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Friends Are People

posted Mar 12, 2010, 9:13 PM by Jeff Wagner   [ updated Mar 12, 2010, 10:08 PM ]

Today I logged into Facebook for one reason: to "unfriend" all of my friends who aren't people. I'm sure the previous sentence will puzzle the casual reader, but it makes perfect sense to me. Friends are people. The whole point of Facebook is to build relationships between people. I feel weird when I get a friend request from a company, and I've been getting quite a few lately. How can you be friends with a company? Do you talk about each other's day or catch a ball game together? It doesn't make sense to me, so I finally told myself that enough was enough. Today, with all due respect toward my fellow business owners, I removed from friends all of my Facebook connections who were not identifiable people.

I enjoy almost everything about Facebook. Never before have we been able to connect with so many people; however, I do feel that some are not using the system as it was intended by blatantly promoting their businesses. I would even go as far as calling a friend request from a business SPAM because it's an unsolicited electronic message. For people who want a page for their business, Facebook has an option called a "fan" page for people to invite their friends to become fans of their business. First you must establish who you are, then find your friends or make new ones. Once someone has acknowledged your friendship & you have communicated with each other, invite your friends to become fans of your business. It's that simple.

Some companies, including my own, play by the rules by, not only inviting friends to become fans, but actually paying for advertisements on the site. While I applaud the spirit of guerrilla style marketing that inspires these business owners to go around the system & blindly invite people to "friend" their businesses, I'm disappointed that they're bending the rules at the expense of those of us who follow them. Through your company's fan page, you can post anything you want about your business. It's a great way to keep people informed about your address, phone, website, hours & special promotions. By becoming fans of your company, your friends are telling you they want to know about these things.

I know it's tough out there, but abusing this wonderful relationship tool will turn people away who you really want to connect with. Keep that in mind with every message you post. Remember that Facebook has a "hide" feature that will shield ALL your posts from your friends. You may think because you see everything they post that the feeling is mutual, but they may have hidden you from view long ago for any reason. I used to accept anyone's friend request & immediately hide those who post too often about business (some about politics too, but that's for another entry). So think about all the quality messages I missed because someone thought they found the next best advertising tool since cable TV.

Get in touch with me or visit TheWebSystem.com if you want to learn more about using social media for your business. If administered correctly, you'll not only find true fiends, you'll find some of the most loyal customers anywhere. 


The Web System


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