My intent for this blog was never to talk a lot about business. But given my adoration of social media, I wanted to write a little about what's a huge turn-off for me when checking in on businesses I either follow or am considering following.
Social media is supposed to be about connecting with others, whether that's individuals or businesses. When I see nothing but advertising content with nothing else given back, I wonder what value that business thinks they're providing, and why they believe I should even consider following them. There should be a conversation, a give-and-take, something to make it worth my while. I can find advertising anywhere, and frankly, I'm not interested in wasting my time on it. I have a DVR for a reason!
So you can imagine why, when looking at social media sites for a particular type of product, I was incredibly put off by the one that featured nothing but advertising, and instead preferred the one where I found real conversations happening between the company and the consumers. The difference in tone was incredible. The product in question is something I could buy either through a reseller, or directly from the company's website, at the same price in either case. Since people shop differently, this is a perfectly appropriate business model. However, on one of the sites, it was clear that the resellers had been provided with NO guidance regarding how to interact with the company's consumers, that the resellers had done NO research as to how to use social media to interact with consumers, and were instead spamming the site with non-stop advertising. It was not even clever or amusing advertising, but just post after post of obnoxious, spammy, "OMG PICK ME!!!!111!!!eleventy-one!!11!" posturing. I could find no value in the content and no reason to follow this particular company.
On the other site, it was evident that the resellers had been provided with some form of guidance as to how to use the site and the administrator posted frequent conversational topics designed to get people talking. Within the conversations, there were detailed and helpful responses from the resellers, as well as consumers helping each other. Now this? This is value. I can read this and walk away feeling like the company provided me with a little extra something. And the next time I need to purchase the product, who do you suppose comes to mind first?
So tell me, readers, what makes you follow or unfollow a business in the social media arena? If you use social media for your business, what value do you believe you bring to your followers?