Today’s post comes from Bridgz business analyst Allan Green.
My wife will tell you I am tough on eyeglasses. I scratch them, I break them, I lose them. Because of this, I was particularly interested when she told me that I had a chance to get a free pair through a company called Coastal Contacts. All I had to do was “like” them on Facebook.
I went ahead and gave it a shot, and was impressed by the selection and the ordering process. Then the other shoe dropped. My frames and lenses were free but there were plenty of other things that go along with glasses that were not. There was shipping, coatings, glare resistance, upgrading to the extra thin lightweight lenses – all this was extra. In the end, my glasses wound up totaling $48. Not exactly free, but better than the $100-plus I usually pay.
I had just run afoul of the latest gimmick in social media marketing: “like-gating.” Online companies have realized that large communities of engaged brand advocates can translate into big additions to the bottom line. But if you’re a sizable commercial company, how do you get people to “like” you on a social network?