June 22, 2011
Facebook is the one-stop social network site where you can get everything. People like going to Facebook to get updates on family, friends, targeted news, to follow people of interest such as favorite authors, musicians, politicians, celebrities, religious leaders, etc. There are tons of social network sites to join, but none of the less popular ones have one’s whole family, but Facebook does. Most likely, all of them actively use Facebook.
Facebook can either be a time consuming waste in chasing quantity over quality or a valuable opportunity to make connections that turn into relationships that convert into real sales. While it is true the larger your follower base, the greater your opportunity for making those connections, it is also true that target networking is more valuable than blind networking. Wal-mart is great at doing this, and so is Facebook or it wouldn’t be consumed with 700 million users.
For years advertisers have known that it is best to invest in markets that target people who are interested in their products and/or services. Target Networking works the same. You need to network and create friendships and relationships with people that have the same interests as you do and in the products and/or services you provide. You may have 20,000 Twitter followers or fans on Facebook, but if none of them have an interest in the content, products or services you provide, every time consuming post you make, or paid ad you invest in, is a waste of time. Networking may be financially free, but free of time it is not.
How to Get the Most Value out of Facebook
1) If you have a business, it’s best to create a unique business or fan page or group for your product that is separate from your personal Facebook profile.
2) You may want to post personal updates for family and close friends, photos of your children that you don’t want available to the rest of the FB world–people you’ve never met and personally do not know. This personal stuff is for your personal profile.
3) Other people who do not personally know you may not want to friend you on Facebook, but they might be willing to join your business or fan page or group. It allows you a way to connect with them and reach them that you otherwise wouldn’t have.
4) Your personal profile has a limit of 5,000 friends, but there is no limit to the number of people that can join a page or group.
5) You can only send one message to up to 20 friends on your profile, but you can send an update to all the people at once who have joined your page or group. Likewise, you can only make up to 25 friend requests per day, or Facebook will consider you to be a spammer and will disable your account.
6) You can create events on a page and invite people who have joined your page, as well as friends. Also, you can filter the invites based on friend lists you’ve created, or other groups people have joined who have also joined your page or group. You can’t do this on a profile.
7) You can send personal messages, updates, and communicate with people–let them know you care about what is happening in their lives and accept some of the friend/page/group suggestions they send you. Share their posts and links if you think they are interesting or relevant to those who have joined your page. This is considered being interactive.
How to Target People to Join Your Page
1) If you choose to accept people as a friend on your personal profile who you do not know, check out their Info page and determine if they are interested in similar things, and check out their wall posts, if it is available, to see if they post offensive things, play Facebook games all day, or post gifts all over people’s profiles.
2) Accept people who appear to have good morals, who post encouraging messages, inspirational quotes and basic status updates. Pay attention if they cuss in every sentence, have poor grammar, and talk about things that make you uncomfortable and don’t accept their friend request.
3) Check their wall for several game posts. People who play a lot of Facebook games may send you lots of game invites or harass you with games status updates.
4) Be careful allowing third party applications have access to your Facebook account. Sometimes these are people who are trying to get your personal information, attack or hijack your account for your personal info. Just like with email, don’t click on any suspicious links that could be a virus.
4) On their Info page, are they interested in activities and things that pertain to the content of your posts, products or services? If so, send them a friend request or accept theirs.
5) If anyone becomes a nuisance, you can always unfriend them. The option is at the bottom of that person’s profile page on the left-hand side. They will not receive a notification that you have unfriended them.
6) If you take out a paid ad on your page or group, make sure you filter it with people who have interests in what you provide, but with whom you do not already have a connection.
Author Jennifer Hudson Taylor writes historical Christian fiction set in Europe and the Carolinas. For a chance to win her latest novel, subscribe to her free quarterly newsletter. Details here.