Don't Lie to Your Customers on Facebook

Would you pay an actor to go to Las Cruces Chamber of Commerce events and pretend to be you? 

Then why would you pay someone to pretend to be you on Facebook. Over the past few years it has become more popular for advertising agencies to try and sell content development plans that include posting comments on your behalf on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or what ever other social network is the flavor of the day. 

Don't get me wrong, I get it. You're busy. Your market share is dropping. Is it the economy? Is it the new guys down the street? You're asking yourself: "How do we make sure we're taking advantage of the marketing opportunities in social media?" Then this guy comes knocking at your door. 

"I'll do it all for you so you can focus on making money. I'll set up a Facebook Page for you and I'll post your comments for you every day." 

Despite how he looks, it sounds like an easy way to take the load off your shoulders and put it somewhere else. Sweet. So you say "Sounds good sleazy looking dude, go pretend to be me online. I'm sure this will work out great."

But it doesn't. Just like automating posts using HootSuite didn't work. 

But this time, it's worse. You've effectively lied to everyone out there who took the time to follow you online. These are people who said to themselves "this looks like a valuable page to follow," or "I know this guy, he's cool so I'll help him out by throwing a Like his way." You haven't just set yourself up for failure, you've potentially ruined your reputation. 

Now, your market share has dropped even more. You're still looking for ways to take advantage of social media, but no one cares what you have to say. 

So Don't Do It

Don't trust your reputation to some random dude off the street who's going to make your life easier by pretending to be you. If you need help with content development, go to someone you can trust and make them a member of your team. If you're going to pay someone to do it, you need to work out an editorial calendar with them and provide specific guidance and oversight to make sure you are intimately involved in the content. And you need to post it yourself.

This is networking in a lot of the same ways that going to a Las Cruces Home Builders Association luncheon is networking. It's meant to be social, interesting and fun. You need to be invested in it if you want it to work. If you aren't going to engage, then don't waste your time, or worse, your reputation.