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: 956

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2011 at 2:50am
@bill, if you will agree with the rest of us who think this is sleazy I will donate $100.00 to the empty stocking fund.
Comment by Frank Zupan on December 13, 2011 at 6:27am

Through this discussion I think I'm close to a conclusion about this type of activity.

We opt in to social and business networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter with our own understanding and definition of acceptable behavior. While there are certainly Acceptable Use Policies in place for these networks, I think we can agree that 99.99% of the communication that takes place within and across these networks, including my original example, doesn't violate any written policies (although Sandra referring to people as "internet marketing whores" is very close). Where communication becomes "dicey" is when it risks violating my own personal "code of conduct". If I've opted in to a network and haven't articulated my personal code of conduct in any tangible way, I'm relying on the personal codes of conduct of everyone in my network. In other words (and Jerry is going to like this...) it's a community thing.  

A. I let this individual into my network so I hold some measure of "community" responsibility for their communication with me and others.

B. I think I exercised that responsibility by notifying the individual of my dissatisfaction with the communication. I'll also agree that I could have communicated this in a "kinder and gentler" fashion :)

C. I'm now convinced that the worst thing to do is delete a communication that I find unpleasant and move on. If I don't in some way voice my "code of conduct", I begin to abdicate any role and responsibility in future communications within my network or "community". My code of conduct is then dictated to me by Sandra's "internet marketing whores"...queue the visual where we picture the end of civilization as we know it!

D. I think we're required to exercise the responsibility to articulate boundaries or our personal codes of conduct to those within our own networks. If we don't, we'd better be happy to STFU when someone else dictates the terms and conditions of our discussion.

Peace. Out.

Comment by Suresh on December 13, 2011 at 9:38am

Franks thanks for posting this, good heated discussion. I have some other similar topics that would love to through out there, for sake of trying to get some work done, will refrain for now.

Comment by Bill Schultz on December 13, 2011 at 12:26pm

@ sandra-  how dare you!  I cannot be bought!

(for less than $105)

Comment by Amy Ala Miller on December 13, 2011 at 12:38pm

@Sandra I'll throw in $5 to meet Bill's price. :)

@Frank, well said.

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2011 at 1:49pm
All of us can be bought some of us are just more expensive than others. :). I have 105, 105. Going once. What's it going to be bill does the means justify the end.

@frank one nice thing about living just south of "appropriate", nobody ever has any illusions about where I stand on things. As to kinder, gentler, my opinion is that we have devoted so much blah blah to politically correct that we have created a generation or two of people who spend so much time worrying about somebody's feelers as well as their own that seem entitled to spout ridiculous stuff then demand that nobody take issue.

I agree that we have a responsibility to call manure, manure. You have no idea how long it took my mother to get me to say manure.
Comment by Bill Schultz on December 13, 2011 at 1:56pm

I hereby prostitute my position for $105, for the kids.  

Comment by Sandra McCartt on December 13, 2011 at 2:42pm
I "like" that bill check is on the way in your name. I was really hoping you would ask me if my contribution was going to based on buying your opinion or if I was going to do it because I wanted to but being a cagey old prostitute you can say you only changed your position for the kids. I guess that would make you one of those "whores with a heart of Gold". I'm sending 205.00 100. For the means and 105.00 for the end :)
Comment by Bill Schultz on December 13, 2011 at 7:04pm

speaking of appropriate......

Comment by Gareth Jones on December 14, 2011 at 4:44am

Frank, im totally with you. And Sandra nails the response!


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