Scarcity, Value, and Counterfeit Facebook Likes

A friend sent me this article from Rafe Needleman entitled, Facebook: Liked to Death.  It appears that advertisers in an effort to gain coveted Facebook Page ‘Likes’ are offering consumers premiums (or access to content) if they will visit their page and give them their valuable  “Thumb Up.”   Sounds like a good marketing strategy … or does it? 

I invite you back to Economics 101 where you may have been introduced to the Subjective Theory of Value.   This theory states that in order for something to have value it must be both useful and scarce.  While today, Facebook  ‘Likes’ show monetized value, they are not necessarily scarce or difficult to produce.  Like counterfeit money on a printing press, I can click my mouse and ‘Like’ as many Facebook Pages as I can visit. (So can the rest of Facebooks 500 million users.)  In fact, it took me just under 7 seconds to ‘Like’ both Coke and Pepsi on Facebook.  Because I’ve now ‘Liked them both, I’ve canceled out my vote.   The value of my ‘Like’ is now zero for both products.  I’ve thus driven down the monetized value of the ‘Like’ across the entire Facebook community by injecting the system with 2 counterfeit ‘Likes’.  And now no one (including Coke and Pepsi) will ever know what my brown, sweet, carbonated beverage preference really is. 

Bribing consumers for ‘Like’ is dangerous to brands because it reduces ‘Like’ scarcity and thus it’s value.  As a result brands may be getting false feedback, which can lead to reduced company responsiveness and reduced consumer satisfaction.  Make sure you check out Force 5 for your social media marketing strategy.  We’ll make sure your company’s Facebook ‘Likes’ are real … not those phony ones.