Disreputable Social Media Companies- Part 2

lemmingsYesterday I posted about a local social media management company’s antics with a client of mine. I actually wrote that post a couple of weeks ago, and between the time I wrote and posted it, I continued an email conversation with a representative of this social media company. I continued to be blown away by what this person told me, and felt compelled to add a Part Two to the post.

Here’s how the rest of the conversation went:

Company: Hello Lorrie, just a quick update for you. After contacting Facebook it appears that with recent timeline changes their database was missing some of the likes. Quite a few other Facebook pages were affected by this as well, including our own which is now back up to over 17,000. The missing database has been updated and likes should be returning to the pages.

Me: How do you obtain your likes for your clients? Do you purchase them?

Company: No we do not. Our marketing procedures are proprietary to our company.

Me: Understood. Here’s why I ask: It is so strange to me, for example, that so many of the likes that have returned are from Buffalo, NY and Los Angeles, and appear to have no Florida affiliation, let alone a Lakeland affiliation. The owner doesn’t know these people. What do you suspect is the case here? Because let’s face it. The business is not THAT well known.

Company: Absolutely, we have a very large network nationally and internationally through our efforts and that of our partners. When we first take on a new client what we have found is that it is very important to give them an immediate BOOST in presence. Through research, people in local markets will not “like” a business page that does not already have an established presence. People only do what others have already done if you will, unless they know the business personally, which is not the market we are after for our clients.

This part actually pissed me off: “People only do what others have already done if you will, unless they know the business personally, which is not the market we are after for our clients.”

I’ll say this again: social media is social. Why wouldn’t people a business owner knows personally be the market their company is after? The people you know personally are the ones who can talk you up! They’re the ones who’ve likely done business with you and will share their experience. And they’re the ones who likely will come to your defense when some wackadoo from left field spouts off an unfair complaint or insult on your social media channels.

Social media really is just a new way of doing an old thing- networking. You start with people you know. Friends, family members, coworkers, devoted customers, etc. These people want you to succeed. They’ll start conversations, like your posts, share your information with their friends. And THAT is how you can grow your social media following.

The other comment I found irritating was this: “Through research, people in local markets will not ‘like’ a business page that does not already have an established presence.”

What the WHAT? I feel like I’m pretty mainstream in my social media behavior. I can tell you that I’ve never liked a page simply because it had a ton of existing likes. In fact, I get kind of disappointed when some pages have lots of likes.

Let’s say I find a respected public relations professional who’s well-known in PR circles and he/she has a business page on Facebook. I am positively delighted when I see that they have a relatively small amount of fans. My reason? I actually have two.

1. I feel like I’m getting in on the ground floor before the whole world realizes how relevant/cool/whatever they are.
2. It’s called “social” media. It’s about building relationships, and the less likes there are, the greater my chances of sparking a conversation with this person that might be reciprocated.

However, I don’t hesitate to like a page that already has a ton of likes. I just simply get more excited when there are fewer.

To buy into this company’s philosophy of gaining likes on your Facebook page is to buy into the fact that we’re a world full of followers.

I think a lot of companies try to paint social media as a more complicated platform than it has to be, when a common sense approach can render great results.

Here’s hoping these last two posts will prove helpful as you navigate the social media seas.