I Have a Facebook Fan Page; You Mean I Need Facebook Friends Too?


I Have Fans; Do I Need Facebook Friends Too?

The answer is a resounding YES!

But I Already Have a Fan Page, So Don’t I Just Need to Get More Fans?

The answer to this question is a resounding NO! It is true that you need to be getting more Fans, but that is not enough.

Before going any further let’s get a definition of Facebook Friends versus Facebook Fans. It is important that you have a good understanding of this difference because it is incredibly important to the “going viral” process.

Friends

A Friend is someone that either you invited to join you on Facebook, someone that invited you to join them on Facebook, or a third party that recommended that the two of you become Friends.

What this means is that there was an overt act on the part of someone to extend the invite or recommendation. There was also an overt act to accept the invitation or react to the recommendation. You can only be a Friend of another individual if they accept the offer of friendship.

Fans

A Fan is someone connected to your Facebook Fan (business) Page. They may have had your Page suggested by a Friend of theirs or maybe even you as that Friend. In the latter instance the Friend may become a Fan out of loyalty to you or even loyalty to the person that made the suggestion.

However, as easily as they became a Fan they can stop being a Fan. It only takes a click of the mouse to “Unlike” a page and Fans can disappear and leave no trace. Unless you have a very small Fan base, it is difficult to know who has joined or left your Fan base.

In addition to being suggested as a prospective Fan; a potential fan may join because they have seen something about your Fan Page that created an interest on their part. In either case the Fan has taken an overt action to a Page suggestion or a Page ad, or an overt response to something they have seen or found in a search on Facebook or even the Internet to become a Fan.

Fans can only become a Fan by clicking the “Like” button for a Fan Page. That “Like” button can be one on your Fan Page or one that has been placed on one or more pages of your or other’s websites. Friends can suggest that you become a Fan, but no one can force you to become a Fan.

So, there we have it. Friends belong to people and Fans belong to Pages.

Getting Back to Why I Need Friends

There are two reasons why you must have many Friends on Facebook. First, so you can suggest your Page to those that you believe will be interested in your Fan Page and second, even though they may not be Fans, your friends may still be interested in your message or know people that are interested and be willing to propagate your message through their Friend Base.

Although we like to think that our message has broad reader appeal, that is seldom the case. From my observations although your message may resonate with many Fans and Friends; only a few will be motivated to act on your message. Obviously the more Friends and Fans that you have; the greater more chances that you have for people to repeat your message.

Repeating your message over and over is critical to your going viral; Fans and Friends are critical to getting the repetition. You cannot afford to not be increasing your Fans and Friends at every opportunity. Successful people have large networks; that means lots of Fans, Friends, Followers, Connections, etc. Do not let your efforts of creating messages go to waste by not having and continually building an audience!

STOP! Before You Take a Step Forward on Your Social Marketing – Read This!


Social Media Marketing Reality

First, do not get me wrong; I am a proponent of Social Media Marketing and I encourage the behavior. The problem is that it is being sold to you incorrectly. Social Networking Consultants, Specialists, Experts, or whatever you want to call them are not telling you the truth!

Social Media Marketing Is Not a Rainmaker Proposition

Social Media Marketing has the potential to drive business, and, yes, even massive business through your doors. The caveat is that it takes work; lots of work. It takes commitment; lots of commitment. It takes time; lots of time.

There is no getting around it; Social Media Marketing is not for the faint of heart.

Case in Point

Earlier this year I was talking to a friend about Social Media Marketing and the opportunities that it offers a business. While I am firmly committed to that statement; I have since come to realize that most business owners do not have the level of commitment necessary to make it successful.

This friend changed the website; it was not necessarily for the better. In fact, the old site, to me, was far more aesthetically pleasing. The content from the old page to the new page is not significantly different, but they can say things have changed.

As part of the new look they created a blog. Blogs are great but again they require commitment and dedication. This is not a stop-start proposition; this is a commitment and your audience is expecting regular postings. This friend created three or four articles over the span of four or five days in February and has done nothing since.

The truth is they should pull down the blog. This minimal effort gives the impression that there is no follow through within the organization and does not help them and, in fact, does more damage. It is like jumping into the deep part of the lake and making a big splash and then not coming back to the surface because you were not prepared and had not made the prior commitment to learn how to swim.

Social Media Marketing Requires Commitment

It is not that these owners are not committed to their business; it is the commitment to Social Media Marketing that is lacking. Not surprisingly business owners have many other day-to-day tasks that occupy their time and it is hard to think about Social Media Marketing when your biggest customer is getting ready to bail on you or your top salesperson is considering a new opportunity.

Obviously those situations loom larger and their immediate impact on the business is far more important and the effect is far more quickly realized and felt. The truth is that most business owners and managers do not have the time available to put into Social Media Marketing.

