This is a follow on from my recent article “How Not To Network“. When using Facebook there are a couple of practices that I see my connections use, that concern me.
Posting To A New Contacts (or Pages) Wall
In principle, posting to a new contacts wall is a great way to develop the relationship. It’s a cool way to say “Hi”, highlight your presence to the new contact and encourage them to get to know you better too.
Done correctly, it is a very subtle (but effective) way to improve your visibility and slowly increase traffic to your profile (and your website).
Done poorly, it can really annoy your contacts…. Poorly means going to a new contacts page, saying “Hi” and posting a link to your website, or a blatant promotion about your product(s) or service(s).
I often feel that posting a link to another businesses page, or a persons profile wall, is like walking into the businesses premises (or persons home) and approaching the customers and saying “Hey, come and see my business”. In fact, it’s probably worse than that – because the link remains on the wall – it’s more like putting a poster in that businesses premises advertising your business. Is that really appropriate business behaviour?
Facebook is about networking
Facebook, like Linked In, when used for business should be about connecting with your target audience and demonstrating the value you offer to encourage your ‘prospect’ back to ‘your place’ where you can start selling to them.
To me, the approach of posting links and ‘advertisement’ to contacts wall is the same as turning up to a business party or mixer and thrusting your business card into peoples hands – without finding out if they are even your target market or open to learning more.
Here are some of the basics that I think all Businesses should bear in mind when using Facebook:
- Know your Target Audience – whilst you can connect with a lot of people on Facebook, not EVERYONE will be your target audience. When you know your Target Audience, you will be able to tailor your messages to an approach that appeals to that audience and entice them to learn more about you.
- People ‘buy’ when they “Know You, Like You, Trust You” – give something of yourself first, before you even try to sell stuff. Just dropping by someone’s wall to say “Hi”, and posting your advertisement is not going to win you a lot business – it could loose you a lot though.
- Be respectful – How would you feel if someone walked into your business and started ‘spruiking’ for themselves, without seeking permission or being asked to? How would you feel if someone came to your house and started selling to your guests? I would guarantee that you wouldn’t like it, and would have them removed pretty quickly!
The other thing to consider, is that a link or advertisement on a businesses page is a subtle endorsement of the product or service. Personally, I don’t want to be seen to endorsing something that I have not tried – would you?
I recently ran a fundraiser – and approached several of my contacts and sought permission to post my event to their pages (and groups). I appreciate the same courtesy from my contacts.
Think before you post. By all means, use a new contacts wall to let them know you’re around – but how about you leave off a link in the first instance?
What are your thoughts?