Your Facebook "Friend Requests": Bad for Business... Annoying to Me!

William Wells III
William Wells III Coach, Speaker & Presenter, William Wells III - Social Media Coach & Speaker

Posted on June 20th 2011

Alright... let's get the "Annoying to Me!" part out of the way first.  I am sent numerous Facebook "Friend Requests" and Facebook "Friend Suggestions" every week.  That's NOT annoying to me.  What IS annoying to me is when I get these requests from businesses and organizations.   A business or an organization shouldn't be wasting time sending Facebook "Friend Requests" to try and get people on board.  This is a clear sign that, as a business owner or head of an organization, you've been misinformed, misguided, or simply haven't done your homework when it comes to planning your business marketing strategy.   This is where the "Bad for Business..." part starts.  You're shooting from the hip... and you don't even know your gun is empty. 
   
I did a quick Facebook search using a variety of terms including "restaurant", "restaraunt" (yes...  it's intentional... I did a spell check...  there are many Facebook pages with the name of their own business spelled incorrectly), "dining", "cafe", "eatery", "grill", etc...  and I stopped counting after I found more than 300 establishments with Facebook "Personal Pages" rather than Facebook "Business Pages".
   
Your next question is, "Why does this matter?  I'm on Facebook!  Isn't that what really counts?"  Allow me to answer that.  NO!  If your business matters to you... and you're going to take the time to put your business on Facebook... then THIS should matter to you.   The REAL question is: Can people "Like" your page?  Or do they have to click the "Add as Friend" button and wait for you to accept them?  The difference is night and day... and can mean the difference between success and failure for your Facebook page... and your business.
   
First of all, Facebook personal pages or "Profiles" are intended for people... not businesses.  Technically it's against the rules where Facebook's privacy policy is concerned although they don't appear to be cracking down on this at the moment.
   
Secondly, you should WANT people to "Like" your business page without you having to spend your valuable time administrating that aspect of your Facebook page.  Do you really want to spend an hour of your time filtering through "Friend Requests", sifting through personal messages and notifications, removing  "Bejeweled Blitz" score posts and other unnecessary garbage on your wall?  Wouldn't you rather spend 30 minutes of your time posting valuable information to your audience about special deals, what's coming down the pike, and engaging your audience in a meaningful way?
  
More importantly, here are a few key reasons why your business or organization needs a "Facebook BUSINESS Page":
  1. SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Facebook Business Pages are indexed by search engines.  Personal pages... not so much.   In this day and age, with the unfathomable amount of pages and websites on the Internet, you need to be doing everything possible to improve your online visibility.  A well constructed and engaging "Facebook Business Page" will go a long way in helping make up for what your website is not currently doing for you.
       
  2. "Friends" verses "Likes"... or "Fans": There is NO limit on the number of fans... or people who can "Like" your Facebook business page. However, there's a cap on the number of "Friends" you can have on a profile page.  That cap is 5,000. Do you really want to set limitations like that?
        
  3. One "Profile"... many "Business Pages": You can have multiple business pages... however, you can have only one profile page.  Why is this important?  Think outside the box for a moment.  What if you're a Real Estate Agent by day... and you're a Karaoke Deejay by night.  Nope... didn't make that example up!   Or perhaps you own a small Bed & Breakfast, but you also own a consignment shop in town.  Didn't make that one up either.  Point is... you can manage multiple, yet individual, Facebook Business pages... all within one Facebook account.
      
  4. Statistics and Monitoring Activity: Everyone loves statistics... hits... visits... etc.  Facebook Business Pages have such a thing.  It's called "Insights".  These powerful statistics display in a graph format and include "Page Overview", "User", and "Interactions".  How many people viewed your posts?  How many people "Liked" your posts, photos, or videos?  How many people have "Liked" or  "Commented" on those?  How many people "Liked" your page on a certain day?  And much more!  This information is invaluable when it comes to making your Facebook Business page more useful, engaging, and successful!  There's no such information available on a profile page.
       
  5. "Landing Pages" and additional "Tabs": Technology exists now for you to turn a Facebook business page into a mini website.  For example, you could integrate an interactive business directory or events calendar right into your Facebook business page.  You could introduce an additional tab which might have printable coupons and special "Facebook Only" promotions.   This is impossible with a personal page.
I've really only touched on a few of the key reasons as to why it's important to be using Facebook the right way.  There are more.  The reality is... you're spending time on your Facebook presence.  This is good.  There are still many businesses out there who haven't even started.  But are you getting everything you possibly can out of it?  If it's a personal profile page, you're not even close.
   
I don't want to visit your page to find out who your "friends" would date or dump, if they're kissing you, if they think you're hot, done something stupid, or listen to country.  I don't care how sexy your friends think you are of if they need corn, crops, chickens, or any other items for "Frontierville" or "Farmville".  (See below... these are excerpts from a page for a "Bar and Grill" with more than 3000 "friends"!  I forced myself to scroll through over 150 of these types of posts just to see if they even had any specials.  Found one.  Nobody will do that in real life!)
    
