How Much is a Like Worth?

There are some days when I worry about finding something to write about. Coming up with a new interesting topic every day is hard. Then there are mornings like today where the universe provides. This morning on The Next Web I saw an article about a marketing campaign from Pepsi around giving out free sodas for likes.

DISCLAIMER: I have been drinking Diet Coke for over 20 years and was a regular Coke fan before that, so I am not a big Pepsi drinker.

The Campaign

TBWA Belgium came up with the idea of like-gating Pepsi samples. You come up to the machine, like Pepsi on your mobile, choose your drink and out pops a free Pepsi. Here is the video, for reference:

Ok, my first little nit. At about 0:52 the narrator says that thanks to this system, they know who “likes, tried and enjoyed” their Pepsi. If I am at a concert, am thirsty and I can’t get my Coke fix, would I give away a like to get a free soda? Would I really enjoy it? How many fans on Pepsi’s page are now engaged with Pepsi as customers? I understand how hard it is to get new customers to your brand when you are Pepsi, or Coke for that matter. So I am struggling with how this really worked to build brand love for Pepsi.

Now my bigger nit. You just gave Pepsi access to some of your information on Facebook. Is that worth a Pepsi? Is it worth more? While just liking a fan page gives limited access to your information and is not as insidious as the access you give to an app, you are still giving up information. Was it worth a sugared fizzy drink?

Whither Coke?

The reason I had a disclaimer about my love for Coke, is that their HugMe machine was a better engagement. It tapped into something deeper than just liking, and actually didn’t require anything more than a hug. They placed the machine at the National University of Singapore during finals. The organizer hoped to bring some stress release to the students. It did. Here is the video, which makes me smile every time:

Which campaign do you think is more effective? The word of mouth lift from the Coke campaign was quite staggering and it not only ignited social response, but also morning news TV and even caused a small spike to their stock price. We will certainly see what happens with the Pepsi campaign, but I think only us in the industry will talk about it.

Other Opinions on the value of a Like

For Pepsi, a Facebook Like is worth a soda. There are some other opinions about the value of a Like that are interesting and scary:

  • A Like is not free speech, says Virginia judge. During the election campaign for sheriff, a deputy liked one of the incumbent’s challengers. After the sheriff was reelected, he was fired for liking the challenger, along with five other people. The judge ruled that they cannot infer the actual content of a speaker from one click of a button. So the act of Liking is so de minimis that you can’t infer any constitutionally protected speech from it. Would it surprise you that Facebook is appealing?
  • A Like is a testimonial. In stark contract, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently stated that a third party’s user of a like button or feature could be a testimonial. When this first came out, all the legal folks at those regulated entities did a double take. I thought there was going to be a lot more discussion about whether this was right or not, but almost a year and a half later there has been nothing.

In my opinion, the value of a Like is variable. If I put something of value behind the Like, I question the value of the Like itself. If you have gotten the Like organically, that Like is much more valuable. Yes, the judge got it wrong in Virginia. Once you have their Like, you can convert that less valuable Like into something more, but just giving something will not result in anything more than a quick bump.

Enjoy your weekend.

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