“Follow/Like us on Facebook!” Why?

They’re far less prevalent than the in early days of the social media gold rush, but you can still find them: ads with with a little something extraneous in them that invites the viewer to “Follow us on Facebook.”

Every time I see something like that, I ask myself two simple questions:

1. Why?
2. What’s in it for me?

For affinity brands, the answer is obvious. The “what’s in it for me” is a personal association with a beloved brand.

Simply put, if I’m a Harley guy my following/liking Harley Davidson on Facebook clearly brands me as a Harley guy—and I want all my Facebook friends to know it. But what about XYZ Corp., purveyor of fine stainless steel fastener sub-assemblies for agricultural equipment manufacturers? The only people following them on Facebook are their competitors seeking actionable intel, prospective employees and headhunters.

There are a lot of instances where such a tactic can work: new product sampling (for a free sample of our new ), preferred customer spiffs (for early entry to our waterpark on Memorial Day), VIP product launches (for a VIP invitation to our exclusive unveil at ), etc. But the common denominator here is that these follows/likes are directly tied to something valuable for your target audience. It’s quid pro social media quo in action.

Facebook likes and follows are an important metric for many brands—even those that don’t immediately come to mind. One recent example: Citibank US. Their Facebook page has over 700,000 likes as of this writing. Why? Here’s a recent post that proves my point:

“Citi® cardmembers can get access to purchase presale tickets to Bon Jovi in Saratoga, NY & Darien Center, NY at …”

What’s in it for me > Presale tickets? OK, I’m in. (BTW, this single post generated over 350 likes.)

So before just blindly junking up your ad and polluting its limited signal with “Follow/Like us” noise, put yourself in your primary target’s social shoes and ask “Why?”

D.P. Knudten • creative director / Discover Mediaworks

(x-posted at Discover Mediaworks’ Facebook page)

DP | ME BY D.P. KNUDTEN IS LICENSED UNDER A CREATIVE COMMONS ATTRIBUTION-NONCOMMERCIAL-NO DERIVATIVE WORKS 3.0 UNITED STATES LICENCE. ALL REGISTERED TRADEMARKS ARE OWNED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE COMPANIES AND OTHER LEGAL BLATHER.