Facebook Friends Strategy for Business
friend (a person you know well and regard with affection and trust)
friend (an associate who provides cooperation or assistance)
friend (a person with whom you are acquainted)
Facebook was designed for friends. With its remarkable growth and proven worth as a networking tool, Facebook is now for more than friends. The challenge however is separating your friends from networking contacts. I don’t want to have conversations with a fraternity brother visible to a business contact. The photo from last St. Patrick’s Day I snapped on my mobile phone is not something I want a client to see.
However, I do want to manage people I don’t know that have expended the effort to friend me on Facebook. Right now the prominent buttons on such a request are “Accept” or “Ignore.” Instead, I am choosing to “Engage.” I’ve contemplated the idea before of not accepting as friends people I don’t know. Now I’m executing the idea. Instead of hitting ignore, I’m replying with a message to join my business page. Facebook calls those contacts fans.
A fan, aficionado, or supporter is someone who has an intense, occasionally overwhelming liking and enthusiasm for a sporting club, person (usually a celebrity), group of persons, company, product, activity, work of art, idea, or trend.
Most business page members are not fans by that definition. They are simply interested enough to click on as members. Fan is the name we’ve got, so let’s use it.
Now when I get a friend request from someone I’ve never met, I suggest they join my business (fan) page instead. We have the same ability to interact as on my personal page, but I don’t have to share my personal messages, photos or how many times I did a mission on Mafia Wars today. If we interact and truly become friends, then I can add them. That’s my new policy.
Tonight I had dinner with about a dozen local business people with completely different businesses than mine. All were curious about what I was doing for a living. When the discussion turned to Facebook, not one of them knew you could create a business page that is separate from your personal profile. They were amazed by the possibilities!
I received two new friend requests today. One was from a real estate company or agent and the other from someone I simply don’t know. We’ll see whether they become fans or not.
Create a Facebook business page and populate it with your business info.
Invite your existing friends that may be interested in your business to join.
Link your business page to your Twitter account. Kill two birds with one tweet.
Write a personalized message for people you don’t know with your business page link included. Save it in notepad on your desktop so you can simply cut and paste for future requests.
Don’t add people to your personal Facebook page you don’t know.
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