Thursday, May 17, 2012

The problem with being ‘liked’

I will admit to feeding my own addictions. 

I love advertising, marketing, business strategy, organizational behavior and most things covered by the HBR, WSJ and FastCo.  To the extent I can talk about it over happy hour with a glass a wine in hand like it’s as commonplace a topic as the weather. 
Albeit, I know and happen to have people in my life that may discuss some faucets, but they don’t explore or theoreticize like I do. It’s usually to say that commercial sucked, or that company sucks. 
In one of my more recent conversations with a friend who allows me to pander, we discussed how during this media hubbub of facebook, they were seeing more ads on the site.  After a few moments, I realized I’ve seen more of the pages I ‘liked’ on my news feed too. My S.O. even reminded me that a few days ago I had threatened to unlike those pages so I can get back to the important stuff like spying on my high-school frenemies.
Has facebook changed their news feed algorithm to feed their IPO needs? I mean, they hardly are willing to admit they have one and note fanatically that everything shows up at random. (My inner old southern lady gives that a big uh-huh with an eyebrow raise.) 
I don’t mean to digress on the inner-web workings of Zuckerman’s Famous Social Media Platform. (Cool points if you -get- that reference) But really my intention is to give a few brands a moment of clarity. Especially the brands I’ve ‘liked’.
Isn’t the challenging, yet terrific, thing about social media the ability to find your people and give them a place to love you openly and unfettered? You know, like when you meet someone in person the first time and you swear you were BFF’s in a former life. 

One of my *many* favorite Seth Godin books is about Tribes.  The idea that it’s about your brand and your people. Other folks on the perimeter are cool too, but it’s not about them, since they kinda get it, but not really.  I remember working with someone who had the same obsessive love for Franklin Covey & The Container Store. She’s one of my peeps, always, regardless of when we chat as long as she's still in love.
In social media, likes are a success metric.  I love metrics like a fat kid loves cake, but this idea of having a certain number of ‘likes’ alone is not doing your tribe or brand justice. Brands should really be looking to engage and build ambassadorship.  Like the popular cheerleader/homecoming queen in high school found out 20 years later, being liked once isn’t enough to keep you happy throughout the rest of your life.

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