Focus More, Do Less

Why the Facebook Like Button and Twitter Retweet Button are Worthless

As someone who’s been on Facebook and Twitter before a Like button or Retweet button existed, it’s interesting to see the progression of these tools. I can distinctly remember the launch of the Like button on Facebook and how dumb everyone thought it would be. That view of “a dumb button” quickly turned to a way to virtually express yourself on Facebook (really cool). However, that same ease of expression hasn’t changed in 3 years and like anything on the internet that sticks around for 3 years without change, is becoming almost worthless. The same can be said for the Retweet (RT) button on Twitter. Before that button existed, when someone (or a lot of someone’s) reposted your tweet and gave you credit for it, it meant something. Now, the RT is something people ask/beg for and when that happens, what’s the point?

With the growth of social media and the influx of businesses, the Like button and the RT button are being gamed. Now, there are some creative businesses that reward Likes and RTs in interesting ways and I’m totally cool with that, but the majority of businesses out there just aren’t Like or RT worthy. I’m sorry, you’re just not. And instead of embracing that and realizing it, business owners brush off social media or say it’s useless because they aren’t good at it (or won’t give up the keys to someone who is). I’m guilty of this to some degree with IWearYourShirt. I want us, as a business, to do less pitching to our audience to Like/RT something, unless we really think it’s Like-able.

I am 100% okay with people asking to Like a post or RT a tweet when it’s actually of value to other people. I’m not okay with businesses asking to share/Like/RT every stupid discount, coupon, deal, quote, etc that they think is valuable. The thing about the Like/RT buttons is that they directly tell you if what you’re saying is worthwhile. These little buttons are feedback indicators of if you’re doing a good job of saying stuff or if you suck at it and need to let someone else control your voice in social media. Let’s face it, unless you’re selling Unicorn Tears, your business has competition in social media and you need to have the upper hand to set yourself apart and grow an engaged audience (read: be more interesting). And when you do trust someone to create content that could be Like-able or RT-able, that engagement will come without asking for it. 

So here’s a few questions to let your brain chew on: Why would someone Like my Facebook page in the first place? Would people say they “Like” my business outside of Facebook? Do they feel they’ll consistently get interesting content that they’ll Like? Are my tweets always just being pushed or am I pulling people in and using @ mentions? Am I just regurgitating other people’s information? Do I RT people? If I were a consumer and read my tweets, would I actually want to RT them?

Last but not least, not everything you say has to be Like-able or RT worthy. Sometimes you just want to express yourself without any return and that’s okay. But for the love of all things sacred, stop putting “pls RT” or “pls Like” in your social media messaging.

Jason Sadler Speaking Bio

I constantly get asked for a bio about myself when I speak and the only place it lives are in my sent emails (not the best place). I have this blog, it archives stuff and it’s indexable content about me for Google - So let’s share it here!

From drawing on walls with crayons as a kid to eventually graduating from the University of North Florida with a degree in Graphic Design, Jason Sadler has always been creative. In 2008 he recognized the growing influence of social media and decided he could utilize these platforms in a new and unique way, by getting paid to wear sponsored t-shirts for a living. Each day, Jason represents a different company online using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Ustream and Flickr. Four years later, IWearYourShirt.com has grown from one to five professional shirt wearers and has been recognized by media outlets around the world including The Today Show, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN and more. He’s worked with professional sports organizations, advertising agencies, Fortune 500s and before getting paid to wear t-shirts co-owned a web design company. Jason is an avid automotive enthusiast that loves playing Scrabble, watching terrible movies and has been known to play a hoop of basketball or two. Jason lives at the beach in Jacksonville, Florida but frequently travels to speak publicly and share his nothing-to-something story.

And my headshot (courtesy of Laura Evans Photography):

Getting on the Homepage (Popular) of Pinterest

Update: This poster is officially for sale on Zazzle for $18.95!

We’ve been using Pinterest for IWearYourShirt for about a month now. We’ve been signed up for a few months and one member of our team (Caroline) has been talking about Pinterest since mid-2011. 

Our account has 600+ followers, we follow about 30 people and we have 6 Boards with 127 total Pins. Our team of shirt wearers has done our fair share of repinning, finding interesting things from around the web to Pin, but rarely have we created our on content and uploaded it as a Pin… Until today.

At 2am (Thurs morning) I was struck with a thought that the saying “Good things come to those who wait” is kind of a load of crap. It insinuates that people can be lazy, sit back and success will eventually come. Instead, the saying would be more appropriate if it read "Good things come to those who work their asses off and never give up". It’s more truthful and I can 100% attest to my business following that mantra. So I hopped into Photoshop, grabbed a simple font I love (Berthold Akzidenz), stuck with black and white colors, added some minimal design elements and was ready to rock…

BUT! Adding a Pin at 2am probably only would have gotten me a few repins, so I decided to head to sleep and upload it in the morning. At 11am I remembered to post it, 15 minutes later it had 40+ repins and then when someone tweeted a Pin in my Twitter stream (about 3 hours later) I thought about checking in on it again. I was surprised to say the least that my little inspirational poster had received 400+ repins and when I went to the homepage (popular) of Pinterest there it was:

It’s very interesting to see how the Pinterest community works and what catches on. All my Pins about cars, food, fashion and everything else have been pretty much ignored. It doesn’t matter to me that they’ve been ignored, I use Pinterest because it’s awesome and I love the functionality. I just like to dig into how things work and learn from social networks (especially new ones).

I might try to make another inspirational poster from a late night thought and see if it catches on again. Either way, I’m just happy that all of the people repinning it have now pinned something with the word “ass” in it. Hah! 

Happy Pinning and feel free to leave a comment below with a link to your Pinterest account so I can check you out.

Jason Sadler Is Coming Vancouver! 

http://facebook.com/socialforprofit
http://jasonsadler.com

I’m traveling to speak at a half-day social media event in Vancouver, Canada on February 21. I’ll be sharing the IWearYourShirt story, talking about monetizing social media, how I get paid to wear t-shirts for a living and much more. Thanks to CK Golf Solutions, Jordan Consulting and Amuse Consulting for putting on this fun event.

And also a shout out to the sponsors of the event: ING Direct, Aussie Pet Mobile Canada, Mark McD Creative, The Westin Grand Vancouver, Rapid Time Networks and Josh Rimer.

See you in Vancouver!