May 23rd, 2012 @ // No Comments
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They say that if you want to have friends, you have to BE a friend. We all know that means you attract friends by acting friendly. But what does “acting friendly” mean? If you’re a business trying to make and keep friends on Facebook, that’s more than just an idle question.
I’m going to assume you already maintain a Facebook account for your business; in fact, I know of some companies with Facebook accounts that never bothered building a separate website. I won’t go into the logic behind that. Right now, I’m just going to assume that your business is on Facebook, and you’re hoping to use the social network to help it grow. That means you need to learn how to make and keep friends on Facebook without annoying them.
If your company includes a physical presence where customers show up, you can start making Facebook friends simply by mentioning that you have a Facebook page. That goes double if they ask about mailing lists or other ways to stay informed of what you’re doing. Hey, it happens! Just yesterday I was decluttering my den and happened across the address and phone number for one of the local U-pick-it farms. I called them up and found out that it was the last day of their season. When I finished picking (there’s nothing like fresh-picked blueberries!), I asked how I could find out when their season starts next year. They referred me to their Facebook page, and I added them as a friend as soon as I got home.
Be sure to add information about your Facebook page to your website, and to any hard copy you hand out: brochures, business cards, stationary, etc. This way, customers will know right away where to turn when they want updates about your business. These can include special events, promotions, discounts, or whatever would be appropriate for you to post on Facebook.
Now we’re closing in on the heart of the matter. What, exactly, is appropriate for a business to post on Facebook? What can you post if you want to keep friends? To answer that, we need to look at two things: what users do when they’re reading Facebook, and what they do when they’re posting to Facebook.
I’ll start with myself, though I admit I may not be typical. I go to Facebook when I need a break from something else; if lots of users do this, it would explain why so many people get on Facebook while they’re at work. I skim Facebook for quick updates from my friends, cute cartoons, and interesting links. I rarely spend a lot of time reading any one thing. When I do choose to read a long item, I try to go through all the shorter items first, and then the longer ones. I usually do this by opening the interesting links in a bunch of new tabs in my browser, so I can hit them all at once, in succession. It’s the most efficient way to “goof off,” at least for me.