It happens all the time. Some brand will announce on their Facebook page how many ‘Likes’ they have. Whether it’s part of an acquisition campaign, or part of contest that’s part of an aquisition campaign, this is a bad idea for one simple reason: nothing makes a person feel smaller than knowing how many other people there are in the world.
That’s a big number. You are about .000000014 % of the total population of the Earth. If Earth had a Facebook page, and you un-liked it, we wouldn’t even notice.
While there may be safety in numbers, there is anonymity as well. If you believe that social media for a brand is about making direct connections with customers, and most marketers do, then quantifying your customer’s insignificance is a bad place to start.
When you’re in a restaurant, your waiter probably has dozens of other customers to serve. The best waiters make you feel like you’re their only table. They can give 50 or more people a great experience without them even knowing who else is sharing their server. This is the focus, the individual, not the group. Who does this well? Gary V and Zappos.
Think about all the bad customer service experiences you’ve had. Somewhere in there was a line about how many people are ahead of you, have the same problem, have an even bigger problem, etc. Letting people know how many other customers are around is a tacticaly bad move. The only customer any of us cares about is ourself.
No one cares how many ‘likes’ a brand has. We care about how we can get help with our issue, how we can get a deal or a discount or win something in a giveaway. Numbers don’t improve our chances in either regard. And Facebook makes this a moot point anyway. The number is right out there on the side of every brand page for us all to see, and ignore.
Instead, focus on messages, campaigns and interactions that make each one of your gazilions of fans feel like they are the only one, or at least, the only one that matters.