As we have seen social media has been invading our lives and now products are being made to amplify this. I posted about the Facebook profile shower curtains a while back but now you are able to “Like” your food every time you cook! I present to you the Facebook “Like” oven-mitts. So even if your food sucks you can give it the good old Facebook thumbs up! Just another useless gag gift for your social media addicted friends. Hey you know Christmas is coming up…… :
If you are a business and you currently have a “friend” page you should most definitely convert over to a “fan” or “business” page on Facebook. I understand the allure of having a friend page because you are able to message people privately but I would suggest throwing your friend page away and getting a fan page. You are able to see valuable insights and information as to how many “likes” you have and how many people you have reached out to. These things are not offered on a friend page. Plus people who like your page can also send private messages now! So if you have not made the switch you should vary soon because Facebook has been rolling out new features to help your business out. Remember people want to like a business not be their friend.
So, I decided to sit there and give Airtime a shot and it was a rather pleasant experience. It pretty much searches through your Facebook “Likes” and Interests and finds people who have similar “Likes” and interests. I posted a video about my thoughts on this new one-on-one video network and the consensus is the same no matter who I talked to “it’s like chatroulette without the penis” but I did connect with a few cool people and had good conversations with each of them. I did find a flaw in the system when you add a contact and want to perhaps chat with them later as soon as you close out of the app it deletes the contact. Then there is the “Star Button” in which you keep pushing it and it gives someone a +1 still have no clue what this is used for. Another cool thing is that everyone is anonymous until you add him or her as a contact so this will actually keep spam down just a little. I suggest everyone tries it out but I will tell you just like Google+ was in the very beginning Airtime is a sausage-fest. Here are some screenshots below.
When you walk into a business and restaurant and you see that they are involved in Social Media and you happen to love Social Media because you are an enthusiast of it then you kind of do a little “squee”, get excited that you can engage them, and talk to them about their product or the experience you had. I know I get excited when I see a placard or sticker or something that says hey “follow us here” “like us there” you expect them to have a presence and are ready to take action. Well this is what I thought today………and then was let down completely.
Above is the picture I took at a local restaurant that is using a placard to show that they are active on Social Media and that they are giving away a free meal for people who frequent the establishment. Exciting right, I was ready to try their food and ready to come back again to get a part of this. Therefore, I go out searching for their Twitter account because that is how I prefer to communicate with businesses and this is all I get.
Yeah no account has been made! So I chalk it up to perhaps they are a little behind so then I check the next source foursquare and now they have to use some sort of check-in metric to see how many people have checked-in for a free meal and this is what I find here.
Some good reviews and I do not think anyone has claimed it because it is still very generic. So once again disappointed. Next, we move onto the ever-popular Facebook. Sure enough, I get this crap!
Yes, a friend page…seems like someone sold them on Social Media and has not told them the importance of a brand page and how it could help their business. So now, I have to add them as a friend? Well sorry I would rather not. I am not here to be a friend of a your business I am here to “like” it and so far the experience has been rather lack luster.
Now I am not going to say the food was bad. It was pretty ok for the price I paid. But what was truly disappointing was the fact that they had a rewards plan in place to reward people for continued patronage and yet have no way of measuring it. Nor do they have any way of truly interacting. So, let this be a lesson to any business that wants to delve into the world of Social Media. Come up with a well made plan, offer some deals, talk with people, engage, and least of all start-up the damned accounts don’t leave people searching for something that is not there.
Ok when you are involved in social media marketing you try hard to find those “brand ambassadors” the ones who share content, tweet about you, “like” your photo’s and posts, Retweet, and comment on your blog. Businesses spend great amounts of money for marketing (inbound) agencies to recognize these people.
These “brand ambassadors’ are truly vital for a company. They are the ones who influence their friends and the people who “follow” and “like” them. These people are invaluable and they need to be recognized.
Well upon posting a photo to Facebook’s awesome Timeline (sarcasm) for a company that I work for I noticed something that I did not like. When the photo was shared I was only able to see only the “friends” of mine who have shared this photo on their own page. This is a major problem amongst businesses who want to find those people who promote the business. Granted their analytics have improved and I know you can see who has commented and “liked” the post but sharing is much bigger. Sharing on their wall something your business has posted reaches far greater the amount of people over liking and commenting. So the inability to see which particular people shared your post, photo, video, contest, or anything is truly taking away an aspect of marketing that a business strives to have. Like I said above businesses pay lots of money to find out who their brand ambassoders are and Facebook has stripped that away.
I truly believe that Facebook has become rather business unfriendly in favor of selling its soul to its own adspace. They want businesses to buy their ads and promise “premium” adspace and can deliver results. They no longer want a business to market themselves and they call tell businesses to tell a “story” as if people care. I am not saying that Facebook is still not valid for businesses and that businesses cannot market on Facebook. I am only saying Facebook has not truly been business friendly from the beginning and I feel because of this they will be missing out on something greater. They had a great “check in” type program for business that should have been expanded and promoted. I knew a lot of businesses that would have used that over “foursquare” or “groupon.” They dropped that option to go for the Google method and that is “ads” overall.
