I got an email blast for a Broadway show the other day that made me wonder whether or not we're putting too much emphasis on the "like" or the "follow" call to action that is appearing on every piece of marketing material known to man these days.
Here's what concerns me:
In direct response advertising, what we want the person to do is buy a ticket. Period. And any great salesperson will tell you that when you make the "ask," you offer your customers only what you want them to buy. If you offer something else to them at the same time, they just may take it. And then you lose, or diminish your returns. Make the ask, and if your customer rejects your first and best option, then you can reduce your ask.
By pushing the "Like us on Facebook" or "Follow us on Twitter" we're actually giving our customers a free way to show their support and love for a product without spending any money.
Yes, obviously there is a big difference between seeing a show and liking it, and the customer is missing a big part of the experience . . . so let me give you another example.
I got an email asking for a Kickstarter donation yesterday. I signed on and was ready to make my pledge when I noticed something. The project had only raised money from 5 people. But the project had almost 40 "likes."
Obviously those 35 other people didn't "like" the project that much, right?
Could it be that some of those 35 people were on the fence about giving and then clicked the like button and said, "Ok, now I don't have to feel so guilty for not doing anything"? They had an out that could show their support, albeit in a small way, without buying.
Now, you could argue that these people are warmer leads for conversion later on down the road (as long as a good social media strategy backed it up), but we could be letting some people off the hook by pushing liking and following too much. (Hopefully someone will do a study to see whether this theory bears fruit or not.)
But whatever the answer to the question is . . . the message is the same.
Be careful what you ask for . . . because you just might get it . . . or worse, you might not get it.
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