I’m in this Facebook Group. It’s for people who advertise on Facebook.

At least once every goddamned day, someone will find some “amazing growth hacking” tool and ask “Should I try this?”

The answer, almost always is: Christ, no.

This particular app this fellow is talking about does this:

  • It waits for someone to take ANY action on a Facebook post (like, comment, share).
  • It then jumps in and starts an automated Facebook messenger chat with them, presumably to start selling things.

This app, and hundreds like it, will be gone in a month?—?removed and banned by Facebook. And the pages that use them are at risk of being closed as well. It’s happened. There is absolutely no way this particular app is “approved” (in fact, read further down their sales page and you see that the API “actions” are approved?—?perhaps, but that doesn’t mean ALL API USES are approved).

Think about it: This app will start a Messenger conversation with thousands of people. Next month, you go to create a campaign of people who have messaged your brand. You now have thousands of people who didn’t REALLY message your page, and you’re paying for each one.

Congratulations. You now have a useless and expensive audience.

People. Stop trying to shortcut your way to marketing.

I can’t believe the shit people in these groups fall for.

But still, people want to believe. Because they don’t want to put in the work.

Think of it this way?—?people who start conversations with your brand’s page are a strong, targetable audience because they reached out to you.

More from Tod:  Tod's "Top Three Things" Newsletter for October 20, 2014

Now, instead, you’re dumping EVERYONE who has engaged with your page into that bucket. So you no longer have that effective group.

This happens every time there’s a new social technology. Every time.

When Instagram came out, everyone raced to use follow apps to artificially boost their follower numbers. Then, when they later tried to target their followers, those same “growth hackers” started complaining that they had thousands of poor quality people who really would never convert.

Marketing is not a “growth hacker” exercise (or whatever guru of the hour calls themselves).

Marketing is about building effective, trusted relationships with people for whom you can solve a problem.

The Ageless Three T’s

Marketing takes Time. It takes Testing. And it takes Trust.

Thus, anything?—?like this app?—?that promises super-fast rules (anti-time), a simple one-click process (anti-testing), and an automated approach to “relationship development” (anti-trust) will fail.

The only people who will make money off this app, and the countless I see people giddily share in Facebook “growth hacker” groups, are the makers of the app. Who will close down a couple of months later and move onto the next thing.

Don’t believe me? Go to instagress.com right now.

Just a month ago, everyone in these groups thought this was the next best thing.

Now it’s closed. Shut down by Instagram.

Stop it.