Like Swaps – A Worthwhile Exercise?

August 26, 2013

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                  return to JayVee Media Link LLC

Facebook thumbs up and Twitter follow buttonsFacebook like swaps and Twitter mutual follow invitations often pop up on various social media platform threads.  Born of the desire to swell the number of likes and follows on our business pages, the strategy is simple enough.  You like my page and I’ll like yours.  While the numbers do rise, how effective is this popular strategy?

From where is the like swap invitation originating?

The first thing to consider when weighing whether to partake in like/follow swapping is the origination of the invitation.  It often originates generically; e.g., in a LinkedIn group specifically formed for that purpose.  Other times the invitation is extended through well established social media authorities who do so in a good natured gesture to help followers build their own pages. The value of like or follow swap invitations can vary widely depending on their sources, since their origination is a likely predictor of subsequent behavior after the likes and follows have been swapped.

Will the like continue to add real value to your page?

Facebook like thumbThe answer to this question depends on what happens after the Facebook likes or Twitter follows are exchanged.  Does all activity end there?  Or is an effort made to take an active interest in each other’s page, adding additional value in the form of post likes and comments?  This is where the real value is imparted.

Like/follow swap invitations that are extended by well known social media authorities tend to include folks who realize that adding ongoing value to each other’s pages is weighed much more favorably by ranking algorithms than just having a higher number of page likes/follows.  These folks take the time to follow up at least a couple of times a week, visiting the pages they have liked/followed to take advantage of engagement opportunities.  In return, most see the same effort expended on behalf of their own pages. 

Is like swapping worthwhile?

The answer to this question is yes…and no.  I would advise against joining generic groups unless you know the members engage with each other’s pages afterward.  I have tried a couple myself, with the stipulation that engagement should be as reciprocal as the like or follow itself.  In every case I ultimately left the group due to lack of any activity beyond the physical like/follow.

Twitter follow buttonIf you are interested in partaking, it is best to do so when invited by a reputable professional in the social media field.  Again, these folks tend to have followers who are better versed in how to maximize the benefits of this strategy.  Make a reference list of the pages you like and follow, and visit them throughout each week.  Look for opportunities to engage, and watch for reciprocal behavior on your own page.

Are you considering/already engaging in like/follow swapping?  Please share your thoughts or experiences in the comments section below!

Face to Face is Social Too!

November 26, 2012

by Jeanine Vecchiarelli                              return to JayVee Media Link LLC

handshake over coffee cupFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Pinterest, You Tube, Instagram.  We have all bases covered when we think about social marketing.  We get so busy searching for target markets in our niches, creating and sharing quality content, reaching out and engaging that our whole world becomes an online presence.  It was in this cyber whirlwind that I came across an interesting question in a LinkedIn group forum:  “Is meeting for coffee wasting your time?”

At first I thought the poster was joking.  But it soon became apparent the query was something with which the social media immersed gentleman was truly struggling.

One of the main objectives of social media marketing is building a bond of trust with our clients.  This is so essential, since people are naturally wary of others they meet and interact with online.  How can we REALLY know who is on the other end of our internet connection?  One of the best ways to nurture trust is to allow our brands’ human side to show.  Is there a quicker way to do this than to meet with our current/potential clients?  Of course, judgment and strategy are necessary in order to make optimal use of our valuable time.  If it is geographically feasible, and we feel there may be mutually beneficial business potential, it would be foolhardy not to take the time to meet for coffee.  This is true if the benefit comes by way of quality referrals as well as direct business transacted.

The forum question received many responses.  Every one of them emphasized the importance of face to face meetings as part of our marketing strategies.  Discussion included properly respectful behavior; i.e., not hard selling, but informally discussing business.  The closest thing to a negative reply simply reminded us not to participate if it is impractical, or if we have good reason to suspect that no business gain will come of the meeting.  All told, the comments gave the practice a big thumbs up.

This was my submitted response to the question of whether meeting clients for coffee is a waste of time:

“There’s no understating the importance of a face to face meeting, especially when a business operates primarily online. A coffee shop meeting allows connections to see and interact with a brand’s human side. That’s what we labor for online, because showing that human side is a key factor in building trust. And trust increases the chance of business transaction and/or productive referrals. A face to face meeting over coffee expedites our efforts to allow potential clients to come to know and trust us!”

Another discussed facet of meeting for coffee was the idea of sitting down with peers in our industry in addition to doing so with clients. Aside from the fact that peers can become clients, there are other good reasons to make the time to meet them as well.  Commenter Urban Renstrom said it best:

Urban Renstrom • “It is invaluable meeting people.
Top 5 reasons to F2F (face to face)
1)potential business together
2)understand their business better
3)your network may need their service
4)Get content ideas
5)A fresh perspective
and naturally sharing a cup of coffee.”

Do you meet peers and/or clients for coffee?  What are your thoughts regarding the practice?  Please share them in the comments section below!

coffee cup with business card