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By mgieva • September 22, 2011

Facebook Marketing Gone Wrong

You know a company isn't doing Facebook marketing right when someone else clicks the "Like" button on your behalf. It's actually surprisingly invasive and upsetting. Or at least that's how it felt when it happened to me.

Earlier this summer, I had the chance to attend Identity Fest, an electronic music festival sponsored by a whole bunch of popular brands, among which Skullcandy, Rockstar Energy Drink and Heineken. These companies were trying to attract the attention of the audience in different ways--by giving out free stuff, displaying large posters near the stage and placing their logos all over the place.

There were also a lot of booths, but my friends and I were instantly drawn to one that was promoting the movie "Our Idiot Brother." The two promo girls inside were busy. They were offering folks the opportunity to get their photo taken against, what I assume was, a movie-related backdrop. You could put some accessories on and make faces at the camera. It seemed fun! What is more, after the photo was taken, you could post it on Facebook, thus making sure all your absent friends regretted not being there. ;-)

So we went for it. After our picture was taken, and we laughed over our ridiculous poses and faces, we got a little bit upset. Using an iPad, we posted the picture on Facebook but were strictly guided by one of the girls (the other one was busy taking other people's photos).

"So you can post it on your Wall," she told me. "And then if you could just 'Like' our page, that would be great," she added.

I had posted it on my Wall, which was my original intention, but I hesitated to "Like" their page. I hadn't seen their movie. What if I didn't actually like it? I am not going to lie to my friends, family and co-workers.

While these thoughts were running through my head, the lady rushed to press the "Like" button for me. It's not a big deal, one would think, but for some reason I felt exploited. I knew that the first thing I was going to do once I got home was to un-Like their page. And guess what, I don't want to watch their movie at all.

In this case, the border between creative and obtrusive marketing seemed pretty thin. Have you had similar experiences with Facebook?