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 Suresh on December 12, 2011 at 2:06pm

Jerry, I "Like" your comment.

There is no Free Lunch" and in reality for many  "There is no Free Giving"

If its Marketing, then just call it that, why the hypocrisy.



Comment by schonfeld.michael19 on December 12, 2011 at 3:09pm

Normally, I'd never comment on such a trivial matter.  However, the commentary is so polarized, it warrants the injection of a measure of balance from someone indirectly engaged in employment and recruiting. I help people, mostly young professionals, get jobs -- for free. But, I make my living marketing, selling, and supporting industrial machinery to the manufacturing industry. 

First, let's define and characterize the subject, a "Like." A "Like" is merely a metric indicator to measure reach and determine interest in the Business to Consumer marketplace. A "Like" is not a form of currency, and I am unaware of any study that has been able to uniformly correlate Likes to revenue generation. If you don't buy into my assertions, survey any number of CEOs and CFOs regarding how they factor "Likes" into their balance sheets. That just isn't happening in the real world where tremendous effort is expended toward projecting Profit & Loss. So from my point of view, collecting "Likes" is not much more than a game in an alternate reality like Farmville, Cityville, or SimsSocial. Sure, you can make a little money doing it, but that's not really the point at all. The point, in this case, is actually marketing research to measure reach and response rather than to generate real revenue. And market research is influenced by audience.

Lets analyze the audience in question, LinkedIn membership. Why are so many people active on LinkedIn?  Likely because they're looking to find a job and hope to generate attention toward themselves, right? Given the US government claiming we have about 9% unemployment, not including a very large population of folks who are no longer counted because they're ineligible to collect unemployment, I'd say any B to C marketing entity  that focuses upon the active LinkedIn population to generate a significant revenue stream is going to be somewhat disappointed. Wouldn't you agree given the circumstances of the unemployed? After all, feeding the family, paying the important bills, and keeping a roof over one's head is probably a bit more of a concern to the typical active member than buying unnecessary consumer goods.

Now, let's characterize the audience of this Blog.  Recruiters are less likely to consider an unemployed candidate than an employed candidate -- that's just the way it seems to the general public. As everyone is operating a bit leaner these days, even acknowledgement in the form of rejection letters has fallen from favor due to time constraints, resource allocation, and the relative value of human capital for certain tasks.

And now the emotional and psychological influence... It's all about real people, not just a name at the top of a one-page resume. Because much of the effort active candidates engage in appears to be ignored, its rather easy for one to assume that he/she doesn't really count, and he/she has little value to offer anyone. Think about a pop vocalist whose voice has suddenly gone silent due to illness or accident. Now, factor in the sense of empowerment that the control to "Like" can have upon someone who might otherwise feel they've lost their own voice, a true victim of circumstance. The ability to "Like" something can be beneficial to those who feel insignificant. There can be real social value in a "Like." Let me see....If I "Like" it, a deserving kid gets a toy. If I don't "Like" it, that same kid may not get a toy.  Hmmmm....I can afford to "Like" much more than I can afford to buy that toy.  'I "Like" it!  Boy, it felt good to finally be counted and to actually make a difference.'  Nothing wrong with that strategy in my mind; it might even be a bit healthy for the "Liker."

And as for the harsh commentary...."Dear Internet Marketing Whore" with the mention of prostituting a charity is a grossly inappropriate and extreme response along the same lines as characterizing all investment bankers as thieves, M&

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 12, 2011 at 4:10pm

@Frank - I think someone else referred to him/her/it as "he" so I just went with it lol

@schonfeld - huh?

Comment by Darryl Dioso on December 12, 2011 at 4:13pm

LOL @Amy...I love this site.

Comment by Bill Schultz on December 12, 2011 at 4:15pm

@ Suresh- Charity depends on Marketing for a great deal of its contributions. To think that all giving needs to be altruistic is naive.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 12, 2011 at 4:22pm

I sort of like Jerry's idea, however i don't want my email or company name on another list that some internet marketing company is selling to their clients neither do i want it showing up on a bunch of facebook pages that i  "Like" their business when i have no idea who they are. 


The oldest trick in the sleazy book is to get you to think that you are doing something that will help a charity

when the company is looking for something to sell or use your good name to endorse their product or service that you know nothing about and/or don't actually like.  Maybe a disclaimer..I don't like the hit em a lick spam mongers but i did like that they would give toys to kids.  I hope they did but who knows.

It's not about the "like".  Everybody thinks liking is no big deal.  I suppose it's not if you "like" spam or you want to appear as an endorsement of some company you never heard up because they purport to be giving toys to kids.  Why give some internet marketing company your name/email to sell to god knows who?


the like doesn't mean anything but your name and email should.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 12, 2011 at 4:32pm

@schonfeld, i got over being "appropriate "years ago.  I take it you must be an internet marketing whore or a theiving investment banker. :)

Comment by Suresh on December 12, 2011 at 5:09pm

@ Bill, I kind off agree with Sandra here..

Got a problem with people using charity to market their messages. They know using the word Charity opens doors that would otherwise be shut.

My issue is with the hypocrisy more than anything else. What bugs me is they want to claim to be Charitable but in essence is a business transaction..

I know this issue is not going to be resolved in this discussion, its a bigger difference of viewpoints.

Comment by schonfeld.michael19 on December 12, 2011 at 7:30pm

Sandra, I am not an internet marketing whore; I do this work for free. Hey.... that would make me an ignorant sl-- (just like Jane Pauley on Saturday Night Live).  WOW, I've finally achieved something significant!    :-)

Comment by Bill Schultz on December 12, 2011 at 10:40pm

@ Suresh- for me, the end justifies the means.  if the net result is a few more toys for needy kids, that

's a win.  i can always unlike after the campaign.


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