So the truth is, I'd MUCH rather "Like" your Facebook Business Page than become one of your "Friends"... because I hate to see you limit yourself while knowing that the same efforts you're putting forth now could be so much more fruitful and lead to so much more success for your business or organization.
William Wells III

William Wells III

Coach, Speaker & Presenter, William Wells III - Social Media Coach & Speaker

I'm a Business Social Media Coach, Speaker & Presenter focusing on educating Chambers of Commerce , small businesses, and organizations in the area of Social Networking by familiarizing them with the tools and helping them select, integrate, and use the best combination of these tools for the success of their specific business or organization. I take a "101" approach and enjoy taking the seemingly complex topic of "Social Networking" and "Social Media" and presenting it a way that can easily be understood by all.
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Comments

Posted on June 20th 2011 at 6:52PM

Let me start out by saying, very nicely written article with some great points! I actually prefer both for a business. A "Like" page is fantastic and has great benefits, as you have so nicely and clearly pointed out above. A business page is for the business while a personal profile could be a profile of the person that is managing the business page(s) made specifically for that business with the business name as an alternate name in the profile. There is now a "face" to indenitfy with at the business. A real live person that interacts with others. The human element which is often overlooked in business online. From that profile, I am able to interact more closely with friends, customers, associates, affiliates and potential customers. I can wish a customer's child a Happy Birthday or Congratulations on graduating High School. I can wish my condolences or best thoughts if there is a death or illness in the family. I can comment on their pictures and the list goes on. If it is done right, in my opinion, a business should have BOTH! 

William Wells III
Posted on June 20th 2011 at 11:21PM

Greetings Jason... thank you for your comment.  It's greatly appreciated!  And I'm in complete agreement with you... 100%... regarding using both.  Your very last sentence is the key... and is the thing most often overlooked.

"If it is done right..." and the number of small business owners who don't seem to realize that is staggering.  The business page will be professional... as it should be... and the personal page will be full of questionable content, inappropriate photos, comments that include more curse words than you'd hear in a bar full of drunken Sailors on their first "leave" after 5 years at sea.

It's definitely a good topic for a future article.

Thanks again!

Bill

Jason Schroeck
Posted on June 21st 2011 at 2:40PM

exactly Bill! regarding the topic of using both, I actually am now in the middle of writing a blog post regarding this very matter! I will share it with you when it's finished and edited! I would love to hear your thoughts on it! :)

William Wells III
Posted on June 21st 2011 at 4:06PM

Look forward to reading it Jason!

Posted on June 21st 2011 at 10:51AM

I have to agree with William on this in that as your Facebook presence grows and the technology grows a page is the preferred option.  With Jason mentioning using a seperate profile for a personal business front, this is breaking facebook rules and if you spend time growing this profile and in 12 months this is removed by facebook all your time could be wasted, is that worth the risk?

HoneySingh
Posted on June 21st 2011 at 1:28PM

It annoy me too and this is reason why i feel pitty for the that brand. I think does these morons doesn't feel the difference between personal profile and business pages?

Anyway, a Facebook profile is something that should belong to personal only, if one have any brand profile then he should keep that under limited visibility and better opt for Fanpage promotions!

It's better to have clean experiece !

William Wells III
Posted on June 21st 2011 at 3:12PM

Greetings Zak... I'm not so sure Jason is suggesting a "Personal Page" for business so much as realizing that a "Personal Page" can be used quite effectively in conjuntion WITH a "Business Page"... for the reasons he pointed out.

I've had a "Personal Page" for years.  I've never changed it... I've never started a new one.  However, I've always strived to maintain a level of "professionalism" where my personal page is concerned.  While serving as CEO for a Chamber of Commerce down south, I developed a "Business Page" for that Chamber... however, I overlapped much of the info with my personal page because, in essence, it's two different audiences.  This allowed me to connect to politicians... news anchors and reporters... and other influencial people who I wouldn't have been able to connect with from a "Business Page".  By keeping my "Personal Page" clean and professional... free of "game requests", cursing, suggestive photos, etc... these people weren't leary of becoming my "Friend" because they knew I wasn't going to embarass them.

Although the focus was on the Chamber "Business Page", I still used that as an opportunity to "softly" make my "friends" aware of upcoming events... new members, etc.  I'd create photo albums on my personal page... post local news interview videos I'd done, etc...  Basically, I treated my personal page like I would carry myself in public... providing tid-bits of information while steering them toward the business page.

Now... that I'm resurrecting my own business... I've simply changed the focus on my personal page to what I'm doing now.  Still "professional" overall... but with the ability to add that "personal touch", as Jason mentioned, that you can't do directly from a "Business Page".

In my opinion, this is an acceptable way to make use of both.

Posted on June 30th 2011 at 3:25AM

I would agree to you that yes, these profiles we make in Facebok are intended for people and not for organizations and yes, I also get annoyed when a something-something online shopping adds me as its friend. But you know, we can't really stop them from doing it because they seem to be taking advantage of the digital population widely spread in facebook.

Posted on July 2nd 2011 at 10:45PM

I'd like to get your feedback about a page I've created, about the good and bad features of Facebook and how they should fix it:  http://billdietrich.byethost8.com/Facebook.html  Thanks.