Please Remind Me Why I Should Like, Follow, +1 You?

Like us on Facebook.

Follow us on Twitter.

+1 us on Google Plus.

Sound familiar?

It’s an all too familiar request that consumers face everyday. But what are businesses doing to help convince customers why they should do so? The answer is not as pervasive as you might imagine or hope to expect. In fact, I believe that “why?” is the least asked question by businesses in social media today.

The questions businesses should be asking, even before they create a social presence whatsoever include:

Why should we have a presence in Facebook, Twitter, et al.?

Why would consumers connect with us now and stay connected over time?

Consumers will expect businesses to think through these questions carefully and to present the answers and corresponding value into conversations and more important, into ongoing editorial and engagement planning and programming. It’s what makes social media just that…social.

I recently joined NBC’s Scott McGrew, Jon Swartz of USA Today and Dr. Moira Gunn of NPR on press:here to discuss this subject at greater length. Please take a moment to watch and let me know your thoughts for how businesses can use social media to improve customer relationships.


Connect with Brian Solis on Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook | Google+


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  • Pingback: Please Tell Me Why I Should Like, Follow, +1 You? | Avalio Blog

  • http://www.extremejohn.com Extreme John

    This is really a very interesting topic Brian. Indeed, telling our customers why they should like and follow your products or your business in Facebook and Twitter can make them become better aware of the importance or the essence of liking or following your products in Facebook and Twitter. Excellent video you got here.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Thanks for watching and commenting John!

  • http://www.trafficservicestps.blogspot.com/ Tim Burrows

    Great topic Brian.
    In creating the strategy for the Toronto Police – Traffic Services Unit, that was the first question I asked…why do we want to do this, but more importantly, why would the public want to connect with us?
    Biggest challenge? We don’t sell a product or an ‘in the bag’ consumable.
    Our sell factors are service, safety and security, which you will agree most people take for granted until its gone.
    I am now creating the strategy for the Toronto Police Service and I am not re-inventing the wheel.  I am using the same two questions, just on a bigger scale.
    Thanks for recognizing this subtle need.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Tim, that’s a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it! Well done.

  • Madison Bushell

    Thanks, Brian. Enjoyed the read. Made me think back to the basics of a Facebook, Twitter, etc… what is the content we’re putting up and why do we want followers and likes? Something I need to think about! Also, I liked the advice of thinking about the opportunity in Google+ before rushing to get an account. It’ll either be one thing to add to the to-do list or a marketing strategy. Thanks, again.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Thanks Madison. If we’re not thinking and re-thinking, we risk complacency.

  • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

    Ellie, thank you for sharing. So simple, but so valuable. I clicked through and you indeed set expectations!

  • Jen

    Very Effective!  We are used to the request of “like us” and “follow us” I think we tend to ignore it, unless there is a good reason for us to do so.  Nice touch and a way to give the consumer value.

  • http://josephratliff.com/blog JosephRatliff

    It’s a lot easier to see the positive impact of “how many likes I’m getting” versus “how many meaningful interactions with people I’m having” for businesses IMO.  It’s the meaningful, person to person interaction that means the most for a business (and for the consumer as well).

    Brian, you bring up a most interesting point with this…the question of “Why?”

    In the video, yogurt was used as an example…have you consulted with a similar type of business (commodity) and found an opportunity for them within social media?  How so (was it customer service, sales, recall requests etc…)?  Obviously, only if you can comment.

    Then…I do in fact think we will be heading into a sort of “fatigue” with social media or at least a natural selection process where, from the consumer point of view, we will be selecting the specific networks to use and focus on using with our computers and mobile phones…maybe only using certain networks for certain specific things.

    We’re humans, each with the same 24 hours in a day…so something has eventually got to give.  I personally feel a bit of “noise”…so will social networks become the email inbox of the next decade (have they already)?

    Great, thought-provoking post Brian.  I look forward to getting the next version of Engage.
     

  • http://www.breakbumper.tv Ramon B. Nuez Jr.

    Businesses should not be focused on “liking” or “follow us” or even “+1.” Brands should start with a very basic question, “what is the business goal?”Start with the goal in mind. What is it that you/the business is attempting to accomplish by being a “social company.” Next set the objectives, tasks and KPI’s. These are business-centric conversations that must be addressed before deciding on a what social network to be on.Additionally, social networking is not a replacement — it’s a tool. These tools are designed to work with the… marketing, customer service and billing departments.

    • Eplanettravel

      yeah very good…that nice topic
      buy deals everyday,hot deals shopping, cheapest travel packages,discount online store, cheapest travel package, shopping at atlanta

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  • Carolyn

    Brian, thanks for sharing this. Some points I loved: asking consumers what THEY expect, brands as media property, defining the boundaries of a relationship. And I especially loved your closing comment/advice to businesses about joining Google +.

    As always, a very enlightening post. Thanks.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Thank you Carolyn!

  • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

    Thank you so much for taking the time to summarize the video. Excellent summary!

