Technology & Data
- Big Data
- Tech & Innovation
How to Get Your Sales and Marketing Teams to Work in HarmonyContent Marketing for Midsized Companies: Whom to Target, What to CreateAtri Chatterjee of Act-On Software on the New Generation of MarketersMarketing Automation: What It Is and Why You Need to Know
- Social Tools
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Lurching Back to Normal: Putting the "Like" Back in its Place
Posted on April 22nd 2014
I'm sitting at home watching an old "I Love Lucy" episode called "Ricky has Labor Pains". Towards the end of the show Lucy disguises herself as a male reporter so that she could sneak into a mens social club. Someone takes a picture of her and in the moments after, a flashbulb-blinded, pregnant Lucy lurches around the room looking for steady ground. The last week has been a little like that in the social media world.
In the middle of last week General Mills announced a change in their terms of service which appeared to limit an individual's legal rights after engaging the cereal company by "liking" their page. The magnitude of the outcry was not surprising and on Saturday, General Mills announced a reversal which the New York Times reported on Sunday Morning - http://nyti.ms/PjXdA8. This is a good development for the social consumer, General Mills and industry in general.
The social consumer can continue to engage companies with less concern that their actions will have unintended consequences in the future; General Mills demonstrated a commitment to listening and responding rapidly, or as one would say, at the speed of social. Finally this is good for the rest of industry who can be more secure in embracing the idea of liking and following as an organization.
The concept of a "follow" or a "like" is powerful but less so because of what it implies for an individual's actions or intentions and more because of what can mean en masse - depending on the arena, if hundreds or thousands "like" something it can be translated into a call to action. Social is about crowds but the individual needs to able to, at least to a certain extent, hide in plain sight. Putting too much scrutiny on their individual actions isn't good for anyone and runs the risk of making too much of single event, leaving us all lurching in over reaction, just like Lucy. Thanks to the actions of General Mills it looks like we're back on solid ground for the moment.