Sometimes I can be a little annoying in my determination to do what I feel is the right thing. When it comes to getting our brand’s messaging out, I try to do so in the least annoying, least invasive, most respectful way possible. I’m so adamant about this that I’m sure the people I work with think I’m a pain in the butt because I’m so insistent we consider our community and customers’ reactions before we send out any mailing, or post any tweet or status update.
There are places I refuse to go. For example, I absolutely will not use a person’s direct or private messaging as a way to get our message out. I will fight tooth and nail if someone on our team recommends we try to use private Facebook or Twitter messaging to get people to take action. Which is why, when Sean McGinnis posted this link – One Cool Trick to Get Facebook Likes that We Love - on Facebook, I couldn’t let it go.
This advice, posted by Assist Social Media, starts out by mentioning the importance of receiving Likes on a brand’s Facebook page, but that it’s more rewarding when said Likes are earned, not bought:
These days you can buy fans, participate in liking ladders, and basically sell your soul for a little ole’ like, but there is nothing more gratifying than earning a “real” like. And there is no better way to get Facebook likes than to simply ask for them.
That doesn’t sound too bad, right? We’ve all asked our communities to give us a Like now and then.
But wait, it gets better.
The post goes on to suggest you can “earn” Likes authentically and organically by DM’ing people on Twitter, sharing a link to your brand’s Facebook page, and asking the party on the other end to Like your brand page. The author guarantees you’ll seem even more genuine if you offer to Like the other party’s page in exchange.
Nothing says, “We have a relationship” like sharing links via a Twitter auto DM.
Remember, social media is about RELATIONSHIPS. Being genuine is a must. I also like the idea of asking them if they have a page as well. It shows that you are truly interested in connecting, which you should be, not just generating likes.
” Hi, thanks for the follow. Do you have a Facebook Page as well? Here’s my link _________ what’s yours?”
If that doesn’t scream “warm and fuzzy,” well, I don’t know what does.
Learn what being personal really means
Here’s when it’s ok to auto spam all the people who follow you on Twitter to ask them to Like your Facebook page: NEVER.
Even if you’re pretending to be “genuine” by offering to Like the other person’s page in return, it’s not ok to use an automated DM to ask new (or any) followers for anything. I can assure you that if a brand thinks so little of you that their idea of getting personal is to send DM spam, they probably couldn’t care less if they like your Facebook page in return. Moreover, Liking a page just because the person who owns said page is Liking yours will only lead to a higher opt out rate later when half the community realizes they’re not really into that page in the first place.
Here are things that aren’t personal:
- Automated messages
- Automated private messages
- Form letters
- Auto follows
- Sharing links and only sharing links
- Reaching out to a person directly and using his or her name
- A handshake and a “hello” at conferences
- Doing something nice for someone without expecting anything in return
- Doing something nice for someone before asking for something in return
- Asking “how can I help you today?”
- Responding to questions
- Letting your community know they’re more important than a Like.
- Commenting on blog posts and participating in discussions.
Learn what being social really means
Look, whether it’s sales, traffic, or brand recognition, your community knows you have an end goal. They didn’t fall off the turnip truck yesterday. They know why you want them to follow you on the social networks. It’s all about the sale, and they get it. What they don’t want is for you to invade their personal space with your spammy messaging. You can sell to them as long as you don’t always look like you’re selling to them, but when you start ringing their personal doorbell you’re taking the message too far.
Internet marketers have taken the fun out of email and now they’re working on driving everyone away from the social networks with pushy messaging. If you really, truly, want to “earn” a Like, you’re not going to get it by being annoying. You’re going to get it by being respectful, personable, and, yes, personal.
Here are a few non-invasive suggestions for “earning” Facebook Likes:
- Share content people like: Most people don’t like aggressive pushy, sales oriented content. They enjoy informative blog posts, amusing images, how to videos, news, and discounts. If your Facebook page is interesting, informative, and entertaining, not only will people come back but they’ll recommend your brand page to their friends. And that’s a Like that’s well-earned.
- Publicly ask people to visit your Facebook page for updates: It’s OK to publicly refer your Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest communities to your Facebook page, but give them a reason. “For news, updates and even some fun stuff, join us on Facebook.” The messaging isn’t pushy and your community knows what they can expect when they come calling.
- Respect your community: Your community isn’t on Facebook and Twitter to receive brand updates, no matter how much you think it’s about you. They’re there to chat with friends, play games that end in “Ville,” and see the latest news. If they’re Liking your page or following you on Twitter it means they want to learn more. But once you abuse that privilege they’ll unfollow in a heartbeat. Be respectful of your community members’ privacy and online time, and they’ll continue to follow you on the social networks and recommend your brand to friends.
- Show your community where they can follow you: Share buttons and links show others where they can follow you. If you’re creating good content online, for example with a blog post, folks will want to know when you update. Show them how they can do this by placing share buttons on your content. Unlike annoying retweet and share requests, share buttons offer a gentle power of suggestion.
- Participate in other community discussions: Join other communities and talk with the people there. You’re not there to spam with links or talk about yourself all the time. However, if you’re a positive, productive member of the community offering good tips and adding to the discussion, people will want to learn more about you.
Here’s the problem with social media: everyone wants instant gratification. Instead of building up fans and traffic organically over time, which is a gradual process, everyone wants to have a million fans now. And that rarely happens. In fact, I’ll argue that it’s better to cultivate a community of fanatics that may be smaller and more targeted, than to have hundreds of thousands of people following you who won’t actually buy your stuff or read your content.
I’m done now. The bottom line? No one likes an auto DM but spammers.
Am I off base about this? Would you use a Twitter DM to gain Likes? How do you “earn” Likes for your own brand page?