Recently, this blog has been asking people on our Facebook page to participate in different polls we do through the Facebook Questions section. I had made the decision at the beginning to send the question to all of my own personal Facebook friends in the hopes that I would be able to get more people to participate on the page and hopefully get more people to Like the page. The questions were not personal, simply asking about basic opinions on youth ministry, if they use certain social media networks, or seasonal questions that fit the holiday.
Unfortunately, I ran into a problem. One of my friends from college decided that he did not like being asked to answer this question. He kindly asked me to stop sending him requests because he felt like I was simply trying to run a research project on him. I happily obliged, but was puzzled. For the previous five months, I had be posting between one and three articles a day through my own personal account from this blog that would have shown up on his feed, approximately 300 articles in all. Yet five questions over a month and half was too much. Do not get me wrong, requesting my friends shows a notification that I am asking for something, whereas when I post a blog article, it simply shows up on their feed. So there is a difference in the delivery, but I was curious why he was so disgruntled over it. So why the complaint now?
The answer came quickly: Do not mix up the idea that sharing links that someone can ignore and asking for interaction directly with Facebook Questions is the same thing. They are completely different.
Short Term Success Does Not Mean Long Term Success
My goal to share questions from the Facebook page was a short-term tactic that was designed to increase the reach and interactions of my page with people and also improve the number of Likes so that I would not have to do this too much longer. Short-term, the posts did increase dramatically, though after just the third week it did begin to drop. The problem that came was two-fold: My Likes did not increase at all and people were beginning to gain a negative perception of the page and ultimately the brand. You may increase the reach of your Facebook page quickly, but too much in a short time (and that term too much is very subjective) can lead to a long-term lose of fans and views and even a negative connotation to what you have to offer. When coming up with the strategy of how you plan to use social media to promote what you have say, share, or sell, do so wisely and think about how you would react if someone did what you are going to do to yourself.
You might be asking why I am bringing this up, who cares if we offer suggestions or request their opinion. The difference is that ignoring a suggestion is guilt-free whereas ignoring my request brings about a little irritation that I may be bugging them and even a brief moment of them evaluating if it is worth being a fan of my Facebook Page. Combining guilt, irritation, and a reevaluation of committing to your page once in a while (a month or more) is one thing, but as I found out the hard way, even a question a week becomes spam in many peoples’ eyes.
Would you be annoyed at the frequency of requests or shared links you are putting out there?