Before You Jump In; Ask Yourself If You Are Ready to Follow Through

Do not just stick your toe into the water to determine the temperature. This is a situation where you make the commitment, jump in, and stay there for the long-haul.

Next Time I Will Talk About Trying To Do Too Much

Social Media Consultants talk about using Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, Websites, Blogs, Digg, Del-i-cious, YouTube, and others. The truth is that it takes an entire department or staff to monitor all of those sites and a tremendous commitment. Trying to do too much; too fast will leave you frustrated and unsatisfied. Do not do it!

Should I Add People to My Network That I Do Not Know?


I Think People That Limit Their Networks to Only Those They Know Are Making a Huge Mistake

Did you know that statistics show that out of every 100 connections; only 2 or 3 will ever play an important role for you? The question is which 2 or 3 per 100 are the important connections and are you willing to take the chance?

So Why Would You Only Network with Those You Know?

There are many so called networkers that will only connect with people they know. If someone wants to network with one of these people and it is someone that they do not know, the offer to become a Facebook Friend or LinkedIn Connection is rejected. There is no real reason, other than the individual is an unknown.

Interestingly, virtually everyone we know was an “unknown” at one time or another. The exceptions are family members and if we go back far enough, even they were an unknown.

Surprisingly Even LinkedIn Subscribes To This Philosophy

Even LinkedIn encourages this behavior with the “I Don’t Know” or IDK option as it is commonly known. Why would LinkedIn do this? Although I do not know for sure, I do have a hypothesis.

From a LinkedIn perspective, I believe, it is simply to get you to spend money with them. My reasoning here is that if you spend money with a premium membership you have access to In-Mails, which are used to connect with someone that you do not know; only you now have LinkedIn’s blessing in exchange for your money.

According to Webster’s Dictionary networking is: 1 : the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically : the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.

As I read Webster’s definition I do not see anything that limits your network simply to those you know. In fact it says the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business.

Why Should I Network with People that I Do Not Know?

My answer to this question is an unequivocal YES! I believe in adding anyone until they give you valid reasons for rejecting them. I do not consider the fact that I do not know them to be a valid reason.

Adding people that you do not know to your network expands your sphere of influence and increases your power to develop better answers and solutions to your questions.

Do All Your Opportunities Exist Within Your Current Communities?

If you are in business the question is: Do all of your future customers exist within your current communities or among the people you currently know? Obviously the answer is no. So the next question is if you are not willing to add people that you do not know to your network; how will you reach your new customers? How are you going to make the necessary connections?

Another question is how do you convert a non-customer to being a customer? Most businesses do it through communications. If that is the case, doesn’t it make sense to have these prospects in your network to make the communication process easier?

Social Media – Can We Learn from Restaurants


We Can Learn from Restaurants

I believe there are social media lessons to be learned from restaurants. The other day, after finishing a meal at the Olive Garden, I started thinking about what does my business and the businesses of my customers have in common with a restaurant. What can we learn?

I started thinking about the entire sequence of a meal and how that affects the customer.

The first thing that the restaurant owners decide is what type of restaurant do they want. Will they be fast food or full service? Will they be inexpensive, moderate priced, or expensive? What type of food will they offer: a wide variety of foods, a particular specialty, or a specific ethnicity.

Where will they locate the restaurant? Who will be their target market or customer?

Once you move beyond fast food, most restaurants understand that they need to get the food moving to the patron. There is nothing worse, than a table full of people just sitting and waiting. Restaurant owners have learned that you need to get the customer or patron involved immediately.

In the past they would immediately serve you water, but today they start by taking your drink order. Why? Because it is quick and easy. People decide quickly on what they will have to drink. The next question is whether you want an appetizer; again these are food choices that are quick to assemble and get to the table. After the appetizers are ordered and before they are served your main course order is taken. This takes longer to prepare, but you have your drinks and your appetizers to keep you occupied.

So What Does This Have To Do With Social Media?

How are you doing at deciding the questions to be asked for your business? What are the parameters for your choices and decisions? Why are you doing what you are doing? What are your goals and objectives?

10 -15 years ago businesses began creating web sites. The question I ask is why? The answer for many was that they were told if they did not have a web site; then they were not serious about their business. A few years later the question was whether they were using SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and keywords; because, if they were not, then they were not serious about their business. Today the question is whether the business is using Social Media; because if they are not then they are not serious about their business.

The problem I see with all of these options is that the reasons were often incorrect. Instead of doing the methodical process that a restaurant or any business, for that matter, follows; businesses rushed into web sites, SEO, and now they are rushing into Social Media.

Choosing to Participate in Social Media

A business’s participation in Social Media should be thought out.

  • What is the goal?
  • What is the expectation?
  • What is the expected benefit?
  • What is expected of the visitor?
  • Who is the expected visitor?
  • How do you want the visitor to respond?
  • Are you going to capture visitor information?
  • What information do you want to capture?
  • How are you going to capture the information?
  • What do you have to offer in exchange for this information?

