic

You’re absolutely right – we should only be commenting when we disagree with him. I’ll wait for the next post.

Comment by John

better. much fucking better.

Comment by andy@cynic

Oh my god everything you said is so damn true. I have a facebook that I rarely go on and I don’t understand those total losers who say they “can’t live without it”. Really? You can’t live without knowing what your equally retarded friend is doing every 5 fucking minutes? You can’t live without commenting on every stupid ass pet picture that said friends post? Good lord people whatever happened to face-to-face interaction?

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