I have conflicting sentiments regarding a recent exchange I had with someone within my LinkedIn network. This is a 1st level connection but someone who I do not know nor have had any previous direct communication. So I guess this is how “social” works these days…


On 12/09/11 7:20 AM, -name- wrote: -------------------- Yesterday -company name- decided to start donating toys for Facebook likes. The boss has always been a supporter of -charity name- and when we were thinking of a good cause this year, we found out all the drop off centers stop taking donations Dec 9th. So we made a few calls, made a deal with the boss, and here we have it: -charity name- will take our toys (if we deliver them) up to the 15th. The boss said he'll personally buy 1 toy for every 20 likes we get on our Facebook Page. We started this yesterday and got 120 likes, which is 6 toys, but 6 toys is not enough! You can help get my boss to buy more toys for -locality- children in need by liking our Facebook Page and sharing the post on your own Facebook wall or LinkedIn status: Thank you! And Happy Holidays :-)


On 12/09/11 9:30 AM, Frank Zupan wrote: --------------------

Hi -name-, Since you took the liberty to send me notification of your promotional activity, I'll take the liberty to offer my opinion. I'm not a fan of tying self-serving marketing/promotional activities such as Facebook "likes" to worthy charitable causes. I believe social and community activism is important for individuals and corporations and should even be celebrated, but a contingency clause such as liking a Facebook page really makes it about something else, doesn't it? If there was a "Dislike" option, I would have selected it for this message and this promotion. Frank


On 12/09/11 12:30 PM, -name- wrote: --------------------Frank, I couldn't agree with you more. I also think football players shouldn't wear pink and the only reason why there's so much "breast cancer awareness" is because of catchy phrases like "save the ta-tas" and American's obsession with breasts which have nothing to do with a deadly and disfiguring disease.

However, as an internet marketing company, we are aware of trends. Purina acquired most of their fans by donating 5 lbs of dog food for every "like" to shelters around the world. For every "like" to OneSight in December, Pearl Vision donates $1 to blind and visually impaired children around the world and the list goes on.

So are we "tying self-serving marketing/promotional activities such as Facebook "likes" to worthy charitable causes" or are we leveraging our social media contacts to increase awareness of a worthy cause while increasing our own exposure?

Your opinion is valid and respected. I will remember not to reach out to you again with any notices of promotional activity.

(on a side note, I have sent 635 connections a LinkedIn message as well as 157 Facebook friends and this is the first "dislike". It is becoming more socially acceptable to promote your business through social media and an effective way to market your brand) eom


It’s interesting to note that this individual went to my LinkedIn profile prior to responding and obviously felt that it was worthwhile to offer their opinion on a specific charity that I perform volunteer HR work.

So, one of the voices inside my head is telling me that I’m the grumpy neighbor yelling at the kids to get the hell off of my lawn. Another voice says if this individual and company really gave a shit about these kids having toys, they wouldn’t tie their largesse to a business promotion. Still another voice says LinkedIn is the wrong channel to broadcast this message but maybe I should have just deleted the message.

In any case, I thought it a good idea to throw it out to this community and listen to what your voices have to say.

Oh, and before I forget, Happy Xmas everyone...see, I'm not so mean...

Views: 953

Comment by Darryl Dioso on December 12, 2011 at 10:44am

Totally get what irks you and the other commenters here but I may be missing something - who cares? So long as the toys do go to a charity does it really matter in the end? People are so reluctant to give in this "season of giving" that I think you may have been a tad too harsh. 

Comment by Elise Reynolds on December 12, 2011 at 10:57am

I don't know friends, I am pretty laid back about these kinds of things.  We read business and promotional guidance advice and information all the time and I am sure several promotional experts would tell you to turn your holiday philanthropy into an opportunity for marketing and promotion. 

Now I will agree with you the whole "like" feature in social media is annoying  EXCEPT (I could be wrong) if you indicate you like something, a service or a product that means the company can send you promotions, sort of like joining the email distribution list.  So it is not completely worthless.

