I’ve noticed something recently that appears to be a burgeoning trend, and I don’t like it. Startups dangling the promise of exclusivity and early admission to their private beta parties in exchange for wielding your influence to “Spread the Word”. Pssst…”The more friends you invite, the sooner you’ll get access!” C’mon! If your product is good, people are going to use it and talk ab￼out it. Don’t patronize me with your bad Charlie Sheen references and generic html. This is lazy social media marketing in my opinion. And its a tactic that I won’t pander to.
However, it’s not nearly as bad as hitting submit on a digital form only to realize that the teeny-tiny checkbox in the bottom left hand corner, yeah…the one you didn’t UN-check?? Well, they opted you right into Tweeting to your entire following that you just signed up for the latest whatever on Twitter. These sneaky little broadcast methods are cheap trix and I say you marketers should be ashamed of yourselves.
I’ll keep this rant short, but influence is and will be a contributing factor in the success of many social marketing activities. Yet, as with all things social, leveraging influence must be genuine. Blatant solicitation of influence is only adding to the derision of influencer metrics and the narcissists who work to game the system. The real value of your influencers will pay dividends when they choose to talk about your products and services unprovoked. Doing it otherwise is a surefire way to usurp the power of the influencers you’re trying to enlist.