Summary : what’s a fan on facebook ? Someone who likes a product or a brand of course. Are we wure ? When, to be able to use this channel to get information or the solution to a problem with the product people have to become fan, the system is biased. So the only question is to know what one think of a system that turns lurkers or unhappy customers into fans despite of them. Clever trick or false advertising ?
What company is not trying to recruit as many fans as possible for its Facebook page ? No one is quite sure of the valuation of a fan (while the acquisition cost is well known) but fans are needed. Some will buy more, some will share the essage…fans can have several role what makes it difficult to know what their contribution to the business is. That said, they have an intrinsic value for any business ; if between two competitors there is a big difference on the number of fans it must mean something.
I’ve already discussed the relativity of the concept of community membership. That’s the same with fans. And I’m close to think that it’s even worse.
What can make me go on the page of a brand toward which I’m neutral ? Get informations, maybe in order to buy the product later, know them better before thinking of sending them my CV…
In some extreme cases, I may want (rather…need) to meet the brand on its page because I’m not happy with their product, service, and would like explanations or a fix. Why not, after all, since they say “we do customer service on Facebook”.
But it’s often impossible to read of write anything without being fan. Not a serious issue after all…only a button to click. But the mechanism looks like swindle :” you want to complain, you need information, so tell the world you’re a fan first and then only we’ll talk”. Like if, before going to the customer service desk in any store, customers had to run in the street shouting “I love [the name of the store]”.
Ok, sometimes it’s only an impression. If some brands keep their contents only for their fans, in many case people only need to know were to click to get rid of the welcome page and access the content without become fans. But Mrs Anybody is not aware of that and thinks that only way to access the page and get rid of the welcome page is to click on “like”.
We can also un-fan after having done what we needed…but who’ll think about doing so ?. AndÂ how many neutral and unhappy people did have to demonstrate their “fan-ness” to access the most basic level of information ? Sometimes I feel I’m deceiving my network when I become a fan only to have a look…
Swindle ? If you think that when I become fan while I’m only looking for information or I’m unhappy with the brand may make my network think I recommend the brand in question…there’s a real point here.
Ok…I’m quibbling. It’s all about wording and ethic. And who cares about that today ?