Businesses pay thousands of dollars a month each to connect to Facebook users. CBC's Blair Sanderson explores why they do it, how they get users to "like" them and what the risks and benefits are to the users themselves.
According to online marketer Bessy Nikolaou of Time and Space strategic media, research shows peer to peer recommendation is much more powerful than advertising.
On the other hand, many users admit they don't really like — and sometimes aren't familiar with — the products and companies they endorse. Many simply hit the "like" button to enter contests to win vacations and other prizes.
And some, such as Facebook user Nick Bergus, warn that the consequences of interacting with brands on the social networking site can be long-lasting. Around Valentine's Day, he posted a sarcastic comment with a link to a 55-gallon barrel of personal lubricant for sale on Amazon.com.
Soon after, the comment was gone, leaving only his endorsement of the product.
"Suddenly I am recommending this 55 gallon, absurd amount of sex lube to my friends and my family and my co-workers and it's got my picture right there next to the giant blue bucket."
Bergus thinks the situation was likely the result of an automated system on Facebook, and offers revealing insight into how corporations and Facebook work together.