I sat on my couch munching the contents of a bag of regular Tostitos. Nothing better than hanging with my kids, tortilla chips and some homemade guacamole. My daughter makes the best. This day, however, there was no guac. Just some chips and a little Ghost Ship, one of our favorite flicks - there is a fantastic twist scene when all is revealed, you should check it out some time. Anyway...,
While snacking, I went to grab the bag of Tostitos and noticed the Facebook button on the bag. Yep, Tostitos expects consumers to login, look up their fan page and "like" it. Permission marketing. Bring the consumer to you. Compel the consumer to follow a trail of bread crumbs and convert curiosity into brand loyalty. If you "like" the product, you have consented to contact, you have consented to receipt of future coupons or emails or ads down the right-hand side of your Facebook page.
I have been talking about this for a couple years now, actually advocating for it. But I must admit, it's kind of scary to see it come to fruition. The potential was undeniable, it was exciting and different. It was new, it was contemporary and Corporate America seemed to shun the possibilities. That is until a few took the plunge. I remember a year ago seeing random companies adding Twitter and Facebook buttons to their advertising. Two years ago, I consulted smaller companies and convinced them to create fan pages and start engaging. They were eager to learn more, especially when I told them their competition wasn't doing it. Yet.
Currently, I like over 170 pages - translatable into a product, service, person or form of art. That's down about fifty from last Fall, as I recently went through my Facebook likes and deleted those that I didn't remember even liking, those I no longer liked, or those I saw no need to like and no longer wished to receive messages from. That number will continue to dwindle as I streamline more and "like" less.
Facebook is now considered a strong and necessary marketing strategy. With its rate of growth, it will not be long before the number of FB profiles reaches One Billion. That is a lot of consumers. Most companies are starting to get the picture of what that represents. Chance. Opportunity. Growth. Branding. But it also means maintenance. It isn't easy, it won't be easy. Make it worth the endeavor, not a wasted effort. The payoff will be a direct result of what is put in. It will require consistent work . That means exertion, which means it isn't free.