“Like and share this!”. How about no?

Just to make it clear, not attacking anyone in particular, it’s merely a rant at the quantity-seeking mentality that still prevails on social media which tends to frustrate me. I do not see myself as an expert on social media matters as it is a relatively new field and its usage is very subjective and varies from one person to another, but I do spend a lot of time online and I am sharing my opinion (and criticism) of this ‘phenomena’.

Here goes, how many times have you been asked by friends, family colleagues, acquaintances, friends of friends, aliens etc. to like, share, follow, tweet about, retweet, and/or double tap something on social media? Probably more often than you can remember

Now, here is the part that irks me, when I ask why should I like/retweet/whatever, and the response that comes is ‘to get more people to like/follow the page’ and that’s it, which is a very short-sighted and shallow objective.

I will give a hypothetical example which is not far off reality. Let’s say someone tags you or asks you to like and share a Facebook page of a restaurant that is in a country that you have only been to once, and one that you are unlikely to visit again anytime soon or a service provider or a product that you do not even use personally for whatever reason. Let’s assume you do end up liking the page and share it with your friends (Let’s also assume that your friends are somewhat similar to you). What happens next? What benefit would the page and its admin gain from getting a bunch of likes by people who are in all fairness useless to you and have no positive (or any) impact on your restaurant/services/product. We would just be stupid, meaningless numbers on your page. Social media is NOT a popularity contest. If numbers meant anything, Justin Bieber would be the best ‘musician’ at the moment, no, he’d be the best musician EVER.

But hey, having said all that, if you do get such likes from your friends you would have a few more likes on your page so it will definitely make you and your page look good, right? Not necessarily. It just means that you have more people who couldn’t give two hoots about your page. Another thing to note is that with these pages, the content (posts) sometimes happens to be too dull, typical and even cringe-worthy in some cases, and that is assuming there is any content whatsoever (Yes, some would ask you to follow their pages and they would have no information whatsoever on the page and no content, and of course the customary noobish Twitter eggs with a handful of tweets if they have a Twitter account)

So, after bashing the ‘like and fellow’ ilk, what do I think should be done instead? I’d say focusing more on quality rather than useless quantity of fans/likes/followers/etc., focusing on content and on how you can portray whatever it is that you are portraying/promoting/talking about well and to focus on creating a unique identity with your content rather than just focusing on getting numbers. If you want to increase the awareness, do it via proper engagement and relevant engagement to your actual fans, not with a bunch of people who do not relate to your page and only obliged to do it as a personal favor or for no reason at all. Another thing worth keeping in mind is that you need to keep in mind the bigger picture and what you want to achieve long term, garnering likes/followers/etc. is not the be all and end all. If you have fans who are relevant to your brand/page who genuinely like what you post and/or your products and services then work on them! You don’t need them to ‘like’ you, they already do!

Ps. Speaking of online activity and liking/sharing as a personal favor, a funny thing happened a few weeks ago when a friend of a friend posted online about some new café or restaurant (don’t recall what it was, does not matter though) and the person was waxing lyrical about it and how awesome it is. Turns out that the unbelievably awesome place was not even operational yet, and that person in question was creating hype about it because they knew the owner.

Rant over. Expect other rants soon