ReTweets. Likes. +1s. We talk about these things as the currency of meaningful social engagement. But seriously, can't we recognize a one-night stand when we see one anymore?

If we insist that the holy grail of social marketing is to create meaningful relationships, why is it we insist on reducing these relationships to the most tawdry and meaningless metrics? We used to call Likes, "Hand-Raisers." These were the folks who said, "Sure, communicate with me." But we never concluded they were advocates and never assumed them to have brand affinity. They were just interested parties. They were leads.

So going back to my original metaphor, a Like or a ReTweet is simply someone saying, "Buy me a drink, sailor?" It's not a relationship. It's a hookup.

...the real relationship and engagement happens after the Like.

The reason I belabor this is because too often we forget that the real relationship and engagement happens after the Like. It's the dance of finding out stuff about each other. It's the long conversations and special surprises and unforgettable times together. It's knowing the other party cares about who I am and what I feel. It's a feeling of safety and trust. The Like is just the tip of that iceberg.

When your strategy is to "get Likes," without thinking what to do with those Likes after you get them, you're essentially building a little black book of folks who you can hit up later for some hot sales. And just like with dating, you're going to get rejected more often than not. Most people have more self-respect than that. They're looking for brand love. While most brands just want to...

...well, you get the picture.

In all seriousness, though, if you're initiating a social program you need to think about the entire process, not just the Likes. Likes are meaningless without the hard work of relationship building, and until we understand this and embrace it, we're going to continue to be disappointed in our social life. And there's nothing sadder than love lost.

Campfire is revamping Harley-Davidson's US Facebook presence to give an exciting online destination to one of the oldest "social" networks on the road, Harley-Davidson owners. This week we launched our first program, the Harley-Davidson® Rideline. It's a Facebook App with the signature look and feel of riding a Harley-Davidson bike, that acts as a personalized timeline and shows how millions of Harley-Davidson owners' lives are intertwined with the iconic motorcycle company's past, present and future.

View The Harley-Davidson Rideline »

Mike Monello, Campfire's ECD, just wrapped up a presentation at Digital Storytelling X.1 in Toronto on June 20.

Here are his next speaking engagements:

Internet Research 12.0
on the topic "Performance and Participating" in Seattle October 10-13.

Storyworld Conference
San Francisco, Oct 31st–Nov 2.

More events are TBA. If you'll be attending or are in the neighborhood, let us know and we'd love to meet up.

Sparks: Glowing Bits of Throught-Starting Goodness

An Emphasis On Problem-Finding

Instead of stressing over solutions and algorithms, the creators of Instagram believe the tough part is identifying the right problems to solve.

Raise That Pulse, Share That Link


What prompts people to share information? New research suggests catalysts can include anxiety, amusement – or even a brisk walk.

Sports Trading Cards (Evolve?) With Embedded Video

Do you want your trading cards to be purely collectable or have more entertainment value? Here, Blake Griffin sees himself as a guinea pig near the 2-minute mark.

Magnotes: A Social Annotations Concept for iPad


See Jamie Oliver's doodles and corrections to recipes while reading Gourmet Magazine, or mark it up yourself and share your notes with this Sharpie concept app.

Want to know more?

If you've stumbled on to this newsletter and you're not currently a client of Campfire, we'd love to hear from you. Shoot Simone Oppenheimer an email – she loves to talk new business. Rather hear a friendly voice? Give Simone a call at 646.837.0337.


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