With the rise of twitter and Facebook, brands have focused on building larger numbers of fans and followers. But what does it mean?
I was speaking to an influential social media connection recently and we were discussing the meaning of the ‘Like’. It used to be a sign that you cared for something so much that you ‘Liked’ it and in doing so told all of your friends that it was cool. Your friends trusted this information and were more inclined to investigate the Page or link. As more Facebook users saw the opportunity to open up their profile and use it as a marketing channel, they added complete strangers as ‘Friends’ to increase the number of eyeballs that would be seeing the content they posted.
Brands have reacted in a similar way. You can now find major brands and an increasing number of minor brands, that all have a Facebook Page. My friend said it all when he asked, “Who gives a sh*t about a Primula page? What am I going to do? Tell all my friends I like a cheese. What a farce!” Now, if you saw that one of your friends had ‘Liked’ a cheese on your wall, would you really click on the link?
Facebook seems to be saturated with brands who are desperate to build their number of fans just to say they have a few more than their competitors. If ever there was a virtual pissing contest being held, this was it. When you ‘Like’ a brand on Facebook now, all it means is that every time the brand adds a status update, you have given the green light to receive that marketing material. The ‘Like’ button has become nothing more than an RSS or email subscribe button. But how often do you read e-newsletters?
What are your thoughts?
Do you feel Facebook should have a tighter control over which Pages are authorized?