Direct-response marketing 101: if you want your audience to take any sort of action, simply ask them to; whether or not you do so directly (‘do this’), or indirectly (‘feel free to do this’).
Increasing your Facebook page’s ‘talking about this’ metric – a direct measure of your engagement level at any given time – is the main objective of many social campaigns. Thus, we see many brand’s posts asking their fans to take a number of simple actions, the most simple and obvious being asking their fans to like a post.
This is all well and good, until we see certain brands taking this way too far, or mishandling the approach. This is lampooned rather hilariously on the satirical Condescending Corporate Brand Page Facebook page (extremely offensive language alert!). Our personal favourite is the below image.
Like if you too used to be a child!
Undoubtedly, asking for likes increases a page’s engagement level. A successful response results in your fan liking the post, the post then appearing on said fan’s newsfeed, and finally having the post exposed to that fan’s friends.
As mentioned, however, we see no shortage of this strategy being abused. Sometimes ignorantly, sometimes willfully.
The term ‘banner blindness’ refers to an exhausted ad on the internet, or when any given ad has no impact upon its desired audience. The reason being that because we’re visually assaulted from so many ads on any given website day-by-day, our brains have subconsciously trained themselves to ignore such content. The prevalence of this effect is so profound that many internet-users will simply ignore ALL ads on every website that they visit full stop.
We see this happening with these type of ridiculous ‘like-requesting’ posts too. If a brand page constantly requests likes while giving nothing in return, we’re going to eventually start ignoring them. That’s not the worst-case scenario, however. If our brains don’t in fact start to ignore these types of posts, we will become annoyed by that particular page and remove ourselves from it completely.
What it all comes down to, really, is whether or not the posts a brand’s page is pumping out is giving adequate value, or taking value. What is the overall ratio here?
Take Corporation A, for example. Corporation A has been quick to identify social media as a viable marketing strategy and thus has assigned a part of their marketing department (or stupidly secretary/janitor) to community building and management. With no thought behind their social campaigns and postings, they effectively attack your newsfeed with daily posts laden with ‘like this’ requests, all the while believing themselves to be positively increasing their engagement levels. You’re on the verge of deleting them from not only your newsfeed, but your life.
Corporation A, however, has a moment of brilliance and decides to offer $100 cash to whoever likes their next post. ‘You know what,’ you think to yourself as you hit the like button, ‘perhaps Corporation A ain’t that bad after all.’
Obviously, the above example reeks of obnoxious hyperbole. However, it does serve to illustrate a point – value triumphs all. Heck, you may even endure a few more weeks of Corporation A’s posts as a subconscious ‘thank you’ for that last one.
Similarly, say you’re quite the cat lover. In fact, you’re the world’s biggest cat lover, and such are a Facebook fan of the ‘Cutest Cuddly Cats Daily’ page. Every single time they post an image (which is daily, and the cats are always cute and cuddly), it is coupled with a short line of text reading ‘like this post if you LOVE this cat!’
Because you’re the world’s biggest cat lover, in complete honesty, you probably don’t mind. A little question like that is a worthy trade-off for that gorgeous cat photo. You’ve probably liked a lot of those posts too.
Once again, the amount of value given is relatively more than the amount of value requested, or taken. Juxtapose this with a post from Johnson’s Towel Co; ‘Like this post if you enjoy being dry!’ Daily posts consisting of such imaginative content are downright vampiric.
When planning your content for any given timeframe, always be weary of whether or not you’re offering value to your audience, or if your’e taking it. So long as your updates offer an overall positive experience, then you’re on your way to success. I’m more than happy to eat around the pips in my cherries.