It’s so easy to get caught up in the number of “likes”a Facebook page has or doesn’t have… Businesses should ask themselves is the number of “likes” they have really all there is? Is it even possible to over value the worth of a “like”? We all know that utilizing Social Media for business and brands is more than just Twitter and Facebook. It’s about having a good social media strategy, listening to the online conversation, engaging in and setting objectives with measurable results… and having a next step.

Last week the marketing world learned of a Facebook marketing strategy that had gone seriously wrong. For simply “liking”  their Facebook page, the company had promised a free gift that was worth about $17.95. For some reason the company forgot the basic marketing premise of never disappointing their customer base. Just a simple disclaimer: “while supplies last” or “for the first 100 people” is what it would have taken to make this promotion a success. Three days later this company  realized their blunder, achieving their forecast number of “likes”. They compounded  their lack of accurate forecast by waiting about 3 weeks before they initiated dialogue to customers that had liked the page but wouldn’t get the freebie; far too long a response time. The damage was done… twice they had not delivered on their marketing promise to their potential customer.

It’s a known tactic that offering consumers free stuff engages response and trial… and in today’s world, the word gets out fast on contest-aggregating websites!  A lack of understanding of the media and how the audience engages is sure way of failing. Success of any marketing initiative, social media, print, TV or radio…still remains in the planning, execution and details.

A marketing plan is fundamental  and the social media plan needs to be folded into that. Freebies, giveaways, free stuff…. it’s great to see how many people are listening to you, and dive in! Yes!  But at what cost? What price? Premiums, giveaways….they’re investments in building a relationship to further promote customer engagement and customer’s experience towards your brand.

What is your USP?  Who is your target market? What is your budget? Setting objectives is mandatory for long term vision. Set sharp, clearly defined goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, time-bound (trackable)… just as you would in traditional marketing.