Today, as is my routine everyday, I had Hootsuite up and running on my Internet browser so I could monitor the social media accounts I manage. About 10 minutes ago, I saw this tweet (the company will remain anonymous):

Like us on Facebook. (link to the Facebook page)

I almost tweeted the company back to simply write “Why?”. It seems like we’ve got so complacent in our social media efforts that we put these one-sentence orders out and expect mass obedience: Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Watch our YouTube videos. Sorry to be Cynical Cindy here, but you’ve gotta tell me why – what is it about your Twitter feed/Facebook page/LinkedIn group/etc. that is so compelling that I’m going to want to engage and pay attention? We live in a world where hundreds of thousands of brands, products and people are fighting for our time and attention, and as someone working in PR and social media, I’m seeing more and more the need to ensure that the characters I use are thoughtful and add value. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is definitely a time and place for promotion and requests for follows and likes, but how can we elevate the ask to give a competitive advantage against everyone else vying for the same users? I sent this post to my trusty PR buddy and blog editor Andrea Lauder (@andrealauder) – she had this great bit to add:

I would say, just because you have a relationship with someone online doesn’t guarantee that they HAVE to do anything for you. Show your value and it will be easy for your friends to like you and to spread the word to their friends. If you’re getting your friends to like you just because you’re calling in a favour is going to do nothing to help your bottom line.