Friend or Fake?

17 Sep

Hi, excuse me. Ya, you. Could you please be my friend? Pleaseee! Common. Just do me this favour. I am completely desperate for more friends.



It seems phony and improbable that anyone would try and cultivate friendships in this manner. Yet, as I walked downtown yesterday evening I passed 4 different stores all with signs asking me to “ Please like us on Facebook”.

I can’t deny my first friendship in grade one did begin when the little girl sitting beside me on the carpet leaned over and whispered, “Want to be best fwends?” However, these propositions just don’t resonate with me anymore. I have grown up. I am not the one desperately seeking friends nor am I interested in being someone’s friend only to increase their ‘popularity’. In Grade 1, Jody at least had Dunkaroos to offer.

I am not inclined to go home, log onto Facebook, and declare to the world that I ‘Like’ the neighborhood valve and knob store . The only catalyst for this process is my own feeling of gratitude towards a company. It is when a good company offers me a great product and/or experience that I am inclined to make the extra effort to support them in return. These constant pleas to be liked make me question whether these companies have a problem naturally attracting followers because they just aren’t very good at what they actually do.  A successful social media campaign involves bringing value to your customers, engaging them in a conversation, and then continuously monitoring this on-going relationship. It’s not about asking a stranger on the street to like you.

Is social media still so in its infancy that a street corner friend proposal is still acceptable? Or, do these pleas make you too wish there was an ‘unlike’ button?


3 Responses to “Friend or Fake?”

  1. Emily September 17, 2010 at 1:02 pm #

    I agree – when companies ask strangers to become “friends” with them, it removes the element of personal communication and validation that social networking calls for. While social media can be a great tool for businesses, it’s essential for these businesses to learn to “do it right.” Companies everywhere, beware: we know when you’re an imposter!
    Good thought-provoking post.

  2. Doug Brown September 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm #


  3. andmerson September 20, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Emily, You are right. As companies move to take advantage of social media.. some are missing the point. Just having fans on facebook or having a twitter account isn’t enough anymore. Companies need to use these tools effectively. Owning a bright shinny red car isn’t going to get you anywhere if you don’t know how to drive.

    Thanks Doug.

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