Forcing “likes” is poor business communication (part 1)

A few weeks ago, I told you about how a Udemy instructor requested that I change my review from three stars to five stars because it would help him remain high in the ratings. He had no interest in whether his course merited five stars or why I had rated it three stars. He just wanted me to like him enough to further his purposes.

And then today in the Washington Post, I read this article: “This landlord said ‘like’ me on Facebook or get evicted.” Basically, in both a show of poor communication skills and even poorer business law knowledge, a landlord in Salt Lake City, Utah posted notices on tenants’ doors, telling them to “like” the building/complex on Facebook or be in violation of their rental agreement. Naturally, the tenants did not like this at all and many took to Facebook to complain and some threatened legal action, saying that it was an invasion of privacy, etc. The landlord was forced to retreat, and even had to take down the Facebook page because of the various negative comments and ratings that arose due to this move .

You can’t force people to like you.

But hidden in the article, lies the purported reason why the landlord made this move: since there had been pictures taken at a community party, the landlord wanted to have legal authority to post them and tag them. I am not sure if this is an excuse, or it’s real, but the way the landlord communicated this was poor or non-existent.

So again, it is an issue of poor communication.

In today’s social, online world, it is increasingly difficult for businesses to hide bad behavior.  Businesses can’t force positive reviews or likes, although many times businesses ask customers to like them in order to give discounts or other preferential information. In this way, the number of likes on a page has become completely meaningless. Similarly, if a business has only glowing reviews, they are suspect, and may not be seen as valid.

Give ’em a reason to want to like you

I am not saying that businesses should avoid reviews or Facebook. Businesses need to communicate better, and more importantly, give customers a reason (through actual good service or products) to want to like them and review them positively.

Why do you like Facebook pages? Do you like them to get event information or special discounts? To support a business owner? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.


About Deborah Brody

Deborah Brody writes and edits anything related to marketing communications. Most blog posts are written under the influence of caffeine.


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