The Hate of Facebook and a Healthy Net Promoter Score
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The Hate of Facebook and a Healthy Net Promoter Score

Seeing both sides can help your brand get a clearer picture of the truth.

Facebook is facing an existential crisis on multiple levels as large brands continue to abandon the platform for a month and evaluate if they should be there. The media of social has attempted to stay away from being traditional media, thus avoiding the chains of regulation attached to fairness and publishing “the truth.” We already see the bias, or the blurry line between fact and fiction playing out in our traditional media sources.

If you still think the truth comes from CNN or Fox News, or any media, just follow their Twitter feeds because “my opinions may not be those of my employer” allows media personalities to express their own version of the truth. The best you can do is watch BBC or another international source of news, because at least they don’t have a dog in this fight.

Perhaps social media is a more clear reflection of our society, as it isn’t filtered or pompously curated for the rest of us to consume. What might actually be happening is social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are reflecting our culture—in all its ugliness—so clearly that many don’t want to see it. But, perhaps that’s the hate robots or click farms pushing messages from Russia, China or North Korea?

Emotion creates engagement. Love and hate are not equally emotional, but certainly highly so. Yet I believe everyone would agree, love would be preferred. But, what happens when you remove the contrasting emotion of hate? In life, hate can’t be removed, but in so far as social media is a reflection of real life, hate can be reduced, diluted or obscured. There are plenty of dystopian works of fiction (1984, Brave New World, The Giver, etc) that give us a perspective on what it would be like to regulate thought or speech, in government or socially.

Let’s go back to the original Apple 1984 commercial and describe the woman running to the screen to launch a hammer. Rage, hate, disgust and fury all come to mind as words to describe what this woman was expressing. One woman’s hate could be seen from the seats of the zombies watching. She has destroyed everything they were living for at that moment. How would they react to her hate and destruction of their reality? Peacefully?

What happens right after the hammer lands in that epic commercial? We never see the next five minutes, hours or days. Are we all watching that big screen known as “social media” and unable to look away? Or are we all watching traditional media, believing our talking heads as they spin stories until we’re dizzy and frothing with anger? In this case, is Zuck the beautiful woman launching a hammer? No way.

It is right about now that you’re wondering, how the heck is he going to fold net promoter scores into this conversation. Well, if you use them, you know they work from 1-5 and give brands a consistent, but flawed, view of how valuable their brand is to people. If someone is willing to promote your brand, share with others, and brag about it then you likely have a high positive net promoter score. The flaw: it is a positive only scale.

Are we moving to a society where a positive scale is the only one? If you’re measuring “brand love” or affinity for your experience, the net promoter score is the best standard we have, yet people do feel negative toward brands. If you’re trying to measure something on a positive scale and don’t have a negative side, you’re really not getting the whole picture. In fact, net promoter scores would lead to a society where we are all those zombies sitting in the 1984 theater of the mind. There’s no contrast, no color, no vibrancy and no hate.

So, what can you do to get a more clear picture, as a brand owner?

  1. Seek out people and partners who will feed you the truth, not just what you want to hear, because no one wants to hear the negative stuff. Go out and find truth through research techniques that go deeper than a click on a five point scale.
  2. Bend the algorithms, they were designed by us and for us, but sometimes we can’t see past the patterns. Look at the world through someone else’s social feed or even another brand—so you can see past the hype.
  3. Step back and see the larger system. Like a doctor seeing the whole person, a brand manager must conduct brand health checks. No one wants to find out they’ve got a brand illness that could have been prevented with an inexpensive wellness checkup.

Whether you leave the Facebook platform or not, the larger risk to your brand is being associated with racism, hate or messages that don’t align with your values. But this doesn’t mean we turn off our sightline to negative associations. Sometimes it is healthy to fight a cancer impacting the value of your brand.

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