I do like some of the aspects of Timeline and I feel they can be utilized properly to market any business but I still feel that Facebook is not business friendly. Not yet anyways.
Therefore, you have decided to delve into the world of social media. You have spent many hours listening and watching webinars, reading articles from socialmediaexaminer.com and Mashable. You may have even hired on a Social Media professional to help you out with your SEO and how to start a conversation online and be relevant in the online community. Your business has started to gain followers and likes and now you have come to a head. Things are slowing down and now you are asking yourself why did I spend all this time and money on something that is not bringing you instant ROI? You start to reconsider what you are doing and what you have learned about how to be a relevant business/brand/company on Social Media. Then you start Google searching other methods. You have now succumbed to the “Dark-side” of Social Media. You are now turning from a great company with conversation and content to one of cheap tricks to get a desired result of short-term satisfaction. These tricks are frowned upon in the Social Media marketing community.
Now this one is not so much frowned upon since it has been used by mom n’ pop shops all the way to big corporations. Like gating will not give you a bad name or a black eye but it still breaks the social media law of conversation and content. This simple trick is used mainly on Facebook in which people will “Like” a comment/picture/video and whoever has the most will win. People will hustle all over their own Facebook page and tell friends and family to go and “like” whatever they have entered in. This is pretty powerful considering all of the new likes a your business will get thus making your reach just that much further. This is used to get many people to visit and like your business/brand page quickly in order for you to talk to a greater amount of people. But with the new changes with Facebook and the “timeline” it seems that “Like” gating is a thing of the past and has now been replaced in which a business needs to “tell a story.” There are ways around this and you can still “Like” gate but it has become a little harder now.
This little trick has not caught on as much but I have seen a few companies use this. Businesses/brands/companies will go out of their way to follow as many people on Twitter as possible. Using the Wal-Mart method (also known as the numbers game) they will add thousands of people at a time and most people will follow back not knowing what they are actually doing because well one good turn deserves another. Now this trick is very simple and well it can be very effective when all that matters is how many people have been reached. So, as soon as the business/brand/company follows you and you follow them back within a month or two you will see the business re-follow you. I have thought to myself hmmmm I thought they were already following me but I guess I was wrong. This trick uses the automatic alerts you have set. So if you get an email per new follower or an app update that flashes who has followed you then their job is done. If you had no need for their services or product at that particular time perhaps, you will in a month or so. When you are playing the numbers game, you will end up finding someone who will buy into it. This trick is underhanded because it relies heavily on auto-follow apps.
I came across this particular type of trick in my own town. Now at first glance “Marketing associate” seems like a very nice title and one would want to put that on their resume. However, the business that hires these “associates” has a different motive. These associates are hired to do one thing. That is to farm friends on Facebook. They are told to add as many people as possible. Typically, these women are doing this. They will add hundreds of people on their Facebook only to send out an event invite and add everyone on their friends list to the event. A business or club stays relevant in the public eyes by having people who are “friends” with these people bombarded them with event invites every weekend. Once again, playing the Wal-Mart method and going for the masses of people. Because if they see one of their friends are going to whatever gig or event is going on then they will be more likely to go. Now this is true if you know friends are going to an event you are more likely to go. However, this also sacrifices the people’s friendships and reputation online in order to claim that they are helping “Market.”
Love then Leave
Now this one bothers me more so than the others do. This one actually takes more effort on the business/brand/person’s part. This is mainly a Twitter trick in order for you to follow a particular business/brand/blog. Therefore, at first, you will make conversation and it will be good and non-scripted. They soon send follow you and then you feel good because that is someone who wants to see what you have to say and find you to be a relevant person to them and they value you opinion. So the conversation keeps going. You soon realize hey I want to follow them as well so you hit the “Follow” button and sure enough within minutes, you are hit with a DM. Now you realize oh perhaps it is a personal message of thanks for following then you open it and realize that you have been taken in hook line and sinker. You have now been left with “Social Media Blue Balls” you have been shown some love and you have given some SM Love in return to find out that was all they wanted. You have been left with zero satisfaction and you were nothing more than a ploy to get you to buy their new “100% effective” this and “check out my eBook” that. Just another sales pitch to get you to buy whatever crap they are slinging! Then you are never to hear from them again. They only respond very little now and the original appeal and conversation is lost because they blew their Social Media load into your DM and now they are gone.
These are only a few of the dirty tricks used by some Marketing agencies, businesses, brands, companies to by pass the basic form of Social Media which is to be “SOCIAL.” These tricks are used in place of people who want short-term effects and who do not have the sight to see the future of what is to come. Social Media is not a passing fad it is here to stay and the only passing fads are the stupid tricks people use in order to get crap results. Sure, it looks good on analytics and such to see spikes but that is not the purpose. If you have found your business or brand to be using any of these tricks with the exception of “Like gating” then you should be ashamed! There is redemption and that is to gain the trust of your followers and your liker’s and provide quality conversation and content. With this, you will outlast all of these crap tricks and you will be a relevant business who will make it past these hard economic times!