If you are not asking and answering these questions; it will be like driving without a destination. You will not:

  1. Know where you are going.
  2. You will not know whether you are heading in the correct direction.
  3. You will not know when you get there or if you get there.
  4. You will never be able to correct your course.

Social Media is not something you put on auto-pilot and then leave it alone. The great thing is that it is easy to change course, but only if you know the course you are taking.

The Power of Facebook – Part II – Content Is King


Tapping the Power of Facebook

Just as important as those that “Like” your Fan Page are your Friends.

  1. Build your fan base.
  2. Build your friends list.
  3. Create great content.
  4. Get your fans to click that they “Like” your content.
  5. Get your fans to comment on your posts.
  6. Investigate and adopt new Facebook functionality as appropriate for your goals.

In my previous post on this topic I discussed items 1 and 2. In this post I will talk about items 3 through 5.

Facebook Success Requires Great Content

Great content is key to getting your message to spread or get legs of its own. When people see great comment they are more likely to comment and spread the word. If they do not like what you said it will die with them.

Content is not a given, it is something your must work on; if you are to perfect the process. Be persistent and when you get your formula working stick with it. There is nothing worse than getting a following started and then punking out on it.

One thing is that if you write something and it does not get legs of its own; you do not, necessarily, have to give up on the topic; maybe it was the format or the way it was said. The great thing is that because the topic did not grow legs, you can come back to it six months, three months, a month, or even a week later and try it again with a little different spin.

If You Friends and Fans Do Not “Like” Your Content; Your Content Will Die With Them

Anything that you write should be written with the idea that it will elicit responses. Responses are key to the accelerated spread of your identity and brand. Your goal is to expand your sphere of influence and the comments of your connections will cause that to happen.

Ergo, the more connections you have the greater the chance that your message will have a life of its own. If your content is not eliciting a response, then you MUST change your content. This is a trial and error process as you attempt to get it right. You must write and write and write; then you must monitor and monitor and monitor. Find out what works and what does not work. Build on what works and assess what does not work to see if it can be changed.

If Your fans Comment, Their Friends Will Care About What THEY Said

Social Networking is about spreading your sphere of influence. As such there is a lot of talk about getting a following, a bunch of fans, or lots of connections. While these are all important; it is even more important to get people talking.

You need to have the recipients of your initial message make comments to you or to others. Regardless of the direction of the content all of their Fans will receive the entire discussion thread, but if you pay attention to the thread only the most recent four or five comments are displayed. Have you ever wondered about that?

Here is the reason; the most recent comment will be from someone that you know; because that is YOUR primary point of interest. If you like what they said you may look at the original post and even look at other posts. The important thing is to know that the Social Networks want you to see things from your connections in the hope that you will comment on your connection’s comment and keep the thread alive.

I Am Shocked When Business Owners Ignore Social Media


I Am Amazed

I am amazed; I am shocked every time someone tells me that they want their business to be on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, or any other Social Media and then end with the comment saying they do not want to have that presence tied to them. All I can say is: What?

How can you be in Social Media where it is all about conversations, not dialogue, and not expect to be involved? Web 2.0 applications, which is what Social Networking or Social Media applications are, is all about conversations. That is why these applications were developed.

Anyone Making This Statement Does Not Realize That Social Networking Is About Conversations

Social Media is about conversations with your friends, customers, prospects, and others. If it is not you conversing with them; then who do you want doing the talking? Have you designated someone to talk on your behalf? Are you prepared to entrust these communications to someone else?

If this is a large organization, where the operations are no longer tied to an individual, it may make sense. But if you are a small or medium sized business, a professional, a consultant, or an entrepreneur; you probably do not have someone that you have trained and entrusted to talk for you.

Social Networking Is About the Conversations

The purpose of these communications is to build credibility, reliability, and trust; how can you do that and simultaneously remain anonymous? Are you afraid that a customer or prospect will say something you do not like? If that is the case you need to wake up, because they are saying those things regardless. At least with Social Media you have a chance to hear what is being said and respond.

Business Owners and Managers Cannot Ignore Social Media

Today’s world does not allow you to hide! Your business can be and actually is a target and thinking that by not being involved in Social Media will somehow protect or shield you is a mistake. Things are being said with or without your participation. Social Media has become the outlet for favorable and unfavorable discussions.

It used to be that the dissatisfied customer would tell six friends; today that number increases geometrically. The average person on Facebook has 130 friends. If they post something about you, favorable or unfavorable, on average 130 people will see or hear the message.

There is a YouTube video out about United Airlines breaking this guys guitar. Over 3 Million, yes that is an “M” people have seen this video. Last I knew it was even becoming a record.

You are now a member of the viral world so stop being an ostrich and get your head out of the sand. You need to be participating!