For the Love of God, Stop Asking Me to Like your Completely Irrelevant Facebook Page

Share this:

By: Hillel Fuld

OK, feel free to categorize this post in the filing cabinet of rants because I am writing these words out of utter frustration of watching close friends and relatives turn into full-fledged internet spammers. No, they are not trying to sell me Viagra, but they might as well be! I am talking about friends wasting my time trying to convince me to “Like” their Facebook page, which if I would oblige, would not only be completely spammy, but it would also be completely ineffective. Let’s take a step back…

While I will reference Facebook business pages throughout this post, I am not in any way implying that the very same annoyances and guidelines do not apply to tweets, shares, +1s, or any other kind of social media promotion. They do! And they all have to stop!

There is of course a direct correlation between the number of friends/followers/circles a friend has on the various platforms to the amount of requests he/she receives to promote their friends’ content.

In some cases, the request is a legitimate one. I write, tweet, and post about tech. If we are friends and you have a technology startup or have developed a truly innovative technology, feel free to ask me to “Like” it. I will be happy to in nine out of ten cases.

If, however, you sell jewelry, women’s wigs, nursing ponchos, art, or anything else not related to my interests, please PLEASE do not ask me to “Like” your page, tweet your content and share your products. “Why not? Don’t you call yourself a friend? Why can’t you help me out?” Ahh, the million dollar question I get a hundred times a day.

The answer is yes, I do consider myself a friend and no, I will not do what you are asking because your assumption is that doing so will promote your cause, it won’t!

Here is why I am being such a ____:

 Let’s Think About What you’re Asking for a Second

So why do you want me to like your page or tweet your content? I am assuming it is because I have built an extensive and loyal following or network over the years. I am assuming it is because you want to drive eyeballs to your brand or win some contest by getting all my friends to like your comment or post.

So let’s break this down for a second. You want me to take this network, which I spent years building and spam them by promoting a cause, which is in no way connected to the reason they so loyally follow or read my content?

You, of course realize that when I like that page, it will then show up in the feed of all my friends, that is why you’re asking what you’re asking. Apparently, many of you have yet to figure out that when I like a page, I am not just adding a number to the likes count. I am actively promoting that brand/cause. Now if I spent my time on Facebook sharing and promoting totally random content without any goals, then I would be happy to like away.

If, however, a person either works in the field of online marketing, is trying to build an audience that will turn to him/her for expertise, or is trying to brand himself as a source of information on a certain topic, do they really want to be liking every irrelevant page sent to them by them friends, relatives, and acquaintances? Remember, by liking this page, that person is putting up a billboard on the front of their house that they endorse this product or brand. But is that the reality?

The next time you ask me to like your page, please make sure it is somewhat relevant and if not, please do not be offended when i decline your kind offer, ignore the request, or unfriend you in some extreme cases… I will leave you with the question “Don’t YOU consider yourself a friend? How can YOU ask me to spam my friends?

Thanks. Moving along…

Does it Even Work? What Will you Accomplish?

Let’s play a game. Let’s assume for a second that I am willing to promote anything you ask me to. I am willing to take advantage of my friends and followers to promote your wigs, despite my audience having zero interest in your space. Will it work?

Well, put yourself in the place of my friends. I share my articles about tech and on occasion (ok, a little more than that), I share pictures of the food I am about to inhale. You have gotten used to it by now. Five posts about tech, one post about food…

Then one day, you are minding your own business reading your Facebook feed and low and behold, Hillel Fuld liked a new and upcoming jewelry designer. What will you do? Click on the page? Like it? Or, will you ignore it knowing it is either spam (the real kind, as in my account was hacked) or me trying to promote something for a friend or family member? I don’t know about you, but I am ignoring that crap.

But, wait, there’s more. Ever hear the story of the Boy that Cried Wolf? Great. Then you know what happens when I share post after post promoting something I am being asked to. When the time comes for me to promote my own cause, my own blog posts, or my own company, you know who won’t be clicking, right?

So, not only are you not achieving your goals by asking me to like your irrelevant page, you are actually directly causing harm to my goals and preventing me from achieving them. Did I say thank you yet?

In conclusion, nothing good has ever come out of spamming your friends and family asking for likes or tweets. You might win that contest in the short-term but you are actively contributing to the deterioration of your friends’ ability to generate clicks, traffic, as well as integrity.

More importantly though, you are taking an active role in undermining the fundamental principle of social media and online marketing. Is that what you were aiming to achieve? If not, stop asking me to like your completely irrelevant Facebook page or tweet your completely irrelevant blog post. Thank you in advance.


