OnStar Launches Facebook 'Like' Campaign And Brings Fair Use Into Question

November 1, 2010
Facebook and OnStar logos

Facebook and OnStar logos

OnStar announced today that they will donate $1 to the Fraternal Order of Police Foundation (FOP) for every "like" OnStar gets on Facebook. The target goal is a lofty $250,000 donation, though it is starting off with a $40,000 donation to cover the current Facebook fans. In essence, OnStars fan page will have to gain 210,000 more fans to reach this goal. 

The topic of what is a fan really worth has been visited before. In this case, OnStar is almost literally putting a $1 price tag on a Facebook fan. While many studies have shown data that Facebook fans are worth well more then $1, Facebook fans might ask is this bribery? But who's really bribing who?

If you tell a person that you will donate $1 to a good cause just for becoming your fan, most sane people would click "like". It really only takes one click and they are not thinking about the fact that you will now be in their newsfeed every time an update is posted to the fan page. 

Then again, the argument could be made that it is a great cause and many of the people will enjoy being a fan on the fan page. They might not have become a fan without the promotion, but in the end they are happy. So bribe or not, there is really no harm, no foul.

Could OnStar have just made the donation without involving the Facebook fan page? Sure, it could have written a check, put out a press release and called it a day. Though, in that scenario it did not get the public involved in the whole process, nor did it gain any Facebook fans.

Let's not forget that publicity in that scenario would not last throughout the month of November.

At the end of the day, is OnStar fairly using the system we have created, or is it just working the system without people noticing? Let us know what you think in the the comments.

[General Motors]

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