In social media, getting likes/followers/buddies is important.  It helps expand reach, increases the probability of interactions from customers, and provides an important social cue to potential customers visiting your social media profiles for the first time.  All of these factors can help improve your business’s bottom line (directly and indirectly) over time.  However, this process can be more difficult than one might think. Thus, I’m always interested when I come across different strategies companies use to increase their following.  Recently, I found one technique that your business should never, ever utilize.

While looking for some good content to read the other day, I came across a website that told me that in order to peruse the article that I had just found via Google, I first had to like the website’s Facebook page.  Not only did I refuse to like the page, but I was so annoyed that a company would try this that I left the site with a terrible impression of the publishers.

First of all, this whole “like to access” idea doesn’t even make sense. Why would people like your Facebook page when they don’t even have any experience with the content on it in the first place?  Second, the idea is to make people want more content from you, not trap them into some contract whereby they have to listen to your thoughts regularly.  Instead of strong arming people to follow your brand, provide entertaining, informative content that people will want to share with their friends.  Forced interaction causes hard feelings and drives away potential consumers.

James on Google+