Do your followers and FB friends trust you? Or are you handing out candy like a soccer mom on Halloween?
I have long been an integrity-driven social media envoy. I don’t like your fan page just so you can reach 500 friends or because you have a bet with another writer. I won’t tweet your book if I haven’t read it (or if I didn’t like it).
I share blogs that I find helpful, inspiring, and insightful, not because I made a deal with the blogger. I tweet books and blogs I have read, not because someone said, “I’ll tweet your blog if you tweet by book.”
So, do people trust you? Or do they look at your list of tweets and see you promoting 50 books every tweet cycle?
I drew a line in the sand quite some time ago.
Is it time for you to draw a line in the sand?
Don’t be a Social Media Mercenary, by Therese Pope, Zenful Communications
I’m a fan of seasoned marketer and entrepreneur, Seth Godin. I like how he weaves an inspirational message in between the lines of his articles. Seth wrote an interesting article this week that focused on the dangers of “trading favors” when it comes to social media. This paragraph especially caught my eye:
“The problem occurs when the trading of favors become mercenary, when alert individuals start manipulating the system for personal gain. Suddenly, every favor is suspect, measured and not at all generous. Suddenly all the likes and links and blurbs become nothing but currency, not the honest appraisals of people we can trust. It means that bystanders have trouble telling the difference between honest approval and the mere mutual shilling of traded favors.”
He brings up a great point. Social media brings out the “mercenary” in people. Do your followers REALLY like your blog? Are fans just “liking” your page because they want to win an iPad?
For small businesses or anyone who sells a product or service online, take Seth’s words to heart. Before you retweet or like, think about your intention BEFORE you click the button. Social media has turned into a popularity contest…”how many likes do you have?” And do 500 likes on your Facebook page really mean anything at the end of the day?
Before you start begging people to like your Facebook page or follow your blog, think about Seth’s message of trading favors. Social media is about helping other people, and sharing information without asking anything in return. My advice for 2012: don’t be a “mercenary” on your social media networks. Don’t go into social media thinking that people owe you a favor, because they don’t. An aggressive “me-me” approach won’t get you far with your marketing…or your online reputation.
About Therese Pope, Zenful Communications
Therese Pope is a digital media buzz-icist, copywriter and owner of Zenful Communications, a boutique marketing communications company in northern California. She helps small businesses and book authors create a positive online buzz around their brands. Her specialty areas include: buzz marketing/social media campaigns, content marketing, and online reputation management. She frequently contributes online reputation tips for The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur and Carol Roth’s Business Unplugged™ blog.
See also Wendy Reis’ Like Fests – Real Value or a Shade Dishonest?
Opening photo – Mensatic via PhotoBucket