I saw the Facebook movie last week and went from being intrigued, interested, peeved, frustrated and then finally on the way back to my car, considered cancelling my Facebook accounts and then by the time I was home again, I’d changed my mind. I actually thought is was a great movie, and well played by all the characters, and very well written too.
I know I’m not the only one to consider these same feelings as a result of seeing this movie documenting the start and (so far) short history of the Facebook phenomenon. What I particularly liked about it was that it served well as proof of the theory that we do business with people we like, and wont engage in business relationships with people we don’t like, unless there are no alternatives for accessing that particular product or service easily.
Hands up who thought Mark Zuckerberg was an ass! But that the twins were even more unlikeable! And that Eduardo Saverin was the underdog who totally deserved to win his lawsuit! So, although it might be argued that the movie portrayed Zuckerberg as a little naive, self centred and ignorant (in all things relationship based), for those of us who left the movie feeling uncomfortable about continuing to support the Boy Wonder via our Facebook memberships, for lack of a much better alternative most of us have stayed. If an alternative to Facebook existed making it such an easy option to jump ship, then I’m quite sure the membership numbers would have taken a significant hit after The Social Network was released last month.
We do business with the people we like, and unless there is an alternative option to consider, consumers very rarely pledge loyalty to suppliers of products or services provided by annoying, unscrupulous, dishonest, or generally unlikeable people. End of Story!
And this is a rule well worth considering now more than ever, as we consumers are so easily influenced by easily found reviews of ourselves personally and the services or products we are involved with. Our integrity is more under the microscope than many of us are comfortable with, but accept that it is the rights of our customers to know who they are paying their money over to each day.
It does matter where the profits go. It does matter when those we trust are disloyal to us through their actions – be it politicians getting nabbed misbehaving or police officers arrested for petty crime, or superstars being rude to their fans. Consumers have choices, and can vote with not only their wallets now, but also post opinions and complaints on the internet.
So does that make it harder to be in business now? Or easier to manage good customer relationships?
I believe that online social networking has made it easier to be in business. So long as you are in integrity, operate fairly and consider the reason why you do what you do in the first place, and have values, and teams working for you who share those values, then I believe it’s easier than ever to be in business. It’s like paying taxes – the only people who worry about new rules or harsher penalties are those who are going to have trouble not breaking them in the first place.