Genuinely Connecting with Your Audience on Facebook
Facebook friend requests are flooding my notifications these days. When I see that cute little notification appear on my phone, I SQUEE with delight that someone wants to connect with me – of all people – ME! I’m humbled. I’m honored. I feel elated to have the opportunity to connect with one of the many lovely humans I have had the pleasure of knowing over the years.
But then when I see the friend request is from a person I have never met and have never even heard of before my heart sinks. Oh, the letdown! This isn’t someone who is a person I know, like and trust. In fact, by sending a random friend request they have pretty much solidified the fact that I will never care to know, like or trust them.
Maybe I’m a little harsh or irrational about this all, but I have to believe I’m not the only one. Actually, I know I’m not because my friend Stephanie (owner of SOS Credit Solutions) posted a status update about this exact scenario earlier this morning and validated ALL of my thoughts on the topic. Steph is amazing and a much kinder person than myself because she will give someone the benefit of the doubt whereas I go straight to the place of utter annoyance, mentally blacklisting that individual in my head.
So now that you know how ruthless I can be (I’m not ALL sunshine and rainbows!) I’m going to lay it all out on the line and say this…
Using your personal profile to go on a Facebook friend requesting spree in hopes that it will grow your business is one of the absolutely worst, most oogey ways you can use the platform.
Actually, I would even go as far as to say it’s just plain spammy. Oogey and spammy (legit technical terms) are personally two labels I never want hurled at me for any reason.
I don’t personally know Mark Zuckerberg and I cannot or will not try to speak for him by any means, but I’m 100% confident that he just might be on board with me saying that this type of attempt at connection is abusive and the polar opposite of what he and his brilliant team want to occur on this platform they have so craftily created over the years.
Using Facebook to grow your business, just like your business development in person, needs to come from a place of sincerity. Have you ever heard the phrase, “Business is all about building relationships” because it’s so simple, yet so true. That’s literally why it’s a well known phrase. A sincere approach to Facebook marketing is a long-term, long haul investment into your business, but it works.
Connecting genuinely with your audience, rather than disingenuously with a bunch of strangers, is going to get you light years ahead. My head starts spinning exorcist style when I see a slew of friend requests from people who I have never met, but appear to have mutual friends. Especially when there’s no thoughtful conversation or introduction message to bridge the gap. It gives me that same visceral reaction as when people hit the “connect” button on LinkedIn and don’t take the time to send a personal message.
I am absolutely, vehemently not trying to put myself on a pedestal here, or pretend that I’m doing everything right. I’m one big, steam-rolling mistake maker! However, I know (like, REALLY know) social media and the serious value it can add to your business when implemented in a sincere, purposeful, meaningful way to better connect with your audience. On the reverse side, I have seen the detrimental effects it can have on a business owner who uses it in a selfish, thoughtless, insincere manner.
It’s not rocket science, it’s people science! People like people who are kind, thoughtful and interesting. Friend requesting individuals you have never met sends giant red flags and maybe even some flares into the brains of anyone on the receiving end. “What are they after? What’s their motive? Why are they trying to connect with my personal profile and not following/liking my business page? How quickly will they spam me with a canned message about their secret formula for XYZ (insert literally anything here and I’ve heard the pitch for it)” if I accept their request?”
Okay. So now you get it. Genuine, real relationships are key. Want to know how to get started with making those real, genuine connections and have a flourishing business presence on Facebook?
I’d be absolutely full of it if I said it doesn’t require significant time and energy to use social media to connect with your audience on a genuine level. But the benefits of making that kind of thoughtful, deliberate effort far outweigh any downfall of time invested. It’s a process, but you can do it with the right knowledge, understanding and tools & resources at your disposal.
ALL the Facebook Hearts,
Need more guidance or some step-by-step instruction? I’ve got a workshop on this vary topic set for March 8 for anyone local to Hampton Roads Virginia or video consults available if you’re not located nearby.