Two weeks ago, Facebook rolled out its Like button, which replaces the option of Become a Fan.
As is the case with change of any kind, there was an immediate uproar and massive unrest about Facebook and its complete and total disregard for the privacy of its users. Articles started springing up faster than wildfires during the California dry season and panties were, universally, in a wad.
Here’s the deal, folks. There are a million things I don’t particularly care for about Facebook, and I know I’m not alone on that front. And its arrogance about privacy of its users is one of them. The reality, however, is that if you really have an issue with your privacy, there are some easy steps to take to modify your Facebook privacy settings. However, as an analogy, even though I’m not an iPhone user (gasp), you’d have to live under a rock to not know that there are a million things that iPhone users hate about AT&T. But they don’t quit using their iPhones. And tons of people can’t stand Steve Jobs and his apparently boundless arrogance. However, iPhones and Apple products continue to sell like hotcakes – because they rock. Similarly, I don’t think that people are going to quit using Facebook any time soon, simply because they don’t like the Like button. The reality is, at least in my mind, that for many it’s easier to gripe about something that results in change than to dig deeper and figure out how change might actually be a good thing. But then, I’m a glass half full kind of gal – I actually like change – and welcome it.
As a marketing strategist, I’m easily seduced by numbers (please don’t tell my husband) (oh wait, he already knows). In fact, it’s so much about the numbers that it’s hard to think about anything else. And, as someone who is responsible, on a day-to-day basis, for helping brands of all sizes grow their businesses, not liking the Facebook Like option, to me, is nothing short of massive short-sightedness.
Here’s why: The Like button is an instant focus group. It’s an immediate snapshot of trending topics and information. It’s an instant update on what matters – to people – right now. As a marketer, that pretty much gives me a case of the vapors. Check this out and tell me you don’t feel a swoon coming on right away, too.
Holy Moly, Batman, this is real time search, served up on a silver platter. Do I really need to say more? What marketer doesn’t get dizzy just thinking of the possibilities here?
We’re a bunch of smart people, people. Let’s quit griping about change and dive into this new functionality that Facebook has served up and see how it benefits our clients. Let’s see how it helps us do our jobs better. Let’s see how it helps us make more of an impact, more money, raise more awareness – or whatever it is that we do on a daily basis. Then, if we find out that it stinks, we can dis it until the cows come home – but how about giving it a chance? I know I’m going to – what about you? And if you’re nosing around this blog and like what you read, subscribe to the RSS feed, for Pete’s sake. And while you’re at it, connect with me on Facebook, too. I can, on occasion, be moderately entertaining.