I probably would ignore or not respond to such a message (unless I really liked the company) and would not be irritated about it.  I think we all agree that it is important this time of year for disadvantaged children to get toys.  It is better if people give without any strings attached or social media demands.  But I am thinking whatever a little tacky but not the biggest faux pas of the season. 

Comment by Kim Ogles on December 12, 2011 at 11:45am

I think you are taking irdked to a new level to respond to the poster and then write a blog about the experience.  Sorry, Frank but not with you on this one.  I'd have just deleted it.

Comment by Kathleen Hannon on December 12, 2011 at 11:53am

I cannot believe I'm about to endorse and defend something on Facebook.

I detest Facebook, I'm hardly on it anymore because I don't trust it, I use it as little as possible, but I have many real live friends who do and it's a way to keep in contact with them.

Many of these friends (as well as myself) are active in a variety of volunteer/charity/non profit/fund raisers/pet adoptions and rescues/Habitat for Humanity/Save the Whales - you name it. And Facebook "LIKES" are how they get the word out about their current project. The more people who "LIKE" something the more it pops up on other people's screens. The more screens it pops up on, the more people find out about it and that means more kittens and puppies are finding homes, local parks are getting cleaned up, extra help arrives for the roof raising and in this case maybe more children will get presents for the holidays.

I dislike Facebook more than I can politely express here, (which is more than I can say for some people who have commented here) but when it comes to "Getting the Word Out" about a project it really IS one of the best marketing tools out there.

I have to say that I'm really surprised at the reaction of people to this use of Social Media - be it Facebook, LinkedIn, or any of the other social networking sites. THIS type of activity is what these sites are FOR - getting the word out to as many people as possible about ANYTHING from fund raising activities, political campaigns, and lets not forget job hunting and business networking.

Marketing is Marketing - if someone sends you information about a product or campaign you aren't interested  (or sends you an unsolicited resume because you are a hiring manager whis is pretty much the same thing)  - there is no reason to get rude, hostile or nasty. Just hit the Delete Button and get on with your life.

Comment by Elise Reynolds on December 12, 2011 at 11:58am

I did think the guy from the marketing company you sent messages to was clever.  He kind of went over board too a little bit.  Carrying on about breast cancer awareness, etc.  I give him kudos for being amusing.

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 12, 2011 at 12:11pm

I think the first mistake he made was thinking that the "like" button on facebook means anything in the first place. :) Secondly, I appreciate his response but he should have just kept it to "sorry and thanks for your input" instead of going off about football players and breasts. Then he seems to almost take you to task with his stats about you being the only "dislike".


So while "delete" might have been the safer option, I don't think you've really lost anything important here. I probably would have done the same thing. Then again, I do yell at kids to get off my lawn, so there's that.

Comment by Bill Schultz on December 12, 2011 at 12:46pm

Great title!

I don't see anything terrible with the action or the cause.  

If you want to hear more of my opinion please lie my page.


Comment by Bill Schultz on December 12, 2011 at 12:46pm

like i mean

Comment by Frank Zupan on December 12, 2011 at 12:47pm

Jerry-I kept conjuring up pictures of Boss Hogg or Boss Tweed. Still having nightmares about it...

Suresh-The tax write-off discussion is a whole other topic, to say the least.

Darryl-I understand your point about just focusing on the results (in this case, kids receiving toys). It makes a lot of sense.

Elise-I think someone, somewhere needs to tell 800 million Facebook users exactly what a "Like" is worth, don't you?

Kim-I hear ya. I've deleted my share of these messages and I'm honestly not sure what about this one irked me. Sharing it with you has made it therapeutic though.

Kathleen-Tell us how you REALLY feel about Facebook! :)

Elise & Amy-What ever gave you the impression this individual was a "he"? hahaha

Comment by Jerry Albright on December 12, 2011 at 1:13pm

How about this one then - let's really stick it to The Boss by getting a few thousand Likes for him?  How about 6000 in fact - so he'll have to by 1000 toys?  And by toys - I'm assuming The Boss is a pretty big success so a $20 minimum per to is in order here.....


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