Well boo hoo, poor you. I didn’t realise you were finding giving to charity so hard. Of course I’d love to help. I’ll head over to Facebook right now and ‘like’ your page. Shall I peel you a grape while I’m there? Assuming you could you be bothered to eat it.

This brand amazes me. It knows a lot about healthcare according to the TV advert, before telling me to: “Like us on Facebook. For every ‘like’ we’ll make a donation to charity.”

Giving doesn’t come without my cooperation it seems. They can’t just donate direct. Oh no, they need complete strangers to visit them on Facebook first.

I must have missed the meeting. The one where the man from the social media agency says: “We’ll get the people who see the TV advert to go to Facebook to share and engage with the brand. And we can set targets and measure performance, which means we’ll be spending the marketing budget very wisely”.

So I’m supposed to go to Facebook to engage with a brand that I’ve never interacted with before. Why would I do that?  What’s in it for me?

Let’s say I ‘like’ them. Then what? I get to look at a page of comments from other people. Why would this be of any interest? I know cancer is a Bad Thing or I wouldn’t have been willing to ‘like’. So, hundreds of others also think it’s a Bad Thing, there’s a surprise. More to the point what does any of this have do with your brand? How is it relevant or appropriate to the business?

I can imagine another meeting. The man from the agency reports back. The campaign is deemed a success:  for very little marketing spend the brand has thousands of new Facebook fans.

Yet, many will quickly drift away, not interested in anything this brand has to say, beyond the lifespan of the immediate issue or cause – curing cancer on this occasion. There’s no reason to stick around, I’m not being rewarded for my attention.

You see, I don’t understand why they don’t just go and donate a sum directly. Presumably a multinational company has a budget and there must be a cap on their charitable giving. Otherwise, suggesting they match every ‘like’ with a donation is potentially ruinous. There is a maximum donation they have agreed on. Therefore, they could just donate the money.

Then tell me about the impact, in an entertaining or informative way and I’ll be hooked. Keep my attention by offering rewarding content: show how the money has made a difference, give insight into the lives of the people affected perhaps. I would give permission to deepen the relationship with a brand that has made an effort.

But why bother, if when you’re feeling lazy you can run a Facebook ‘like’ campaign.  But what do you think?