Today on Twitter I came across a well-written and persuasive argument by Alisha Runckel for why Facebook should institute a 'dislike' button .
Alisha makes a case for the 'dislike' button with two solid points: That for business, every post becomes a poll, while for regular people the ability to 'dislike' a post allows for a greater degree of empathy.
As a marketer, the idea of being able to casually poll opinions (and the supporting analytics that could be associated with it) with nearly zero barrier to entry almost makes me salivate. It's a great plan. It also has a few minor but potentially serious flaws. More on that later, however.
My primary beef is with the idea of 'dislike' buttons for personal posts.
This week nearly 20,000 Facebook users were duped into 'liking' a rogue fanpage called 'The argument that disproves atheism'.
Like many other users, I clicked on the link that appeared in my newsfeed, mainly due to curiosity at what had come over my friend to post such a link.
A sizeable group of us were caught out, suddenly and inexplicably 'liking' a fanpage without the usual button-clicking. Just clicking a normal looking link seemed to be enough, which has scary implications for Facebook's 'social graph', if it can be gamed so easily.
Fortunately, while people might have difficulty removing the notification of the 'like', it's simple enough to remove the application from your profile altogether.
Following up on my last post, I was lucky enough to get a chance to exchange a few emails with Andrew Wilkins, the proprietor of St Pete Brasserie, the restaurant 'saved by social media'.
An affable restauranteur, he was very forthcoming via email, more than willing to share a few of the secrets that brought his business back from the brink.
If you're a small business owner, this advice goes to the core of social media engagement.
This is the kind of story we like to hear.
Andrew Wilkins, the owner of a Florida restaurant has credited Twitter with saving his business.
According to this 13 News story, Wilkins posted on the business' Facebook page that the restaurant was in trouble. Not only did the ensuing patronage allow Wilkins to continue operating, but he needed to reopen a long disused dining room to cope with the influx.
It's a fantastic story, Social Media saves the day. What makes this tale special, however, is that it's not the norm. Businesses all over the globe are attempting to use social media to grow their business without this level of success.
So what did Wilkins do right?
Almost exactly two years ago, dp dialogue posted a punishing article, raking Optus over the coals for their total lack of social media presence during an unfolding outage that affected thousands.
Since that time Optus, and many other major companies along with them, have completely overhauled their communication strategies.
Social media has become such a prominent method for consumers to discuss brands that it is now the case that you cannot afford to be without a strategy for monitoring and responding to your fans and detractors online.
How did Optus change to reflect the need to address customer service socially?
By introducing the 'Like' button, Facebook has effectively created a recommendation engine for the internet.
Since its introduction, the Like button has spread like wildfire throughout the web. But is it the best tool for the job?
There are several 'Like' tools available, in addition to Facebook inherent sharing capability. In this post we take a look at the differences between Liking and Sharing and how to decide which is the right tool for the job.
If there is one hard and fast rule for social media engagement, it's this:
Social media is not your Grandfather's marketing medium. It's not Mad Men. Social media is the over-the-fence conversation, the pub chat, the coffee & cake catch-up.
Real people hate being marketed at. None of us likes TV advertising, we suffer through it to get free content. We don't look at display ads on websites (it's called 'banner blindness') but we put up with the tokyo-city blinkfest to view the sites we like.
Sure, Facebook runs some paid advertising along the side. It's not intrusive, usually contextual and easily ignored. Some apps do push themselves into my newsfeed, but it's easy enough to block that app. Twitter is, for the most part, advertising free.
Today I witnessed a massive two-fer of social media ineptitude, all in the name of trying to turn users into paid advertisers.
I was recently discussing social media with a friend in the antiques business looking for new ways to market online. Having just launched a new online store he was casting about for marketing opportunities to engage a broader range of customers beyond search marketing.
Facebook and twitter immediately came to mind. We eventually came to the conclusion that these channels might provide his business with an opportunity to engage a younger audience, both for the investment and aesthetic value of antiques.
While that's a great answer, one with the opportunity to create a significant market niche, I've had a nagging feeling we missed something critical in our casual dismissal of the typical antiques demographic.
It didn't take much to discover that, as in so many areas, baby boomers are hitting social media big time.