Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Facebook: I Give You 1$ If You Say You Like Me!

Last week I had the opportunity to share on my Facebook page, the video of a campaign which for me had quite an interesting way to generate user interaction. It was the "Pepsi Creates The" Like "Machine" video. 

Here you have it so you can enjoy it yourself.

Initially for me, the creative approach the company used was great: Gathering that many people around a soda vending machine, interacting with each other, having a good time, I truly felt it was great.

However, a good friend of mine and highly skilled social media professional, Pilar Perez Baz commented (she was certainly right I must admit) that: "It’s normal to see a lot of people “negotiating” with Facebook Likes because they don’t know any better, however it surprises me to see Pepsi doing it as well”.

And she is absolutely right!

What does Facebook recommend if you want to increase your "Likes" count?

For the campaign mentioned above, the goal was to increase the fans base of Pepsi Cola’s Facebook page in a major European city. To do this, the company designed and built a special soda vending machine. Their objective was to get more fans.

Facebook's recommendations about what you can do to get more "Likes" for a page are just four and, moreover, they’re quite simple:
  • Get in contact with all your friends and invite them to “Like” your page. 
  • Send a letter to all your customers, suppliers and acquaintances, by e-mail or as you find it easier, and let them know you have a Facebook page and invite them to click on the "Like" button to receive updates from your company.
  • Customize your Facebook page’s URL and make sure to include it in all your company literature so that people can see it.
  • Promote your page using Facebook ads to reach a larger audience. 
As you can see, there is no recommendation to offer something in exchange for your audience’s Likes other than content your company posts.

Where do I see the flaw in this campaign?

After reviewing the video several times, I found the narrator saying, perhaps without being completely aware of the full meaning of his words: "Pepsi created the first machine that doesn’t accept money but" Likes" in exchange of products."

Putting it all together, I came to understand what my colleague truly meant: It doesn’t matter whether the company, in this case, has to pay very little or even no money to produce a can of soda. They are exchanging their product for their customers’ “Like” on a Facebook page.

Let me explain you how: If you were to put a 50 cents face value to each can, for instance, and the campaign generated 5,000 new "Likes", you would immediately realize the actual cost of the campaign was $ 2,500 to acquire those new followers, therefore the company actually paid to get these fans, and that’s not what Facebook recommends.

Maybe that’s why people say "kisses that are bought, don’t taste the same":-D

How could they have done it differently?

It's definitely something worth thinking seriously and twice. The strategy used by the company to create a soda vending machine is not new. Coca-Cola, their lifelong competitor, has done the same thing in Indonesia.

However, the way Coca Cola implemented its campaign was very different: They also gave users free product samples, but not in exchange of "Likes" on their Facebook page, no. They did ask customers for a hug.

Yes! The only thing users had to do was physically hug the machine to get their free Coke can. The company was not expecting to increase their fans number on Facebook but to generate a different and funny interaction between users.

Here's the video for you to enjoy as well.

Which do you find a more interesting strategy? Which do you think generated a more positive brand impact?

Personally I prefer Coca Cola’s approach, because their interest was not to win more followers, but to make people spend a little time on a different way, smiling and having fun. They did not ask them to do anything else.

So, don’t ever use the "I give you 1$ if you say you like me” approach on Facebook.

Instead sharpen your strategy so that your users and fans genuinely fall in love with the content your company posts and shares, because that’s the best way to really develop long-lasting, valuable relationships.

Related articles in this blog:
Facebook: A City Full of Vendors.
Relationships Value: What Can We Expect From Social Media?

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