Baiting Fans For Interaction Is Desperate; Facebook Says: 'Stop'
August 26, 2014
In a series of improvements Facebook has been making to ensure their users' News Feed is filled with content that is closer to their desired goal, they are doing away with "like-baiting," and "like-gating," practices that were once encouraged by Facebook itself.
With "Like-gating," brands will no longer be allowed to force people to "like" their page in order to win a contest, promotion, or other tactics.
With "Like-baiting," brands must discontinue deceitful tactics that encourage people to click links, or even resort to stuff like this:
Facebook explains the decision to stop these practices is being done to ensure "quality connections and authentic interaction." Facebook also wants people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives.
So whether it's "like-baiting" or "like-gating," Facebook is now coming down on shallow interactions. And it's about time.
I've often said social media is not a volume business, collecting "likes" and followers, but what it can be is a real differentiator.
The use of social will either elevate a fan's excitement for the brand or amplify a self-involved one. And in order to get the most out of these platforms, we need to harness our egos and first learn the motivations behind why consumers enjoy their preferred platforms to begin with.
What we saw play out in Jacobs Media'sTechsurvey10, respondents said overwhelmingly the reasons they enjoy Facebook is connecting with those they know:
And while you see winning prizes or following brands are low on the scale of importance, it's not to imply they aren't valued. It's just that the motivating factors for consumers using social are connection and expression.
Canned, superficial behavior (baiting people for any type of interaction) contradicts the nature of being social. It also handicaps brands from developing motivated relationships.
There's a culture that every brand in the social space needs to embrace. And if your station is without real principles, you will continue to struggle with why social even matters.
It's never too late to do a social reset. It just starts with respecting why consumers are there and the types of interaction they deem to be of value.
That means every person on your team who speaks on a brand page should be able to articulate and continuously teach themselves:
- Why fans share content and tapping into that.
- How to speak to the passion of the fans and ignite real participation.
- What it then takes to maintain a consistent, active social fan base.
The days of handing over social to just anyone who is perhaps "native" to it or is on Facebook "all of the time" has run its course.
A real skill set is required because how we behave socially is part of how our brands are being defined today.
Humanizing the brand (what you do), and reinforcing its reputation (what they remember) isn't easy. But if we're paying attention and seek to serve – not "sell," big things will start to happen.
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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