Unlike the Like – Getting Facebook Marketing Strategy Right!

Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 3515 , Published on 29 November 2012
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In this ongoing season of B-school competitions, I found one thing common and peculiar in almost every event organized by every other institute, and that is the concept of collecting maximum number of “Likes” on Facebook. Bigger the number of likes, probability of winning increases likewise. Here is an example:

 

Facebook status will be: “Hello friends. Please go to this link and like my entry for the ABC competition so that I can win!!!!”

And then you encounter the same; specifically note: not similar but same; status a number of times and the Facebook would be deluged with the same. Almost each and every group that you have joined, every community of which you are a part of, everywhere this status will be there to welcome you, and you will know this as your Facebook notification flag will turn red as if it has changed color permanently.

image:freedigitalphotos.net

Some of the participants even post this status on their graduation college and university group also. So much so, that once a few participants got a warning from Facebook to refrain from spamming. What do you call this, “Aggressive Marketing strategy”, or is it?

Let’s have a look on the underlying concept of “Liking” a participant’s entry. In the guidelines of the event, it would be clearly mentioned that a particular percentage of marks will be awarded for the number of likes, say about 40%. Rest 60% of the marks will be awarded by judges. And for this 40%, participants don’t leave any stone unturned, and become a hyperactive promotion manager for the event and their participating entry in the same.

How does “liking” the participating entry promotes the event? Well here is the strategy. The link mentioned to like the entry is the link to the Facebook page of the event or competition. So even if you are not participating, you will be knowing about the ongoing event for sure. Some of the institutes organizing the event go even one step ahead in this. The participative entry for their event which is supposedly to be “liked” can be liked by first hitting the like button for the Facebook page of the event. This ensures that the event is a lot more happening.

Event promotion managers should actually thank Mark Zukerberg for providing this “Like” button so as to spread the event like fire. Well , up to this also, the adopted marketing strategy can be appreciated, although, the ubiquity of the status above mentioned can start to make you feel not-so - good about that particular event.

But the water level rises above head when concept of “likes” emerges within the live ongoing online event, for example, online quiz, which most of the institutes conduct as the preliminary or penultimate round. This has happened in a recent event conducted by a prestigious institute. An online quiz was going on and then it was stated, “Next question would appear only after Likes on this page touch 590”, when at that time Likes were around 570.The surprising thing that happened after this statement was that the number of likes increased to 587 and then people started disliking it and the number fell down to around 575. Also, the participants commented on this statement stating that it’s a test of their patience. However, then the next question came up and the number of likes again went up.

This is not an effective marketing strategy. Concept of gathering Likes has become a trend and participants and promotional managers go crazy to gain maximum number for the same. Even Liking the event page is acceptable, but why cause it to become a spam?

Another truth about gathering number of likes is that you can buy a certain number “Likes” by paying some amount to those who sell Likes. This truth has made the “Number of Likes” also a commodity which can be bought and sold in the market.

This truth further reveals some more ramifications. If you can actually buy a certain number of likes by paying for them, does the concept of gaining maximum number of likes still remains an effective marketing strategy?

I don’t think so. The promotion of event by collecting will gradually, even if not now, become obsolete or for betterment of the mortals of the Facebook, become controlled for that matter.

An intelligent as well as effective manner to promote the event should be used. Some of the suggestions include posters both on Facebook wall and the canteen wall, sending a mail to the head of the student council of the institute and ask him/her to float the same in the institute as formal mail also. Do collect Likes, but not make it like happen to cause participants to lose patience.

There might be other marketing strategies also, which would be the brainchild of fellow marketers though.

Concluding, I would like to say that it’s the task for the marketers to promote their event by coming out with new promotional and marketing strategies and not make the “Maximum Like” affair to become a dislike for the whole event.

This article has been authored by Neha Khanna from LBSIM.


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