Stop killing social networks by begging for likes and retweets

Stop Killing Social Networks by Begging for Likes and ReTweets

Okay, so perhaps the title sounds a little negative and normally I don’t like going to the Darkside, unless there are jelly doughnuts. However, I feel as though social sites like Facebook, Twitter and now even Google+ have people making the sites feel negative, or perhaps it is just the way it makes me feel, but there has got to be others out there that feel somewhat like I do.

I am talking about the “like if you agree” or “please retweet this” posts; just typing them here makes my stomach turn. I get that social signals are rising and sites like Empire Avenue, Klout, PeerIndex and Kred all make us want to increase our scores so we can have amazing Perks and all the other sparkly things that come along with having a decent score. I just don’t enjoy the way we are abusing sites that are designed for people to already share or like things by begging each other for a reaction.

If I have a reaction I will surely give it by using the actions that are built on the site which allow me to make up my own mind if I want to or not. The fact that someone decides to try and persuade a like or influences a retweet actually deters me from wanting to share the image or article all together.

Thumbs Down

In all seriousness, people are not stupid. In fact we are all pretty intelligent (you’re welcome), we have turned to social media to rid the days when we would receive e-mail threads of “after reading this if you don’t share this with 17 of your closest friends, unicorns and kittens will be eaten by zombies”, these types of spammy cycles may feel familiar, but they are exactly what we did not want.

Or did we?

To beg for a like or retweet is much like an advertisement to me instead of something witty and clever that makes my “clicky finger” want to click like, plus one or hit the retweet button.

Let us not lose the force of why we decided to band together and actually get social with one another, let us not lose the imagination and creativity that social networks enable to share with the world and please, my friends, let us no longer beg for what is obvious, if you are sharing quality content, the quantity will happen naturally.

* * *

“Thumb Down” image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Written by Erin Ryan

+Erin Ryan is a writer for various Social Media & Tech blogs and currently works as the Director of Social Media for the Internet Marketing Company, Wikimotive. Erin has a keen understanding of the power of Social Media for business and fervently stays up-to-date. Creator and head editor of Socialeyezer She enjoys finding the latest in social media, tech and geek culture. Erin often expresses her thoughts and opinions on TheErinRyan. Connect through Erin Ryan's About.me Profile .
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Comments
  • http://www.facebook.com/bruno.salvador.5437 Bruno Salvador

    I agree with you. Most of the times it feels like an insult to my free will…If you don’t share this you’re racist, if you don’t like this you’re homophobic, or you like to hurt small animals, beat up women and the elderly, etc…
    I will decide what to like or share, thank you very much. No need for kindergarten psychology.

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      Bruno you have it dead on. I really despise it especially when people try and make others feel guilty if they do not share by tapping into the emotional aspect and unfortunately, this does indeed happen.

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

    • http://www.c-e.com/ chrismoritz

      Those are perfect examples of guilt-tripping, heavy-handed approaches. Polite requests though? Not sure that’s as much of a problem. 

      There may not be a need for kindergarten psychology, but *some* sort of psychology should be employed, especially if you’re on the hook to deliver results. The passive, wait-and-see approach can seem dignified and high-minded, but you run the risk of getting lost in the river of updates.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jsme1 Stine Søndergaard

    Hey, nice post. totally agree with you. but somethings when you are starting your blog you need an extra kick just because of the fact – nobody will like a fan page with 1-10 followers. I guess it depends on the situation

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      Hi Stine :)

      You are totally right, it does depend on the situation, however, even when asking for support people should get a little more creative than just “like my page” make it fun and entice through social writing for others to choose to like a page or support a contest etc. We absolutely need support for certain things from time to time, just not every time some one posts. That was a good point to bring up! Thanks

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

  • http://www.c-e.com/ chrismoritz

    Sure, that can be annoying, but hasn’t this approach been shown to increase engagement/interaction? Savvy social media types might find it annoying and off-putting. Are they the intended audience of the page/profile? 

  • http://www.c-e.com/ chrismoritz

    Sure, that can be annoying, but hasn’t this approach been shown to increase engagement/interaction? Savvy social media types might find it annoying and off-putting. Are they the intended audience of the page/profile? 

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      Great questions Chris, and I am sure somewhere there could be data that may show an increase in likes, however, that will only last for so long, just like the e-mail thread did in the 90’s. Social Media has given society the ability to choose, whether it be to like a page or to share anything and as Social Media grows more options are being given by businesses, so it conflicts to then heavily persuade someone to make a choice, almost like me starting this article by saying “hey could you make sure you share this with everyone you know…” If people want to, they will, hence the share buttons and with having sites have share capabilities begging is redundant and annoying, this does not just apply to those within the Social Media Industry, this applies to the intended audience. Businesses need to treat customers with intelligence by building relationships, sharing quality content and by being active in their local community and online. The begging strategy is much too simple and is not going to build a loyal returning customer IMHO.

