Equal Time for Nike

Posted: April 11, 2011 in Facebook, Social Media

I was pleasantly surprised to receive an e-mail from Nike Golf’s Social Media Manager, Brian Carter, on Saturday evening in response to my blog entitled, “Nike’s Epic Fail.” In it, he apologized for the technical glitches that were experienced by me and by others after being told we were one of the winners of their golf ball giveaway. He went on to say that I was not blocked from their site due to my negative comment, but rather due to my use of their page for self-promotion by posting a link to my blog . . . fair enough.

In a subsequent email Mr. Carter also offered a link to a blog from another Nike page fan and Social Media blogger, Ryan Spoon. Mr. Spoon was one of the lucky winners of the contest (so Brian’s reference was perhaps somewhat tongue-in-cheek), but his analysis of the promotion was entirely different than mine. In his blog, he praises the time-sensitive nature of the promotion (surprise timing, limited response time) as well as the timeliness of the promotion (during Masters week). You can see his blog in its entirety at http://www.nndb.com/people/590/000103281/.

While I fundamentally disagree with Mr. Spoon’s analysis and hold fast to my own, I do agree with his assertion that this campaign was viral. But I do not agree that all virality is necessarily a good thing. Nike’s contention is that it is naive to think that a qualitative analysis can come from the feedback to a Facebook post. While to some extent that may be true, as we use Facebook to promote our businesses, I think it is equally naive to not consider the negative impact of our campaigns and show a willingness to bend and shape to the medium, not to try to shape the medium to match our objectives.

Social Media is just that, social. By definition, this implies that this is a relational environment. Just as in face-to-face relationships, there is a certain level of decorum that is expected. I have had many friends and relationships over the years in which the other person made a habit of doing or saying things that upset me or didn’t seem fair or thoughtful. I also have had many relationships, personally and professionally, in which the other person tried to control me. Wherever possible, those people are no longer a part of my life.

I’m just sayin’ . . .

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