What do you do when you receive a message saying, “Like my page” on Facebook?
I first check whether I know the person or not. If I do not, I delete the message. Harsh I know, but I will explain shortly! If I do know them, I then check whether they had the courtesy to provide a reason to “like” their page or not. To me, when you just say, “Like my page,” without explaining what is to like and why I should make the effort, it tells me one thing loud and clear: you are only in it for the numbers and not for the engagement. Therefore, you are one person I would not like in my network!
From experience, I have learnt that people who only “collect likes” without engaging are not very likely to communicate with you afterwards. They have got what they want and you will hardly ever hear from them again, if at all. On the other hand, people who “connect” rather than “collect” are likely to share common ground with you and to relate with you on the basis of this common ground. Even if it is just to “like” your posts from time to time, congratulate you on your achievements and mourn with you when you cry!
I know it may seem counterproductive but I regularly prune my social media following and mailing lists of people who do not engage or open my communications. I am in it for the engagement and I genuinely want to connect.
A better way to socialize and build a following on Facebook and social media
Here are my personal “terms of engagement.” You might find something here that will work for you too!
1. If you are on social media to build a community, to which you can give and from which you can receive, then only connect with people you are genuinely interested in. This way, engagement will come naturally and it is more likely to be reciprocated.
2. Connect to engage. Do not “collect” to look good! If you add on or buy followers simply for the numbers, you will build what I call a “ghost town” rather than a community. You will have a list of names but not an interactive community. Names do not buy from you and refer you opportunities. Interactive people do.
3. When sending a connection request, include a message saying who you are, where or how you found them and mention something about them that interests you. Mention specifically why you have decided to connect with them and avoid using the default templates (they are too bland, impersonal and show a lack of true effort).
4. Connect appropriately, meaning, refer people to the right channels. Add your personal contacts to your personal profiles and your business contacts to your business networks. I know this is not easy as many business connections will find you through your own name and not your business name. However, if you start today with the rule to connect appropriately, it will go a long way to establish this order. The reason I recommend this segmentation is to keep your communication appropriate and to protect your privacy. Remember that connecting from your personal page or profile could give strangers access to your private information, pictures, contact details etc. Remember to adjust your settings accordingly.
5. Make an effort to send a thank you or welcome message to new connections and to stay in touch along the way, even if only on birthdays and special occasions. Of course, social media is give and take. You cannot complain that people do not engage if you do not either.
6. Remember that social media is not a trading floor – there is no need to spam people every five minutes with sales pitches! Rather, follow the 80/20 rule. Send out 80% engagement or connection messages (i.e. staying in touch, sharing helpful information and updates) and 20% promotion where you actually ask for a sale. No one wants to buy from the spammers and those who only connect when they have something to sell.
Which messages are you more likely to respond to?
- “Please “like” my page,” and “Hi, everyone! “Like” my new Facebook page.”
Or this kind:
- “Hi Julie! This is Oma of the XYZ Facebook group. I am impressed with your helpful contributions and love the video on your homepage! I would love to connect with you and have just sent you a connection request. I believe we have a lot in common and could support each others’ work.”
- “Hello Diane! I hope you are enjoying the hot summer. I have just launched a new Facebook business page and invite you to connect with me there. Every Friday I share an inspirational video and during the week I share helpful tips. I also pass on referrals to my FB connections and occasional opportunities that come my way. Please share your business page too as I would love to connect with you there. Regards, Oma.”
The same etiquette applies for LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms. These days, people are inundated with requests to connect and not always for the right reasons. Make sure that your requests strike the right cord and yield your desired response. Connecting to engage will grow your business. Collecting to impress, fools only you!