I see businesspeople acting like they care about something when all they’re interested in is some form of payoff. The insincerity shows through.
Back when Facebook and Twitter were still young, it was understandable that people were doing these things. Everyone was figuring social media out, so we did what we were told to do.
But now, you’ve had enough time to figure out that what you’re doing is insincere and stupid. Yet, you keep doing it. So here’s my plea: Stop doing these things. Please.
Stop Demanding Reciprocation
Half of the wall posts and private messages I get on my Facebook page are something like this: I’ve just liked your Facebook page. Please like mine in return. And the poster’s industry is in no way related to mine.
I’d let it fly if this were a rare exception. But it is a common theme. It’s not, “What you’re doing really helps me. Feel free to check out my page if you’re interested in X.” The assumption is that they deserve something in return for giving me an empty like.
That may sound harsh, but understand that you aren’t helping me by liking my page. It’s insincere. I would remove all of these likes if I could. Likewise, I wouldn’t be helping you by liking yours. We’d be hurting each other.
If you have no interest in what I do, do not like my page. Likewise, I will not like your page if I have no interest in what you do. By padding numbers, all we do is increase the percentage of inactive fans, thereby killing EdgeRank.
So stop. Please stop demanding reciprocation.
Stop Trading Likes
This is connected to demanding reciprocation. People need to stop chasing the wrong numbers.
In addition to these communities that trade likes to Facebook pages, there are services that will sell likes. In both cases, you are getting negative value in return. In one, you’re actually paying for it.
Understand that the number of likes your page has is of little importance. Sure, it may help influence someone to like your page if you have thousands of likes already. That’s powerful.
But you know what isn’t powerful? Having 10,000 likes but only 20 people “talking about this.”
If your audience is dominated by empty likes — people who do not interact with your content — your EdgeRank will be punished. In the end, you’ll have a bunch of likes but absolutely nothing of substance to show for it.
So stop. Please stop buying and trading likes.
Stop Connecting Your Accounts
Didn’t we establish long ago that connecting your Twitter activity to Facebook was dumb?
The number of active Twitter users is a small fraction of the number of active Facebook users. So why in the world do you want Twitter hashtags showing up in your Facebook updates?
I see this from “influential” people more than the typical user. I’m sure their argument is that they’re too busy to manage multiple networks. That doing so would spread themselves too thin.
Then stop managing multiple networks. You can have a presence without duplicating what you do in every single place. What works on Twitter does not work on Facebook, Google Plus, etc.
This practice is insincere because you are publishing to two audiences when you really only care about one. If you cared about what your Facebook fans thought, you’d craft an update that fit them. You know, without hashtags.
So stop. Please stop connecting your accounts.
Stop Comment Baiting With Insincere Questions
How was your weekend? We’ve all seen a similar status update. It’s fine if it’s from a friend. It’s even fine if it’s from a brand with a small and close-knit audience.
What annoys me is when a person with an audience of many thousands posts this when they have no sincere interest in the answer.
But there are reasons they are asking the question. They want you to think that they care. They know you want to share your answer. And it will help their EdgeRank as a result.
My general rule of thumb is that any question I ask needs to lead to answers that will help in my research. Or if I ask a question like this, I need to actually care about the responses.
But what you’ll tend to see is the “Ask and Dash” approach. They ask it, but they don’t even stick around for the responses.
I know that the question was insincere. You know the question was insincere. The hundreds of people who spilled their guts, telling you about their weekends didn’t know it. And that’s just sad.
So stop. Please stop comment baiting with insincere questions.
Conclusion: Just Be Sincere
I think you’ll notice a common theme here: Be sincere. If writing that post, following that person or liking that page doesn’t feel right, then don’t do it. And if doing any of those insincere things doesn’t bother you, then you have no soul.
Do you agree with my list? What would you like to see brands stop doing on Facebook?
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
Guest writer Jon Loomer is the owner of the Facebook marketing consultancy JonLoomer.com.