Hi folks! I’m trying something, a twice a week thing… I meant for this post to be more about other parts of my life, but this really got me, so here goes…
This may offend some folks, this is something done a lot by folks, and some may feel just fine with it… as usual, there is always a bit of profanity…
Having Facebook as the platform for my business currently, I have tried many things to “get the word out.” I visited so many zombie pages, horror pages, monster pages with pictures of my creations and a link. There are also a great many communities, groups, and pages, where one can go and post links to a page. Sometimes one goes on a “cruise,” where the page posts a thread, and all the folks who want in put a “tag” (your business in blue) or a link in the comment section. The idea is that the page, and everyone else on the list visits your page, likes it, and then you have more fans. There are “silent tagging circles” started by friends, with pretty much the same idea. There are times when folks ask for a certain themed item, and everyone rushes to get something listed within that category. There are sites like LinkedIn, where you can go and connect with other small businesses and groups of handmade items. Sometimes there are threads where they ask “Do you have a facebook page for your business? If so, place a link in the comment section and other business owners will visit your page and like it… Thinking that LinkedIn folks maybe had a bit of class, a modicum of decorum, maybe I’d try this link, and see what pans out. Same old mistake, different forum.
These groups and pages and communities, and the group in LinkedIn I belonged to, have one flaw that presents itself to me quite readily. Most of the people who frequent them have different products than mine, a lot less creepy. Most are filled with beauty items, inexpensive jewelry, candles, different items of clothing for babies, kids and new moms, and some fiberwork, hats, clothes, and dolls mostly. I don’t fit into that genre. And while one might think I had some sort of monopoly, I also found that MY personal page got phlegmed up with pages of stuff I didn’t really want to see, AND my page wasn’t liked as often as the others… they wanted me to like their page , but they didn’t like mine… hmmm.
The LinkedIn thread I posted on sent a few folks my way, and there’s the standard post people make, I’d made my share back in the day, but no more. “Hi, I popped by from My Business Page to like your page. You have really interesting stuff! Please come by and visit.” If you’re not familiar, this is the Nice Way to say “I went out of my way to come to your page and like it from my personal page, thereby increasing your fan count. You’re supposed to reciprocate. Some people go ahead and de-humanize a bit further and say “Please go to my page and return the like.” Did you just tell me to go like your page?
This practice really digs in my craw. I was part of a giveaway contest, and as part of the contest to win the entire package, folks had to like a bunch of different pages, including mine. I got probably a good 100 likes from that contest. And then promptly lost about 40 folks after the contest was over. They didn’t really like my work, I was a stepping stone. Screw that! I really only want folks who actually like my work to like the page.
…SO…The other day, I saw a post go out from someone. It was one of those LinkedIn ones, where the shop owner said something like (and I’m not quoting verbatim, it was too far ago to look for, and maybe the person has wised up…) “Hi, I found you through LinkedIn, and liked your page. Please visit My Page from your personal profile.” The shop commented something about “Thank you very much for visiting my shop, I appreciate it!” Now this is the part that makes me so mad, it’s probably a good thing this was on the internet and not someone I heard in a store. The post-er then commented, “You’re supposed to go and like my page with your personal file. We reciprocate a like for a like, that’s how this works.”………I was…ashamed for that person. What the hell!?! I mean really! What if this person doesn’t like or can’t use your product? Why does (s)he have to like your service? Wouldn’t you rather have folks like the page who REALLY LIKE the page?
If all you make is ribbons for babies, I probably won’t like your page. I don’t have babies, won’t have babies, don’t want babies. So, consequently, I won’t care about, shop for, or want to see pictures of, ribbons for babies. Why would I want to see that in my newsfeed… “Oh well you can hide it from your newsfeed.” Why do that? I don’t like/want the product, why like the page in the first place?
I’ve read it before, and then said it before: I wouldn’t walk into a store that makes stuff similar to mine, or completely not in the same genre doesn’t really fit with mine, and ask for them to support and promote my stuff, unless that’s their kind of business, or it’s been offered. But I also admit I could promote my work more. There is a level to which I can’t sink though. Demanding someone return a like for business on Facebook is absolutely beneath the level I’d sink to. *shiver* The thought of that conversation being said aloud puts a bad taste in my mouth.