Share this:
 

hilzfuld

Hillel is Co Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at ZCast, a company taking on the pain of modern audio broadcasting. Hillel also blogs for many influential sites including TechCrunch, Mashable, The Next Web, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, Venturebeat, and others. Additionally, Hillel mentors startups across Israel in different accelerators including The Google Launchpad, the Microsoft Ventures accelerator, Techstars, The Junction, and more. Hillel has been named Israel's top marketer, has been featured on CNBC, Forbes, and many others and was recently added by Google to its marketing experts program. You can find and talk to Hillel on Twitter. He is @Hilzfuld.

 
  • Rose

    Well, I ask you this one question. What exactly did you do in the beginning to build your loyal and extensive following? Perhaps a little education to your friends and others that are asking are doing so because they think that is what ‘networking’ is all about. I would follow you because you have “Techy” interests, but they are not the only interests I have. So, what would be so wrong if you said something like.. Hey, a friend of mine is trying to…….. would you please take a minute of your time and see if its something you are interested in. I would do that for a friend. Isnt that how this country was built? There are a number of commercials during a TV show that I am NOT interested in. I dont stop watching the SHOW, I just don’t watch THAT AD.
    Most humans still have a mind of their own and can make their own decisions on what interests them and what doesnt.
    But I happen to disagree with you about some of what you said. Most is very true, but the quote “it takes a village” isnt so far fetched.

    Again, I am not sure how you built your loyal and extensive following, and KUDOS to you for your efforts. Perhaps a FRIEND deserves some of your knowledge in lieu of a “defriend” or just being ignored. Perhaps they are counting on you to assist them in their endeavor as maybe they did for you way back when.

    This is just my opinion and I am very new to the social networking via internet thing. However I am 50 years old and have had many a flyer put on my car window, or placed stratigically in my mail and have also received magazines from companies that I never ordered from. I can either toss those or look at those. Statistic show that out of 100, 30 will look and 10 will buy. Not too bad, its the basic fundamental way of getting yourself started on a low budget.

    I look forward to reading your posts/rants/information and also wouldnt mind if you shared a link or two that is completely unrelated to what you do.

    People are kinder than you think. Its just that the unkind ones make the most noise and unfortunately they are the ones being heard.

    Be Good ~ Be Well ~ Be Hapy
    Ranty Rose

    • Thanks for the comment and you raise some valid points. There is nothing wrong with sharing a relevant page that interests a friend and asking them to check it out. As mentioned in the post, the issue is trying to accumulate likes by spamming and asking friends who are NOT interested to like it. Yes, I can decline but getting 100 of these messages a day can get pretty annoying. How did I build up my network? It has taken me more than four years of intense networking to get where I am and I never once asked for a like. What I did do was offer value. More on that in this Facebook post.:
      http://www.facebook.com/hillelfuld/posts/10151264407470377
      I have been writing blog posts for three years (value) every single day and sharing them. People can choose to read or not, but I never ever spammed anyone with requests to pass along my posts. Wrote about my blogging experience here. http://technmarketing.com/2012/01/why-every-human-being-should-have-a-blog-yes-even-you/

    • Rose, while you raise some good points, I think that we shouldn’t lose focus of the post’s main message, which for me is: relationships and interactions in social media mirror those in real life. What doesn’t seem genuine at a networking function or wouldn’t merit a telephone call (either because you’d be embarrassed or because you wouldn’t want to waste their time), shouldn’t be done over social media, as well.

      While the post sounds pretty negative, it is actually quite constructive and contains advice that I would recommend to any newcomer to social media: spamming (in any of its forms) can damage both personal reputation and an organization’s branding.

      Additionally, you can take comfort knowing that this Like phenomenon isn’t just among new users. I have seen many veterans and people who-should-have-known-better begging for similar type of Likes.

      Unfortunately, people think that new tools relegate older norms of courtesy and conduct as no longer relevant.

      As someone working in the nonprofit sector, I can attest to a similar phenomenon that reared its ugly head about two-and-a-half years ago with contests that were popping up like wildfire all over the internet. (if you’re reading this and have run out of things to watch on Youtube or if your BitTorrent client is on the fritz, you can read my take, “Rate My Nonprofit! Why Online Contests aren’t Worth the Click”).

      Hillel, thanks for the wake-call.

