Facebook is one of those social media tools that I find is black and white for personal pages but becomes a little grey and blurry when it comes to business pages and social networking behaviour. I recently started networking for my small business and have since been flooded with Facebook Friend Requests, the majority of which from individuals that I don’t personally know. This week I’m going to focus on how to build a great online network of Friends on Facebook and how to be a good Facebook friend in return.
Less is more when it comes to representing yourself/your business on Facebook. There is proper etiquette to use when expanding your Facebook friends’ network, just like there is proper etiquette in physical networking. I aim to shine some light on how you can be a good Facebook friend and grow your friends’ network with proper etiquette for the best results.
How to be a good Facebook Friend:
- Don’t be someone that scrolls the suggested friends feed and sends requests to literally everyone on the list. Be selective in your friend requests to maximize results.
- Don’t add someone because you have 1 mutual friend. Or if you do, follow up with a personal message of why you added them.
- If someone accepts your friend request, don’t send them an instant request to like your page immediately. Warm the waters first.
How do you filter new friends and figure out if they’re even a real person?
In this day and age, it is getting harder and harder to filter spam from real content and intentions. Before I accept a friend request from someone I don’t know, I will ask myself the following general questions:
- Do we share many mutual friends?
- How credible are these mutual friends? I.E. are they close friends or ones that I don’t have much rapport with?
- Are their profile pictures consistently of the same person, or are they only of celebrities, landscapes, etc. without showing the person’s face?
- Is their Timeline full of good content showing that they’ve attended local events, pictures with their friends and family, etc.? Or is it just a general sharing of posts, with lots of promotional spam or promoting of specific businesses, pages, etc.?
If this all checks out, I will accept their friend request. What happens next will determine if they remain my friend, if I unfollow them, or even unfriend them.
Do they send you a personal message right away?
Once the friendship is accepted, this first action can be a good thing when done right. If someone with mutual friends sends me a personal message and says “I notice we have a similar networking circle and I hope to see you at a local networking event soon”, I will take that as a sign that maybe they have heard of me through our mutual friends and are actually looking forward to meeting me and networking.
If they send me a personal message with anything inappropriate, such as sending me spam, links to websites, videos, etc. than they will be unfriended right away.
Do they invite you to like a Page / Their Page?
Again, this can be good or bad. If I accept someone’s friend request and they immediately send me a dozen invites to like certain pages, BOOM, unfriended.
If you would like to invite someone to like a page, I suggest you warm the waters first. Send them a personal message introducing yourself and see what their response is. After being introduced to them, it could be that your Page may benefit them, and in that case invite away!
As a rule of thumb I only invite friends to like my page that I have built rapport with. This way there are better chances of them liking my page, and not simply unfollowing/unfriending me.
Do they spam you?
We are constantly being bombarded with spam left, right and centre. If someone starts spamming me on Facebook or even sharing too many contentless posts on the news feed, they will be unfollowed and/or unfriended.
Treat online social networking similar to in-person social networking.
Facebook is essentially an online social networking group, albeit a large one with no territory borders. As with any social networking opportunities, start slow and build relationships with members/friends. Use Facebook as a tool to meet people, take interest in what they do, and then introduce yourself. Find friends with whom you share mutual friends or mutual interests and treat them as the real people that they are.
If you are respectful of people’s time and presence on Facebook, I assure you will have great results. As with any networking it takes time to build rapport and trust, especially with individuals who have not met you in the “physical world”.
Oh, and please remember to always spell-check your posts before you publish!
Do you have any tips on being a good Facebook friend? Have you had similar experiences with having to unfriend someone for a specific reason? I’d love to hear below in the comments.
Have a great long weekend everyone!