A lot of pages put up a post on my timeline similar to the nicer version. And I do visit them. Now, I do not feel obligated to “return a like.” I go to the page, and scroll through the posts for a minute, try to get a feel for the person. And I go through the pictures… I don’t have a set number of things I have to like in order to qualify it as a page I like… it’s about the work, the subject matter, the person… You’ll know if I really like your page, I go through and like a bunch of pictures, and will often share a post or picture! Then I post on the page, or find the post on my page. I make my presence known. You will know if I like your product. If you really must post on someone’s timeline that you liked their page, could they return the favor, make it known you actually like the page. If you say, “Wow I stopped by from MyBusiness to say hi and like your page. Your stuff is really scary!” and you don’t like any picture or post, then you’re just using me to get a like… JOG ON!!! I really only want my page frequented by folks who like my work. Yes, I do want new folks to show up, and I do feel lucky that I do have a pretty good amount of folks who ramble into my page somehow, and bring some friends, and I love that so much. I don’t need random posts telling me my stuff is “scary” or “interesting” or “not what I expected, I guess I’m just used to more typical work, but please go like my page;” it’s like having someone like Graham who hates my bollocks, but also wants me to promote his business…
Oh no, you have mistaken me for someone who succumbs to the social convention of “returning the like…You can bite me!
I “like” all manner of pages…lots of the yarny pages of my friends, jewelry, art, horror art,author pages, creepy weird stuff most of you would shudder at: I’ve got a wide variety of pages that hang out on my newsfeed. But if you ever try to post some kind of “you have to go like my page because I liked yours” BULLSHIT, I will out you on my personal page, maybe a blogpost, maybe the business one too…of course I share my blog on reddit.com and google+. so you’ll be famous, at being a huge BITCHY McBITCHERTON.
Just so you know it’s not all badness in Kimland, I have met a few LOVELY folks through LinkedIn, folks who make their presence known, liking, and commenting, reading my blog…You guys are great!!! And like I said, If someone posts on my timeline that they’ve liked my page, could I visit their page, I absolutely will visit. I’ll read posts, and go through pictures, but there is no guarantee that I will “like” your page. And if you didn’t really like mine in the first place, then you’ll probably come by and “unlike” my page… no worries, you didn’t really belong anyway.
If you do this regularly, find creative ways to get folks to visit your page. My friend Lee finds art pages that have a few likes only, or a page that he really likes, and tells them that he likes to Share the Love on his business page , QuiET RoOM BeARs- by Lee Howard, http://www.facebook.com/quietroombears?ref=ts&fref=ts in case you’re interested –VERY CREEPY BEARS! And he puts up a link on his personal and business pages of this other page, and pretty often they like his page back and folks get new likes… It’s a lovely thing, a nice way to make it known you support a page, and would like them to know where YOU come from. I happen to belong to Horror Artists group on Facebook, partly because that’s the kind of art that inspires me, gets my brain working for my own work, and partly because my work, for the most part, is of the horror genre, so it’s kind of where my work belongs. We share works in progress, finished pics, when someone has something for sale or auction, or is going to a convention. In spite of the fact that I crochet dolls with yarn they have welcomed me and are happy when I post pictures or comments. So, find somewhere you fit in! If you make things for babies, find groups that cater to new mommies. If you write, find readers. But be nice. Folks will really not like your page if you’re a dick about them doing so… They definitely don’t want to do business with you!
Do I want people to buy my creations? like my work? like my page? Of course! We all want that! But there’s no reason to be shitty about it…I may like your work, but you’re an asshole, suddenly your work maybe isn’t as cool as someone who won’t demand reciprocation for a facebook like…yea, say it out loud, it’s absolutely absurd!
Do I have all the answers? No, obviously not. I still have lots to learn, I could promote myself more, I’d so love to do this full time and not have to have a part time job. So yes, I need to learn to promote. And yes, I do on occasion want to connect with a business/art page, and do offer up my page, however, I usually make sure I really dig this person, and like a butt-ton of their pictures and posts and comment. I make it known I do like their work. I never demand them like my page. I usually thank them in advance, and even talk about what I like about their work. It’s about making them curious about what you do, or at least they find you to be a pleasant person and wouldn’t mind popping in for a look. People who are bullied won’t like what you have, even if they need it. If your creations are like mine, they aren’t really necessary for existing, so being a dick gets to quickly to NowheresVille.
What do you do to promote yourself? Do you have some great tip? I’d love to know! I don’t do a lot, but will be looking into it and probably posting, asking for help with ideas later on sometime. Do you reciprocate like for like? All the time? I just want to know… I’m interested in whether my way is the bitchy way, or do you secretly hate liking pages just so they’ll like you back? If I’m going to put a page in a list of pages I never visit but just liked “because,” why keep it? If I don’t want the product, it’s better not to pretend, I think. I want the number of likes on my page to really show how many folks really like it…don’t you?..