I’m a casual Facebook user, but coming off of a one week Eastern Caribbean cruise has left me wonder, do marketers get it? I last took a long cruise ten years ago. It was the end of the internet bubble but on my cruise ship were four PCs. Even in a ship full of computer geeks, Microstrategies Kick-Off turned friends-and-family cruise, there was easy access to a computer. And to my surprise was the internet was free, but slow. Last week I find myself on another cruise with a Celebrity ship that even has it’s own iLounge, where I could take Apple classes for $15 per class or $25 for unlimited classes. The lounge had 20 Mac and I’d say half were in use. But this time I found out that internet connections were $45 for 25 minutes for a “social user”. I’m really not a fan of paying for internet while traveling but in some cases it makes sense. But the what really hit me was “social users” being charged. It shows that Celebrity’s marketing department doesn’t get it. Then again nor do the airlines, but in this case for offering “social users” free access.
I “Like” Facebook Status Marketing
In some cases Facebook could be a great marketing tool but if you look marketing people don’t get it. Even when airlines offer me a chance at 100,000 I will “Like them” for the chance at 100,000 miles but I don’t necessarily “Like them, Like them”. I don’t think that is the opportunity social media marketing offers. And it seems that airlines may have missed the mark from another perspective. While free social access may get more people to pay for GoGo Inflight, what status are they going to post? And as for cruise lines, you’re missing the boat with free social access, again what status are they going to post. You don’t see it? Well let me share with you posts I would have made on my last two trips.
Flying Facebook Status Update
- For $25 does my checked bag get a window seat?
- I can lose my seat 15 before departure but the plane can still be late
- In a middle set between a guy that drools and one that had garlic for lunch
- What luck the garlic guy is an insurance salesman
- What? $5 for a bag of cookies
- Hour three and there’s no movie
- Can we land now? I’ve seen enough of San Francisco circling the last hour
- Yea land!
- Lost my luggage and I don’t get my $25 back
Cruising Facebook Status Update
- Wow a pina colada and we haven’t left port
- What could be better than breakfast on the balcony overlooking St Thomas
- What to do today? Lay on the beach or go zip lining?
- Oh it’s 5:30 that means all you can eat Sushi
- Turned $1 into $20 on the slot machine this gambling stuff is fun
- Three appetizers before my meal – zero dollars
- Steak and lobster – zero dollars
- Baked Alaskan – zero dollars
- Annoying all you friends while your overeat on a cruise – priceless
Well you get the point. Social networking is about reading and posting status. I would think that after reading my fictional airline posts friends would be reluctant to fly who ever I was flying. Then again after reading my fictional cruise posts, I think many of you are thinking that sounds like fun. I don’t think I’m pushing the bounds as I’m sure we’ve had friends take our vacation advice just as much as we’ve taken theirs. Look at what happens when a friend updates that they enjoyed a movie. You consider going even though you might have thought it to be a flop. I haven’t seen many real use cases for Social Media Marketing but this is clearly one.
“Liking” things is cute. Little kids like cute things, “I like turtles.” Not offering ways to dislike a business really doesn’t make “Liking” a valuable tool. Maybe it’s time for Facebook marketing to grow up.