You gotta lock that down!

Photo: iman  Credit: Ehsan Namavar
Photo: iman Credit: Ehsan Namavar

We were hanging out on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco this weekend when a small army of college kids marched through generously handing out samples of a certain well-known beverage.  Behind them was a woman with a camera taking pictures of people with their samples.  She simply asked if she could take a picture, snapped it and then walked on.

It was absolute stupidity.

Odds are that each one of these people have a Facebook account, and many have a Twitter or GPlus account.  Why wouldn’t you take the time to get someone’s account information and a release?  You could tag someone in a photo, you could post it to their wall, you could send the photo through Twitter – you could potentially increase your reach at least 13000%.  So why wouldn’t they leverage the goodwill they create with a free sample to reach a person’s social audience?

My best guess is that their strategy was that the photographed people would seek out the photos on Facebook and maybe “Like” or “Share” the photo.  That’s a lot to ask of people.

Point is, if you want to leverage a person’s social network to promote your stuff (i.e. a Facebook “Like”) – make it as easy as possible.  Do the work for them if you can.  The more complicated anything is, the less likely it will happen.

But if you’re content just to give away free stuff, shoot me a note and I’ll send you my address.


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Jim Dougherty

Jim Dougherty

Writer and chief of miscellany at
I'm the guy that wrote the article you just read. Sorry for the typos.
  • Deeone

    Hey Jim,

    You make a very valid point here. This has happened to me on numerous occasions, and I’m sure what you said about the companies thinking that patrons would rush to their website, Twitter, or Facebook page to look for their image that was taken.

    You nailed it though! Who would actually do this? It would be so much easier to take the names of those getting the samples whose images are taken and share or tag people with it. They would more than likely get more exposure, as well as keep a customer or gain a new one because of it. This seems like it would logical, but there’s a lot of companies that are steering away from using logic; and their businesses are hurting because of it. This is a basic case of Customer Service 101. Things every business owner should know. Great point, my friend. Thanks for sharing the experience and the lesson. Cheers! :)