Facebook ‘Recommend’ – The Power of a Word

There are so many great opportunities for expanding your reach online, and more come out every day. But, one of the issues I’ve noticed recently is that some offers, which may – (or may not) – be great services don’t have a good handle on what they’re asking from their potential customers.

I believe they’re blinded by the potential of social sharing, failing to see why consumers share commercial information in the first place.

I, for one, have no problem sharing a link to a site I like or to a new tool that seems potentially useful to my audience. However, several times recently I’ve been asked to ‘share’ or ‘recommend’ a site without actually being able to experience it first.

That’s like asking me to recommend a restaurant when I pull into the parking lot.

The Latest Example (Sorry visual.ly)
I found a link to visual.ly in a post on Marketing Profs. Since I know and trust Marketing Profs, I was interested to see what visual.ly was.

I clicked on the link, got to their site, and was invited to enter my email address to learn more, since they’re launching soon. No problem; I can do that. But the next screen offers me the option for an early invitation. All I have to do is invite at least three friends. I can also ‘Recommend’ the site on Facebook or Tweet about it.

So… let me get this straight. You’re ‘inviting’ me to recommend something I’ve never tried to at least three of my friends.

My Reaction
I don’t recommend things I don’t believe in, so I can’t recommend things I’ve never tried. If you at least gave me some sample of what your site/tool is about, I might consider it, but without that there’s NO WAY I’m going to recommend you.

But, as an experiment, I ‘recommended’ visual.ly. And nothing on the page happened. I didn’t move from where I was, but when I checked my Facebook page, there was a post, inviting my friends to join me. Not good. I need to know, from your page, what happened if I pressed a button. Every time.

The Power of Words
The issue here is perhaps that I’m such a stickler for words. Yes, specific words. I used to do a lot of writing that was edited by a group of people. People who didn’t agree. People who wanted more. Or less. Or something else, undefined.

That experience taught me that every word you write is important.

Does everything I write reflect that? No, of course not; it’s too intense to apply to everything. Does anything super-important, like the lead page of an offer, reflect that? I surely hope so.

My Two Cents
Don’t be so beguiled by the power of social media that you lose sight of what you’re asking your visitors to do. If you want me to ‘recommend’ you, I need to know what I’m recommending.


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