July 30, 2014

How to Ask for Social Media Favors

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Written by: Ross Quintana
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How to Ask for Social Media Favors

How to Ask for Social Media Favors

Hello Everyone,

If you have been around social media for a while there will no doubt come a time when someone asks you to do social media favors. I get requests like this all the time as do many other people especially if they have a good sized following. Take for example my friend Mark Schaefer. I get a kick out of the requests he gets and shares on Facebook.

Examples of dumb social media requests

It really makes you realize how ignorant people can be. What many people don’t understand is how ignorant their request comes off. Here are 3 things you can do so you don’t end up making yourself look stupid.

1- Don’t let it be your first interaction. It feels pretty disingenuous to ask for a favor from someone who you have never talked to before. “Hi I’m a stranger but maybe you can do something for me” is what you are really saying. Also, “Your influential, I want to use your influence for my own gain and don’t really know you are care about you.” Or one of my favorites is the automated favor post from when I followed you on Twitter asking me to like your page or vote for you….. No.

2 – Fake compliments. Following number 1, if I don’t know you don’t pretend like we are buddies from High School. If you want to get to know me or we have interacted before and you need something, ask in a way that allows the person to decline. Example, “I would love it if you visited my Facebook page. If you enjoy my content please like the page. Thanks” If your content or page is garbage then don’t expect someone who is associated with quality content to like you garbage page. There is a reason quality rises to the top and spammy crap doesn’t. Don’t try and break the universe.

3 – Give first. Yes, in world of distraction where attention and influence are currency, don’t walk in expecting a best selling author or top social media person to take their time visiting your page or blog or voting for your cat when you have done nothing for them. As I talk about in 3 Tips for More Social Engagement on Twitter, you realize starting with engagement is key. You retweeting to your 125 followers and then asking them to share to their 50,000 is not “about equal”. Trust me when people know you and see your interaction, then you ask them for something they are way more likely to help you out. Lead with interaction and engagement which is the currency of the internet.

OK so lessons on how to not be a douche when asking for social media favors. Let’s think first and then ask. In reality people should be reciprocating and doing things for each other. It is the nature and power of social media to engage and that engagement is a gift. I love helping people and sharing content for my followers or those who have said a kind word or shared some of my content. I know sharing their post to my 60,000+ followers is a big boost for many and I love doing it. But when strangers ask me to do something for them that even those who I know are not asking me for it becomes quite annoying. I know many others face the same thing. So do the yourself a favor and share this post so that maybe those people following you who are bound to ask you for something can learn how to ask for social media favors. Cheers!

About the Author

Ross Quintana
Founder of SocialMagnets, I am passionate about social media, influence, innovation, strategy, and marketing. I love to help people learn and understand the digital world. I stretch people's thinking and share my analysis of information, tools, and strategies in social media. Let's connect


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