Be my friend and you can share my toys
Remember when you were a kid and the other kids on the playground would say things like “if you be my friend, I’ll let you play with my new toy?” Or perhaps, “if you give me some of your dessert I’ll be your friend.” It’s just what kids do, and most of us grow out of that. Or, at least I thought we did.
A growing trend in social media is to lure people to “like” or “follow” companies, products or brands by giving them something they want; a t-shirt, sticker, hair-care products or some other equally
useless awesome “stuff”. OK, that’s cool, everybody wins, sort of.
It’s a disaster, not daycare.
However, I think a line has been crossed. While I and many other tech-minded people were at SXSW, a terrible disaster took place in Japan. Hundreds, and possibly thousands of people were killed, wounded or went missing after a record breaking earth quake and the subsequent tsunami. Within a matter of hours I heard about companies promoting that if they get enough “likes” on their Facebook page they would donate money to help with search, rescue and/or recovery efforts. One that I saw said if they get 100,000 new “likes”, they’ll send $100,000. What? That’s just as if they had said “we feel really bad about it and we want to help, but only if you’ll be our friend first.” Is it just me, or is that not very social? Perhaps it even crosses into anti-social.
Let’s make social, social again.
Fundamentally, shouldn’t we as humans (even humans who run businesses) do good things because they’re good, and not because we hope people will like us for doing it? Let’s try this – be remarkable; do something really great and worthy of being noticed and guess what, people will notice, and they will tell their friends. In the end, people will ACTUALLY like you, and not just on Facebook.
We should make these companies earn our friendship and not let them buy it.
Let’s make Social Media social again, what can we do to make things better?