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Is It Worth It To Become A Facebook Fan?

Posted by 40deuce on 5:53 AM in , , ,

A few days ago I had an idea for a post where I was going to comment negatively on a web 2.0 tactic being used by American broadcaster NBC. Thankfully I didn't write that post right away. After having a couple of days to think about it, I'm not as against the tactic as I once thought. I'm also not sure that I am for it. Let me tell you the story and you can tell me what you think...

I was reading an article on Ain't It Cool News about a new show for NBC's fall lineup called "Community". You can read the article here. The article was saying that this new show is going to be a hit and that NBC is giving audiences a chance to watch the premiere episode on their facebook fan page.

- A quick note on what a facebook fan page is for those that don't know. A facebook fan page is a page within the social community where users can join to show they like something such as a band, tv show, company, product, etc. On the fan page users can talk and interact with other fans of the same thing. The owners of the page can also share content with all their fans to create more interaction between the "whatever" and it's fans. -

In order to view the pilot episode of the show you would first have to become a "fan" of the show. Now here's my problem: How could anyone say they are a fan of the show if they've never seen it before???

I wanted to go on a whole rant about how a communication professional should use their skills to persuade someone to become a fan of something, not use a quick promise of something to get someone to sign on. I was going to relate it to the credit card companies that offer you a cheap shirt at a sporting event in exchange for you signing up for a card.

The more I stewed over it though, the more I started to think that if they offered the show to just anyone to view, the chance of someone become a fan after watching greatly dropped. Not because the show is bad, but just because you don't have to be a facebook fan of something to still like it. If people weren't going to become a fan of the show it would have defeated the purpose of NBC putting resources into creating the page.

Then, earlier today I came across an article entitled "10 Practical Tips for Facebook Fan Pages". If you read the article you will notice that tip #3 is "Give Your Audience A Reason To Become A Fan" which says, "A Facebook fan page is the perfect place to reward fans because they have specifically chosen to associate themselves with your brand in front of all their friends." It goes on to give an example of how companies can reward their fans. Rewards like exclusive content.

This again made me think that NBC did a proper job with their fan page. Although they were coercing people into becoming a fan of something they knew nothing about, they were offering something exclusive to the people that did.

In the end, I'm happy I didn't make this post right away, because I now have a completely different feeling towards the subject.

What do you think though about the whole situation? Should people become fans of things on facebook just to receive exclusives? Is it right for companies to make people sign up for something to receive something special? Do facebook fan pages even mean anything in the grand scheme of things?? Please comment and let me know.

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