If you’ve ever been at a party where someone is trying to sell you something, you’re familiar with how unsuccessful and obnoxious this tactic is. But people do it on social media EVERY DAY. There is something about not being face to face where we forget about how to communicate with people.
I’m talking about posting about their business on YOUR business’s accounts:
Consider that going onto someone’s Facebook Page, tagging them on twitter etc is like entering their store, or better yet, walking into their living room. Would you just roll out your carpet and start selling your wares right there, in THEIR space? Would you pound in a stake with your sign on it in their front yard? Never. Not if you a) wanted a relationship with them after that and b) wanted your business to succeed long-term.
So stop doing this on Facebook, Google+, twitter and wherever else you are doing it!!
Photo taken from: http://press.trustev.com
Before I show some examples, let’s talk about WHY people are doing this:
Here are some real word examples that have happened on MY accounts. I am not trying to be mean to these people at all but it is hard to show you an example if the names and Pages linked are blurred out. If your post is shown here and you want me to remove it, please leave a comment and I will remove it… only if you vow to never do this again. Really.
These are examples of what NOT to do, even if you think it is done politely, it isn’t okay.
This was posted on my Facebook Page. It started out okay – yay, she likes my blog! But then wait a minute… I shared my link in a Facebook Group for networking on a post where we were asked to share our links and then LIKE the other Pages in the list. Share the love, I am into that. It was a given that I should or would be soon liking this person’s Page if she had posted in the group and followed the rules in the link list. So the only reason to do this post was to reach my followers, not me. And given that I had 10x the followers on this Page than she has, well it was a pretty safe bet she just wanted to get her word out to my peeps. Who are crafters. Wrong tactic, wrong demographic.
Now, this one was posted on my personal profile. It was fine up until she linked to a company she was working for/I think she owns and then tagged their Page:
I want to like her. But I can’t. Because I am all kinds of confused here. Would have been better to just say, “Hey, would love to connect with you about social media since we both do that for our jobs” or something. But all I got was “like me”, “free advertising”, “I think we’re colleagues” and the truth is none of the above.
These are from one of my Facebook Pages:
Thanks for the “like”. Maybe tell me why you are sharing your Page? Like, do you think I would be interested in it? And here are some more…
A double whammy! Two in a row!
The proper way to have done this would be to just “like” my Page as their Page and leave a comment saying, “Hello”. So that brings us to, what IS the correct way to do this? And when is it okay to tag a Page or person or to post on their wall and when is it, well, “spammy”? Here are some options and the pros and cons of each:
I did a video for this company so it was totally awesome that they tagged my Page in their post. This is what tagging is for – let the other company or individual know you are sharing something about them. Then I can share it with my followers. This is how we build community. Only do this when the content actually relates to the person or Page. Like don’t go using Scotch Brand duct tape on a project and tag Duck Brand Tape because it was a duct tape project. *facepalm*
Here is a great way to give a “thank you” to someone and to share the love. On HER Page, Mothership Scrapbook Gal did a post and tagged MY Page. I see it, my people see it, it is relevant, and I can then share it (whch I did) with my Page. Leave the option up to me if I want that on my Facebook Page or timeline. This also gives HER content on HER Page – kinda brilliant!
Another way to do it would have have been to post directly on my Page as HER Page with the thank you info. But I think she did this perfectly.
If you want to post on someone’s page and you aren’t sure it is okay, just send them a private message first asking them politely for permission.
Though this still is a taste of spammy, I like what this person did. She wanted me to like her Page so she sent a private Message to my Facebook Page with her info and told me WHY she was sharing this info with me. This is the most polite way to ask someone to like your Page, business to business. Do I do it? No, it is still a bit too spammy for my taste, but this is a 100 times better than posting the same thing on my wall, to all of my followers.
This one features a product of mine so she tagged the Page for the company the product was from. Again, let’s me know the product was used, gives them content, gives me content to share and, look, I commented on it as my Page. Building community here, folks!
I joined a Facebook Group and I got this message to my personal profile. Again, this can come off as spammy but he is so darn polite I could not resist and I liked the story about the restaurant. But then a couple weeks later he wanted me to like another restaurant. I am a crafter and sometimes I blog about paleo and dieting so that is why I joined a foodie blogger group. If the restaurant is not close and we are not close friends, there is no value in me liking it. I won’t be promoting the Page (which I would if we were really friends) or visiting the restaurant (that is the end game, right?) so it is kind of silly for me to be liking all these restaurant Pages. Before you send this kind of message, consider who you are sending it to. I hesistated responding with my Facebook Page in the first place because it is largely about crafts – there is no value in him liking it, for him or for me, because he is a foodie, not crafter! And the second time he asked me to like another Page, I just unfriended him and ignored it, except for taking a screen shot for this blog post. It is sad, really!
FriendFriday or #FF or FollowFridays are great ways to connect to people on twitter. Tag your friends to give them a shout-out, like this:
Just be sure to tag people who are your friends or you have a reason to tag. For example, new friends I met at #CHAshow were tagged in a recent #FF I did after the show as a way to say “hi” and follow up with them that this is how we know each other. I might also do one a theme, for example” #Scrapbooking #FF @mothershipscrapbookgal @aliedwards @…” for all the people I want to mention who scrapbook.
Finally, if someone ASKS you to post your link, post it! Link-ups are a great way to get the word out so if you like doing them, follow Pages and accounts that do them regularly, like Where Women Create:
You can start your own version of this as well! Again, it is all abut building community. Have you done this before? What are your best tips and ideas for getting the word about your company via social media? Please share in the comments below!
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