The problem occurs when the trading of favors become mercenary, when alert individuals start manipulating the system for personal gain. Suddenly, every favor is suspect, measured and not at all generous. Suddenly all the likes and links and blurbs become nothing but currency, not the honest appraisals of people we can trust. It means that bystanders have trouble telling the difference between honest approval and the mere mutual shilling of traded favors.He brings up a great point. Social media brings out the "mercenary" in people. Do your followers REALLY like your blog? Are fans just "liking" your page because they want to win an iPad?
For small businesses or anyone who sells a product or service online, take Seth's words to heart. Before you retweet or like, think about your intention BEFORE you click the button. Social media has turned into a popularity contest..."how many likes do you have?" And do 500 likes on your Facebook page really mean anything at the end of the day?
Before you start begging people to like your Facebook page or follow your blog, think about Seth's message of trading favors. Social media is about helping other people, and sharing information without asking anything in return. My advice for 2012: don't be a "mercenary" on your social media networks. Don't go into social media thinking that people owe you a favor, because they don't. An aggressive "me-me" approach won't get you far with your marketing...or your online reputation.