The following is a guest post by Jeandre Gerber. Scroll down the post for the author’s bio.
Sometimes I think of Social Media as the High School of the Internet. Nobody really knows what’s going on and your reputation/social perception is what defines your popularity. I’ve seen some seriously big brands in my day make some serious rookie mistakes when it comes to Social Media Branding.
The biggest mistake by far that I have seen comes over as a desperate attempt to obtain likes and shares, plusses, retweets and the works. Let’s look at a few Examples below;
- “Hey folks, LIKE & SHARE this if you Agree that people should be treated equally” – If you try to emotionally blackmail your users into liking and sharing something you’re not going to obtain the response you are looking for. Yes People should be treated equally but I believe that regardless of whether I should LIKE & SHARE. Instead why don’t you go out on a ledge and actually make a statement. Maybe something more like this; “In a time when we have the ability to travel to space we still struggle with treating our fellow man as equals!”
- Like, Share or Comment “Command” – Once again you fall into the emotional blackmail side of things but more importantly you are trying to condition your user by “instructing them”. Social Media is a place where you surf, it’s the place where you are king and to have someone tell you what to do is kind of rude.
- Let’s see if we can reach “X” likes – Facebook doesn’t allow brands to use “likes” as a voting tactic in contests. This doesn’t mean that people don’t go out and simply do it anyway but let’s be honest here for a second, whenever those appear on your feed don’t you just want to skip right over it? Some people have had success in this strategy but it doesn’t work for everyone and when it fails…it fails hard. But the bottom line is to not attempt this whatsoever.
I’m only providing a basic idea of what “not to do” in terms of branding. Whenever you “ask for likes” or “pressure people passively” for likes you will find that;
a) You are being perceived as “desperate for likes”
b) You are cheapening your brand integrity
Most people in life are followers. People are seeking for some strong figures to follow, to help them define their own “identity”. A Brand that is asking for likes like a desperate prostitute will not be perceived as a “strong” brand.
In the first example you can see a simple change in message structure creates an “impulse to like and share” as opposed to a “petition to like and share.” If the user agrees with the statement he/she will like and if it is something that helps define their own identity they’ll want to pop it right on their own feeds.
If you want to have a brand that influences, a brand that is considered an authority you can’t act like a “like beggar” hoping to one day obtain some momentum. Be strong, be the king and create content that reflects your brand’s voice and identity and soon enough the likes and exposure will come.
With more than ten years working with artists, small businesses, organizations and Fortune 500 Companies including Sony, Corona and TAG strategic, Jeandre Gerber has first-hand experience with building and marketing brands from idea to reality. Currently Jeandre continues to manage several large social media accounts and caters to an ever-expanding global audience.