Axe The Ask: How To Avoid Inundating Your Customers Online

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Step out of your loafers for a moment and put yourself in the position of one of your customers.

You have a company you like. You re-tweet something they say on Twitter because you find it interesting. Within minutes, you have a direct message asking you to follow them. You do so, and then you’re thanked for it. What is unleashed upon you in the coming days is nothing short of a deluge of marketing messages, links to the company’s website and a relentless, quasi-desperate campaign to be your best friend forever.

Wisely, you tune that company out. Nobody blames you for that. But stepping back into those comfortable shoes, what if your company is doing exactly that?

The sage advice from PR Sarah Evans is to make sure you’re not driving your customers away from your social media efforts with what she calls the “generic ask.” Definition? Here you go:

For those who are online conversationalists (participate on a social network a few times per week) you are most likely asked to: “friend,” “follow,” “like,” “click here,” “donate” and a plethora of other actions many times each week. These asks aren’t only when we’re online, but reach us on television, radio and print. Overwhelming!

How do you avoid it? First off, kill your automated messaging on Twitter and the like. Your customers may really enjoy the content you’re putting out, but they don’t want to get a robotic thank you every time they indicate they like a piece. Anything that makes you seem impersonal or needy is going to drive away the bulk of the customers following you online

If you want to drive traffic to Facebook or Twitter, consider an unobtrusive button on the side of your site, or putting simple links at the end of posts. When it comes to asking or straight out demanding things from your customers, your attitude should always be that less is more.

What’s your opinion about this? Make sure you share it in the comments, which is right below the link to Twitter. The irony.


Photo credit goes to Twitter

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