  • http://www.bamsmallbizconsulting.com Nikolas Allen

    Thank you for addressing this, Brian. The proliferation of Follow, Friend and Like requests has grown quite irksome, and I often find myself shouting, “Why?” at the offending screen, DM, flyer, postcard, print ad, etc. Though they are using new tools, marketers and business owners STILL need to answer the age-old question the consumer has on top of mind at all times, “What’s in it for me?”

    By confusing the medium for the message (“Hey we’re on Facebook, therefore you should Like us!”), business owners are missing out on an additional chance to tout the unique benefit of their offering and describe the value a consumer will derive from interacting with them on their social media platforms.

    BTW, I’ve always enjoyed your cheeky-dapper ‘About Me’ thumbnail. Way to have fun!

    @nikolas_allen:twitter

  • desbest

    Retail businesses that want us to Like them are getting on the bandwagon of social media, and don’t know how to effective marketing. Why would I want to Like something, so it can spam my News Feed for things to buy?

    The problem with retailers, is that they think they can use Facebook to generate new leads. That does not work. What Facebook marketing instead does for them, is let them communicate with their existing customers. Most people who Like retailers, are already loyal customers.

    Retailers + Social networking = Stupidness

  • http://thefuturebuzz.com AdamSinger

    Great interview Brian – love it.

    • http://www.briansolis.com briansolis

      Excellent. Thanks for watching!

  • Anonymous

    People are selfish and they will only genuinely like you or +1 or whatever it is if there is something in it for them. It could be a prize, a discount, some great content or some other sort of reward but for the most part there has to be something in it for them. There are expceptions like sports teams, movies, music and other things that people actually like and want to be updated on but companies and brands have to work a lot harder and think about what they are offering in return.

  • http://twitter.com/saxyjorge Jorge R Felix

    Hi  Brian

    You really inspire people like me that are just entering this marketing career and really give insight and really explore the relationships being created between consumers and businesses. Thanks!

  • http://twitter.com/saxyjorge Jorge R Felix

    Hi  Brian

    You really inspire people like me that are just entering this marketing career and really give insight and really explore the relationships being created between consumers and businesses. Thanks!

  • http://www.mikewhite.co.uk Michael White

    Twitter is still blighted by follow friday tweets. Yet for the most part they are useless. Simply long lists of #ff recommendations don’t impress me. I need a reason to why I was following, like you say, we need to be convinced.

    • http://www.mikewhite.co.uk Michael White

      Wow, poor grammar in my above comment. I guess that is what frustration does!

  • http://ariherzog.com Ari Herzog

    Suggest you take the next step and edit the URL people see in their browser. Rather than the enormously-long default page name that Facebook created for you, visit http://facebook.com/username and change it for the selected page. Please note that you won’t be able to change the page name a second time, so think evergreen.

    For instance: http://facebook.com/ariherzogandassociates

    • http://www.tidebuy.com Tdbuydress

      follow one, great

  • http://www.mynotetakingnerd.com/blog Lewis LaLanne aka Nerd #2

    “Ask, “Why?” Then I have to actually think. That’s no fun. Just give me the magic bullets that leads to more money for me.”  The plague that plagues business owners and corporate boards across the world.

    Thank you Brian for shaking up the social media world by asking brands to give some thought to coming into the social media ring and promoting your profile. 

  • http://bacchusp.wordpress.com/ Winn Taylor

    How great to meet the man behind the quirky photo.
    Marketing via social media is a bit daunting, in particularly for someone like myself who has no prior experience in marketing. It’s a lot to absorb. I have found it a bit befuddling trying to conceive of a way to best utilize the accounts I have created and bring something interesting to the table. Why would someone read a blog or a post on the very same topics that canvas the internet. What value can I create / deliver that is distinct? Certainly if I’m bored writing it or researching it, the delivery will reap little. Humor catches my attention and though it would be nice if what worked for me worked for everyone else – it likely isn’t the case. The roads cross somewhere…right? A compass and coordinates would be awesome. 

  • http://essayserve.com/ essay writing service

    thanks alot for adding the video! liked it!

  • http://peculiaritis.posterous.com peculiaritis

    The answer to everyone’s ‘how to on social media’ is the same. Often it is a repeat of the platitude served platitudinally elsewhere, on a blog, in a tweet etc. I think social media has democratised marketing, which is why there are so many amateur questions and theories being spun. social media done well, is like marketing done well. what does your brand stand for. what’s in it for the consumer. what’s the contract between brand and consumer. and then the question is, how can TV elevate this thought and how can technology facilitate this further…i really don’t mean to sound patronising, but i think i now understand why everyone is spending so long debating this obvious stuff, it’s because social media as liberated the marketer in all of us…which, btw i think is a good thing.

  • http://www.smsproducts.com SMS Products

    We have asked the same questions and we have run into the problem that businesses are being claimed on social networks by their competitors and rerouted away from them.  So we recommend at the minimum for businesses to have a presence on social networks just so shady competitors don’t snake their possible customers from them.

  • http://www.dressingvintage.com Lisa

    This is so true..it becomes like white noise for everyone..too many “follow” “likes” out there and people don’t even see them anymore!

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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