What does TMJ4 have to do for you to “like” it on Facebook? Pay your rent for a year? Fine.
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If you spend any amount of time partaking in the great national pastime known as Facebook, you’ve likely encountered businesses asking their “fans” to go through a ridiculous number of steps to ensure that their posts are being seen. These well-meaning pleas usually begin with something like “It’s come to our attention that some of you may not be seeing all our great posts…” and typically end with a series of elaborate instructions that in no way sidestep Facebook’s questionable policy of showing you only what it thinks you want to see. After all, why should you see updates from sources you choose to see updates from? This ain’t Livejournal, Sally. So the question remains: How can businesses better reach their existing fans on the ubiquitous social media platform? And how can they convince you, the possible future “fan,” to click the mythic “Like” button?
By just going ahead and paying your goddamn rent, that’s how. Earlier today, local media outlet TMJ4 rolled out its highly touted “Live Free And Clear For A Year” contest, a contest that dangles the carrot of a year’s worth of rent or mortgage payments above the head of any resident of Sheboygan, Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, Jefferson, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine, or Kenosha counties. And hey, all you have to do is “like” TMJ4 on Facebook! And register your name and email address on TMJ4’s Facebook page every day for the next week!
Yes, the grand prize of a year’s worth of rent or mortgage payments (up to $1,500 a month, or $18,000 for the year) seems to be legit, but the hoops that potential freeloading entrants have to jump through seem both bizarre and arbitrary. Here are just a few selections from the contest’s official rules:
• To enter the contest the user must “like” the WTMJ-TV Facebook page, and enter their First Name, Last Name, and a valid email Address. Upon clicking “submit entry” the entry to the contest is recorded. Following entry into the Contest, you may receive additional entries by referring a friend to enter the Contest through any or all of the following tools: Facebook Share, Facebook Invite, and Facebook Tweet.
• Each day of the contest, a daily winner will be selected in a random drawing from all eligible entries received on the specified day as of 4:00pm Central Time, unless otherwise specified on the entry page. Drawings will take place after 4:00pm Central Time daily. In order to participate, you must re-register every day of the contest.
• In order to participate, you must already have a FACEBOOK page of your own or sign up for one when prompted. THERE IS NO OTHER WAY TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS CONTEST.
Okay, so maybe typing your name and email address for a shot at $18,000 isn’t all that excessive, but shelling out $18,000 in order to pick up a few Facebook fans is. (Especially when your Facebook posts consist of garbage like “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, a possible UFO drifts over Denver. Are you a believer? Comment here and let us know!”) So what’s next for TMJ4? Offering to pick up your groceries for a follow on Twitter? A deep-tissue massage from John Malan for a positive Google+ comment? Giving away a free iPad 2? (Oh, wait.) Please “like” us on Facebook for your chance to find out.