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan 

      • http://www.c-e.com/ chrismoritz

        Don’t get me wrong, I would prefer the “treat your audience with intelligence” strategy – so long as it is shown to work. It’s my understanding that pages that ask for Likes get more likes, blogs that ask for comments get more comments, etc.

        Reminding people to do something doesn’t have to be condescending – it can be a gentle reminder (“make sure you send those post-Christmas thank-you cards” sort of thing).

        I do find it a little funny that you’re registering “Like this if you agree” as heavy persuasion.

        If you can show me non-rhetorical data that your better-angels approach is effective, I’m all ears.

      • Erin Ryan

        Chris :)

        I am not speaking about reminders every once and a while to let people know your brand exists. I am referring to the photos and content that say “like this if you agree” on every status update. So yes that is heavy persuasion and frankly annoying.

  • http://wpappreview.wordpress.com/ Louis Sandiford

    Stuff like this has already killed Twitter for me – obnoxious, uninformed TTs, users ‘correcting’ my opinions vociferously.

    I’ve been blocking, ignoring, and blatantly unfriending people thus far, but it’s too much of a hassle. There’s no enjoyment left there for me – even with friends.
    I have their number, I can call them, maybe.

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      That is so sad Louis, that Twitter has already died for you due to the misuse of it. Hopefully you can find your way back there and perhaps find new people to follow that add quality to your stream. We just need to be united and let people know what we ike and don’t like, if they can’t see that social networks are meant for actually socializing, then I suppose you have every right to unfollow them, chances are I would.

      I have weeded out my Twitter many times and am pretty happy now for I have adjusted it by following only people who share a common interest, have an avatar and a decent bio. Even then, I have to still check their tweets to see if they are interesting enough to follow back.

      Yes, this in fact means that I have to check every profile, it to me is worth the time since I do believe strongly that if we are not going to add to each others Twitter experience, than there is absolutely no point in wasting each others time. I am not a numbers gal.

      P.S – Love the MEME reference!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      That is so sad Louis, that Twitter has already died for you due to the misuse of it. Hopefully you can find your way back there and perhaps find new people to follow that add quality to your stream. We just need to be united and let people know what we ike and don’t like, if they can’t see that social networks are meant for actually socializing, then I suppose you have every right to unfollow them, chances are I would.

      I have weeded out my Twitter many times and am pretty happy now for I have adjusted it by following only people who share a common interest, have an avatar and a decent bio. Even then, I have to still check their tweets to see if they are interesting enough to follow back.

      Yes, this in fact means that I have to check every profile, it to me is worth the time since I do believe strongly that if we are not going to add to each others Twitter experience, than there is absolutely no point in wasting each others time. I am not a numbers gal.

      P.S – Love the MEME reference!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      That is so sad Louis, that Twitter has already died for you due to the misuse of it. Hopefully you can find your way back there and perhaps find new people to follow that add quality to your stream. We just need to be united and let people know what we ike and don’t like, if they can’t see that social networks are meant for actually socializing, then I suppose you have every right to unfollow them, chances are I would.

      I have weeded out my Twitter many times and am pretty happy now for I have adjusted it by following only people who share a common interest, have an avatar and a decent bio. Even then, I have to still check their tweets to see if they are interesting enough to follow back.

      Yes, this in fact means that I have to check every profile, it to me is worth the time since I do believe strongly that if we are not going to add to each others Twitter experience, than there is absolutely no point in wasting each others time. I am not a numbers gal.

      P.S – Love the MEME reference!

      Thanks for your comment!

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

  • http://svetapiatakova.blogspot.com/ sveta

    This is thought-provoking. What can also be damaging is that in the deluge of ‘plz like my page’ or ‘follow for an RT’, desperate pleas we already ignore, we can miss something valuable and important.

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      You make such an excellent point Sveta! The types of begging you mention have become white noise and we have learned to drown them out. It can be horrible, cause there are great pages and tweets and many other opportunities shared that may be missed due to the lack of cleverness from the person sharing it. Thanks for your thoughts!

      Socially Yours,
      Erin Ryan

  • http://abdallahalhakim.tumblr.com/ Abdallah Al-Hakim

    I think more people are starting to realize and question the number of Facebook likes and retweets as a measure of your social media presence. This is why, in my opinion, the value of commenting and being engaged in social conversations provide a much better notion of your influence and true online identity. 

    • http://socialeyezer.com ErinRyan

      I think you are right! :)

  • sumsco vanpat

    i quit using twitter once i heard they were going through it with a fine tooth comb over the occupy movement.  They say we can protest, then why are they invading our ways to protest then?  What they are doing against us is illegal!  Guess that’s why the Republican cronies sucked as much monetary funds from the system they could because they knew our system was broke so they grabeed as much as they could and left the citizens of this country holding the bag while they ran and hid in their offshore bunkers and hideouts to shield them from the bombs that will be dropped on our heads for their actions!  Gotta love it!  Psshhtt, yeah, right?  I don’t have to love shit,  when i never got any to begin with!