By: Hillel Fuld
OK, feel free to categorize this post in the filing cabinet of rants because I am writing these words out of utter frustration of watching close friends and relatives turn into full-fledged internet spammers. No, they are not trying to sell me Viagra, but they might as well be! I am talking about friends wasting my time trying to convince me to “Like” their Facebook page, which if I would oblige, would not only be completely spammy, but it would also be completely ineffective. Let’s take a step back…
While I will reference Facebook business pages throughout this post, I am not in any way implying that the very same annoyances and guidelines do not apply to tweets, shares, +1s, or any other kind of social media promotion. They do! And they all have to stop!
There is of course a direct correlation between the number of friends/followers/circles a friend has on the various platforms to the amount of requests he/she receives to promote their friends’ content.
In some cases, the request is a legitimate one. I write, tweet, and post about tech. If we are friends and you have a technology startup or have developed a truly innovative technology, feel free to ask me to “Like” it. I will be happy to in nine out of ten cases.
If, however, you sell jewelry, women’s wigs, nursing ponchos, art, or anything else not related to my interests, please PLEASE do not ask me to “Like” your page, tweet your content and share your products. “Why not? Don’t you call yourself a friend? Why can’t you help me out?” Ahh, the million dollar question I get a hundred times a day.
The answer is yes, I do consider myself a friend and no, I will not do what you are asking because your assumption is that doing so will promote your cause, it won’t!
Here is why I am being such a ____:
Let’s Think About What you’re Asking for a Second
So why do you want me to like your page or tweet your content? I am assuming it is because I have built an extensive and loyal following or network over the years. I am assuming it is because you want to drive eyeballs to your brand or win some contest by getting all my friends to like your comment or post.
So let’s break this down for a second. You want me to take this network, which I spent years building and spam them by promoting a cause, which is in no way connected to the reason they so loyally follow or read my content?
You, of course realize that when I like that page, it will then show up in the feed of all my friends, that is why you’re asking what you’re asking. Apparently, many of you have yet to figure out that when I like a page, I am not just adding a number to the likes count. I am actively promoting that brand/cause. Now if I spent my time on Facebook sharing and promoting totally random content without any goals, then I would be happy to like away.
If, however, a person either works in the field of online marketing, is trying to build an audience that will turn to him/her for expertise, or is trying to brand himself as a source of information on a certain topic, do they really want to be liking every irrelevant page sent to them by them friends, relatives, and acquaintances? Remember, by liking this page, that person is putting up a billboard on the front of their house that they endorse this product or brand. But is that the reality?
The next time you ask me to like your page, please make sure it is somewhat relevant and if not, please do not be offended when i decline your kind offer, ignore the request, or unfriend you in some extreme cases… I will leave you with the question “Don’t YOU consider yourself a friend? How can YOU ask me to spam my friends?
Thanks. Moving along…
Does it Even Work? What Will you Accomplish?
Let’s play a game. Let’s assume for a second that I am willing to promote anything you ask me to. I am willing to take advantage of my friends and followers to promote your wigs, despite my audience having zero interest in your space. Will it work?
Well, put yourself in the place of my friends. I share my articles about tech and on occasion (ok, a little more than that), I share pictures of the food I am about to inhale. You have gotten used to it by now. Five posts about tech, one post about food…
Then one day, you are minding your own business reading your Facebook feed and low and behold, Hillel Fuld liked a new and upcoming jewelry designer. What will you do? Click on the page? Like it? Or, will you ignore it knowing it is either spam (the real kind, as in my account was hacked) or me trying to promote something for a friend or family member? I don’t know about you, but I am ignoring that crap.
But, wait, there’s more. Ever hear the story of the Boy that Cried Wolf? Great. Then you know what happens when I share post after post promoting something I am being asked to. When the time comes for me to promote my own cause, my own blog posts, or my own company, you know who won’t be clicking, right?
So, not only are you not achieving your goals by asking me to like your irrelevant page, you are actually directly causing harm to my goals and preventing me from achieving them. Did I say thank you yet?
In conclusion, nothing good has ever come out of spamming your friends and family asking for likes or tweets. You might win that contest in the short-term but you are actively contributing to the deterioration of your friends’ ability to generate clicks, traffic, as well as integrity.
More importantly though, you are taking an active role in undermining the fundamental principle of social media and online marketing. Is that what you were aiming to achieve? If not, stop asking me to like your completely irrelevant Facebook page or tweet your completely irrelevant blog post. Thank you in advance.