Nowadays, having a social media presence is essential, whether you're a writer like me or you've chosen any number of other professions as your career; there is no way around it. You need a social media presence to market yourself, your skills and what you have to offer.
Since entering the brave new world of social media three years ago, I have discovered that while it can be beneficial, it has its downside, too. People have become too fixated on their numbers, their status, and, in addition, it has also become an invasion of privacy. It has also lead to some sleazy tactics to attract new Facebook likes and Twitter followers.
For example, here are three sleazy tactics I have experienced:
1. Lying -- The other day, I received a private message on LinkedIn from a woman who's name starts with an "Anita". Anita said she had liked my Facebook page and asked if I could return the favor. She included the link to her page. I was logged into my page at the time and I had no new likes (or any recent likes from someone named Anita) so I assumed she was referring to P.O.V.'s page. Later, I logged into P.O.V's page and discovered the same thing was true there. Anita had flat out lied about liking my page, no doubt in the hopes I wouldn't double check before liking her page. This is not the first time this has happened.
2. Being Bossy -- If I had a dollar for every time someone said "I've liked your page from my personal account. Please be sure to like me back from your PERSONAL account so it counts", I'd be rich. Okay, maybe I wouldn't be Bill Gates but I see this a lot, both in private messages and in networking groups. Sometimes people will even say this as a comment on your Facebook page. Not only does this tactic come across as bossy and needy, it's also unprofessional. These people care only about increasing the number of followers. Silly me, I thought social networking was all about getting people to read your posts and interact with you.
3. Being Fickle -- This tactic happens more on Twitter than Facebook, but it does occur on both. A person will like/follow your page -- but only temporarily. If you do not follow back within a certain time frame (usually 24-48 hours or less), they will stop following your page. But even if you do follow back, many of them will still unfollow. That was their intention all along. The people from category two often also fall in this category.
Are there any social media tactics that you think are sleazy? Have you ever used any of these tactics?