Another social divergence. Which way will we go?

Posted: October 26, 2010 in social media
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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Image by Bramus! via Flickr

It’s not every day I see two articles representing two different views on a topic without actively seeking them out.  But today I did, and it’s got me thinking.

The first article is from Adweek entitled “Dangling Incentives on Facebook“.  Marketers use incentives like giveaways, contests and coupons to draw people to like their Facebook page (it still feels odd to refer to “like” as an action word rather than a feeling word) or to follow them on Twitter.  Many brands have seen success with attracting large amounts of people in a short period of time using one of these tactics.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sits “Rewarding New Facebook Fans: Good Business Or “Black Hat” SEO Tactic?” over on Forrester’s blog.  This article warns of the dangers of collecting likes and followers and how this can diminish the value of that Facebook fan or Twitter follower and water down the true “social search” experience that larger search engines like Bing and Google are experimenting with.

What’s a brand to do?  Those committed to being socially responsible will use a combination of the two.  New and existing consumers will be drawn into their social bases with contests and offers, but once attracted, will find other valuable reasons to stay. 

The road ahead is diverging. The quality of the brands and offers, the willingness for our friends and networks to sell their influence for special deals and giveaways and the resulting impact we allow these “recommendations” to have on our purchase decisions will all be key factors in determining where we will go next.

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Comments
  1. crothecker says:

    This seems to be a hot topic lately. As an entrepreneur, I’m often tempted to use incentives to build a following but I always wonder how valuable that following will be. I know that some people who take advantage of the incentives will turn out to be loyal and valuable clients but I don’t think that a large number of followers or “likes” equals success.

    I like Seth Godin’s concept of building a “tribe” but taking an organic approach can be very time consuming and it can take years to build market momentum. I personally prefer to buy remarkable products and deal with clever, creative people as opposed to the “run of the mill” offerings.

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