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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.
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