Earn My Like or Stay Home

Scott Robertson: Posted on Thursday, May 31, 2012 10:48 AM

The latest Facebook development other than it’s botched IPO debacle which has now become the stuff of legend (or cautionary tale for another time) is the idea of “promoted posts.”  So according to news sources today, early testing used a $2 price point, but it appears the official service could cost between $5 and $100 per promoted post, sources say. Promoted content will soon appear in the “sponsored” news-feed section of users who have previously liked a brand, and also in the news feeds of their friends.

I hate to be like Tom Hanks in “Big” here, but I’m raising my virtual hand now and saying, “Um, I don’t get it.”  It really sounds like you just gave all of your FB fans a BIG reason to “unlike” your brand post-haste.  In my opinion, there is only one currency that matters in social media and it’s “relevancy” of your message to the audience.  I like brands that  I want to hear from.  But if they start showing up in my feed because they paid to do so, now I don’t like them so much.

I want my brands to earn it.  Show me every single day why you still deserve my “Like”   Engage me like SNL does by reminding me that before he led the Avengers, Robert Downey Jr. was a cast member.  Didn’t know that and his compilation of work on SNL was pretty good.

Funny or Die has no problem earning my Like.  Why?  Because their content is really funny and it entertains me.  Period.  No promotion necessary. Just friggin’ be good at what you do.  Why is that so hard for marketers to understand?  And how could they NOT understand the potentially damaging effects of these “promoted posts”

Steak N’ Shake earns my “Like” because they show me pictures of amazing food that I can’t get in California.  And they have cool stories about their food — and did I mention the pictures?  Right on.

Now as to why FB would do it, come on, we get it.  It’s about revenue and now that they are public, the shareholders will demand a lovely quarterly statement.  But from a brand’s perspective it’s among the dumbest ideas I’ve ever heard because it takes away the requirement that your stuff must be good to earn its place in front of the customer and there’s something democratic and just fair about that system.  And that’s why it’s worked so far.

Brands out there, don’t pay to promote your posts or I will unlike you faster than Jerry Sandusky got taken off of the list of available Sunday School teachers. EARN it with your creativity, your story, your (what’s the word I’m searching for) BRAND!  Be who you are to the maximum that you can be that and I’ll keep you.

I’m sorry if that’s too hard, but that’s the true price of reaching the consumer in the world today.  If you need help, hire someone brilliant (like me) who can show you how to earn it, give you permission to be real and knock your communications goals out of the park.  And if your social media consultant advises you to do these promoted posts, please punch them for me.  Believe me, they earned it.