Social Media and Friendship: Ain’t too Proud to Beg

Dog Standing on Hind Legs to Receive Treat

Just the other day, a friend suggested I become a fan of a Denver Yoga Group on Facebook. First, the one and only time I tried yoga, I spent the whole time trying not to laugh as those around me meditated – yeah, relaxation isn’t really my thing. Secondly, I don’t live in Denver, so why would this group be relevant to me at all?

Every day it seems that someone is suggesting I become a fan of something or inviting me to an event on the opposite coast. Maybe they assume that because I’m their pal, I’ll do whatever they want. Then I’ll pop onto Twitter and witness people begging for more followers. From fans to followers, it appears there are those in social media land that are obsessed with the numbers game.

It’s obvious that some spend little time or effort on targeting the right audience; instead they just want any audience. A recent post by Nicole VanScoten touched on this issue about how companies want to grow their audience fast despite who’s listening. Sure it would be great to have 10,000 more followers on Twitter, but do I want them to follow me out of pity, or because they are interested in what I have to say?

Of course  numbers are impressive, but what do they really mean? If you have 100 Facebook fans, and 50% became a fan simply out of friendship, does that mean you are still getting the message out? Or, does it just mean you have a larger number that you can brag to your client about?

As much as I adore my friends, I don’t like being used as a social media number. So next time you beg your friends to become a fan of something, or put out a call for more Twitter followers, offer something of value –  make sure that you are asking the right people. Even though quantity is great, it’s the quality of your audience that really counts in the end.

So readers, have you been a victim of the social media-friendship bombardment? Or, have you been a perpetrator of this tactic?

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  • Love the post Marie! What bothers me even more about the fan page requests is that Facebook lets you filter your friends list! You can choose people just in your area or just people you went to high school with (without having the group function enabled). I wholeheartedly join the movement – please, please stop the irrelevant fan page requests!

  • Marie,

    Great post and thanks for the link! Like you, I get invited to become a fan of random things everyday — half of which are not even near where I live. It's annoying to say the least.

    I like to use the word “qualified” followers/fans when talking to my clients, and explain to them that it's really NOT a numbers game. You can have 1,000 fans/followers, but if not one of them really cares about your company/product/service/etc., then you really have NOTHING. Rather, a company with 100 qualified followers is in a much better position, despite the difference in the numbers.

    Great post!

  • I like that Nicole. “Qualified” followers are much more important than the final number. Unfortunately, until we all stop checking each other's stats, the number of followers you have still has value.

    I am guilty of it. I will take a quick peek on Twitter to see how many followers someone has and use it as a benchmark to calculate their importance within the industry. Which is silly because I know how many bots are following me right now! lol – Tara

  • marieveebee

    Hi Brenda,
    Thanks so much for checking it out! I think that's also what is so frustrating – they have the capability to filter and they don't! I'm glad I'm not the only one that is bothered by this 🙂

  • marieveebee

    Nicole,
    Thanks for the comment! “Qualified” is a great term BTW!

  • I actually don't object to these requests for open events, etc. I never know where my FB friends have ended up, even if the “is not attending” tag shows up maybe someone else that'll see it is in-fact interested.

    However, if it's a non-event party (e.g. a birthday party where not everyone is welcome) it is definitely aggravating.

  • beccameyers

    I immediately sent this to a client because we were just discussing this exact situation! I was trying to explain to her this exact point…

    “Of course numbers are impressive, but what do they really mean? If you have 100 Facebook fans, and 50% became a fan simply out of friendship, does that mean you are still getting the message out? Or, does it just mean you have a larger number that you can brag to your client about?”

    Thank you for helping me. It's great when I have backup. In your face client! No but seriously, it is an excellent post. High five!

  • Great post – ideally you can strike a balance between making people aware of your projects and spamming them with irrelevant crap. So few people have the patience to take the slow route and build their audience by offering valuable content.

  • marieveebee

    Oh wow, that is so cool! *high-five* right back 'atcha!

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