Facebook is a great place to make new connections, and there's nothing wrong with wanting to make new BUSINESS connections there as well. But, here's where some new “friends” who are looking to promote their business have it all wrong.
People don't come to Facebook to be sold to. Facebook users jump on Facebook to connect with family and friends and to participate in communities that are of interest to them. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since Facebook's own mission statement reads, “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.”
When sending Facebook Friend request to people you don't know, but would like to connect with, here's what you can do to increase the likelihood of creating favorable business-friendly relationships while making new friends in the process.
Facebook Etiquette 101 for New Friends
1. Don't friend someone new and then, when that person accepts your request, immediately send them an invite to like your business page. This is equivalent to a stranger walking up to your car at a stop light AFTER you've just purchased it and asking if they can put a bumper sticker on it or if they can drive. Listen, the car is new. The relationship is new. No, you can't drive, and no, you can't put a sticker on it. And no, I won't like your business.
Instead, take an interest in the posts your new friend has made, let them get to know you and want to support you. Let them get to the point where supporting you is a no-brainer because you're a totally cool person who I'd want to support.
2. Don't add friends to a new group you've made because you just joined a direct sales/MLM team and need to make sales. This is like being forced to attend a party that you have no interest in attending.
Instead, ask your friends – AFTER you've established some type of relationship with them – IF they'd be interested in becoming a part of your group. You're wasting your breath, and their time, if you're speaking to people who aren't interested in what you have to offer.
3. Don't immediately send a PM to a friend who you've just connected with asking for them to set up a time to chat about your business. Unless they're expecting this message, the answer to that question is always going to be “no,” or they'll cancel on you, last minute. Why do this to them or yourself?
Instead, refer to the suggestions in #1 or 2
4. Don't tag all of your friends in a post that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with them. Taking advantage of the network your friends have created isn't cool unless you've been given permission to.
Instead, try becoming a valuable member of that network and become the natural choice when it comes to recommendation time.
5. Always use your real name. I know this should go without say, but there are a lot of people who elect not to use their real names on Facebook. I'm sure that they have their reasons, maybe they feel like their adding an extra layer of protection using an alias, or they want to promote their business, so they use their business name as the profile name. I won't debate your reasons, but I challenge you to think about it from another perspective. You've just sent a friend request to someone you'd like to connect with, but you've already misrepresented who you are. Not only is this a violation of Facebook's Terms of Service and a good way of having your account shut down, but it's also a pretty shady way to start a relationship, don't you think?
Instead, use your personal Facebook Profile to connect with people that you know, and that know you. If you want to generate business, create a Facebook Business Page and utilize the myriad of tools available to business owners
There you have it. Five ways you can avoid being that *&^%head who just friended a stranger and messed up any chance of creating a stable relationship with them and generating business as well.