  • Yeah, I bookmarked this badboy. I’m going to forward it to every person who asks me that every week. Brilliant. And, just for the record, I’ve never once asked for a “like” either. It’s ironic to me that the people who have never asked seem to have the most. Go figure. 🙂

    • I wish I could bookmark a comment cuz the great Diana Adams just commented on my blog!!! Whaaaa? Wow, just wow. Thanks D, appreciate it! 🙂

  • How about ‘liking’ a very relevant website- about a topic nobody likes!
    http://ShivaConnect.com is a free resource to help Jewish mourners at a most difficult time. It features an innovative new technology- a ‘Shiva Registry’ to announce a loss, provide funeral & shiva details, coordinate food and make memorial donations. Check it out…

  • SOMETIMES, and this is on a VERY rare occasion, I will see a fan page that a friend has liked and I’ll like it as well. But that is like, a once a year kinda thing.

    Other than that, I am right there with you. I can’t STAND being asked to directly like a page or share some content. In fact, this just happened to me yesterday. I had commented on someone’s post, they commented on mine and then we followed each other on Twitter.

    Yay.

    But it didn’t stop there. The very next day he tweets me and says, “Hey, can you share & comment on my story?”

    …Wtf. Why? If I want to share or comment on your story then I sure will.

    There comes a point when ‘call to action’ gets extremely distorted and ends up being completely spammy.

  • An impressive share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing somewhat analysis on this. And he in fact purchased me breakfast as a result of I discovered it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the deal with! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to discuss this, I really feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If attainable, as you grow to be expertise, would you thoughts updating your blog with more particulars? It is highly useful for me. Large thumb up for this weblog submit!

  • Great information. It’s really useful. Thanks

  • SeattleMing

    Good discussion. When I click “Like” in Facebook, I have certain interest to follow some aspects of the indivdiual / business / website / link. I would like to treat it as bookmark. However when that page generates too much postings, many of those are not relevant to me (or I don’t have time to follow, since I only check my Facebook about once a day), it becomes spamming. Yesterday I followed a twitter DM to “like” a public figure’s Facebook page. WIthin hours my Facebook feed is flooded that I had to quickly “dislike”. The function I would like is to show interest in “like” but opt in/out of the feeds selectively based on individual situation (or even by topic list).

  • Jeffrey Gamss

    Hillel, it’s time for you to split your online personality between tech (business) related stuff and other (personal) related stuff. That way you could like away and keep all your personal social contacts happy without interfering with your better professional technical persona. hilzfuld can be the technical one, and likeeverythingtoannoyfriends could be your personal one.

  • Hi Hillel,
    Great post, but I think it might come off as a bit harsh, especially for the folks that are newer to the online marketing/social media universe. I find that that field is like marriage—the more you are in it, the more you learn about yourself- but you also realize that you have so much more to learn!

    I’ve had people say to me that they WANT me to ask them to like posts/pages etc. They don’t mind putting that “billboard” in their yard because they simply want to help or they genuinely see the value of helping someone newer in the market get their product or service out there. Getting in “on the ground” floor is also becoming more important to people who want to help. That’s how Kickstarter.com sells a lot of their projects.

    Many people will also “like” or support a new project if they realize that you are now on the team for that company. (This depends on how long you have been in your field and on your reputation. However, I have seen this happen a lot.)

    I think that Shuey Fogel brought up an important point. He wrote in a comment above:

    “What doesn’t seem genuine at a networking function or wouldn’t merit a telephone call (either because you’d be embarrassed or because you wouldn’t want to waste their time), shouldn’t be done over social media, as well.”

    Time and time again, I find that people write and do things over social media that they would NEVER say or do in the offline world. I hope that people will continue to educate themselves so that they don’t end up stepping on any toes- or worse.

    Hillel- thank you for bringing this up! It definitely needed to be said.

  • Pingback: My New Social Media Pet Peeve: Group Tagging. Don’t Do It. Ever! | Mobile and Social Media()

  • It goes beyond all limits.

    P.S. Please review Export text Icon from email-icon-set

  • Pingback: "Like" Me for Your Chance to Win! Or Maybe Not... « IPREX Voices IPREX Voices()

  • Simcha Simpy Green Gluck

    Great post and love love the video at the end too! It’s great to be a part of communities that you want to be a part of sharing information that you want to be sharing. Disruptive advertising does not work and I refuse to punch the monkey:-)
    Simcha

  • Pingback: 14: Interview with Hillel Fuld, New Age Marketing & Personal Branding - The Frum Entrepreneur()

  • Pingback: Five Things to Ensure Before Asking Someone to Like your Page or Promote your Content - Mobile and Social Media()

  • Pingback: 40: Networking - The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - The Frum Entrepreneur()