don't follow me Lately I’m starting to see a lot of social buttons, widgets and feeds popping up on websites and blogs of all types. They all say basically the same thing … “Follow Me!” “Be our Fan!” “C’mon, you know you want to!” “Click this glossy icon, then click on more of our junk.”

Stop it. Just stop. Step back and take a look at your feed … or button … or your little blue birdie icon. Sure it’s cute, and you can tell everyone you know that your company is “doing social media.” But are you giving that reader any reason to “follow” you or become your “fan?” I’m guessing no. People follow leaders. They become fans of people and brands that earn their trust over time.

So give me a reason to follow you. Give me a tip. Give me a deal. Or just be fun and unique. Find a way to give value first. Then ask to connect. Show that you’ll reciprocate. Show that you CARE.

If you still need one of those slick buttons for your site, start here.