It’s Called Social Networking for a Reason

March 1st, 2010

If you’re just realizing that this whole social networking thing is something you want to pay attention to, you’re a little late to the game. Additionally, if you think it’s the Holy Grail of advertising and marketing you need to put down the kool-aid you’re drinking. I’d say we’ve hit the spot where we can just consider it part of, well… networking, marketing and advertising. The key thing is, just like in anything else, you need to understand the medium or you’re going to look like a fool.

These observations were inspired when I got an email from someone I don’t know asking me to become a Facebook fan of a company I’m not familiar with. Now, this is a legitimate company with a legit fan page. There are just several things wrong here.

  • I got spammed
  • They asked me to become a fan of theirs, after having spammed me
  • I am not a fan of spam
  • They tried to write informally, as if we’d met or I knew them
  • They had messed up formatting and funky characters in their email, which I assume is a copy/paste problem. So they obviously don’t test their messaging on multiple email clients, computers or platforms. Note: if it doesn’t look right in Outlook on a PC, you might want to fix a couple things.

So instead of becoming a fan of theirs, I am considering a few options.

  • Create an anti-fan page on Facebook. “Can this rotting banana get more fans than Company X?”
  • Promote said fan page to everyone I know who may have been spammed by them as well
  • Get more fans than they have (they currently have 296)
  • Show them that using the tools wrong can yield undesired results online

What will most likely happen, though, is that I won’t do anything. Typing this up is enough effort.

The other undesired result of their attempt at promoting their business and trying to build their fan base, however, is that I will never become a fan of their business. I will recount this story if and when I ever hear their name. I will want nothing to do with them.

Facebook is a place (for me at least) for me to interact with people I actually know and brands/companies that I actually am a fan of. It’s more personal, and although not everyone does, I have some criteria for letting you into my little Facebook world. Had their message started out by introducing themselves, explaining why they were sending me a message, and then suggesting that I check out their site or Facebook page for more info, my reaction would have been completely different. I would have probably checked out the site. Unlikely that I’d have become a fan, but the opportunity for me to engage their services in the future would have still been an option.

If a stranger comes up to you and asks you to declare publicly that you guys are buddies, how likely are you to do so?

Yeah – me neither. Sorry, Company X – not a fan.