Why I don’t “like” your facebook page

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Social Media is being trumpeted as the new way to sell, the best way to improve your business and that if you ignore it you business will surely fail. However simply asking all your contacts to “Like” your Facebook page probably isn’t going to work.

Many sellers are missing the point of Facebook and are still opening accounts using their business name instead of their real name. This is probably the worst thing that you can do – you are a real person so let people know who you are. Setting up a business page to promote your business and then asking all your friends to like the page won’t work well either – It would be a pleasant change for someone to suggest I like a Facebook page that isn’t their own company, but simply a business that they feel I might really be interested in.

If you want social media to work for you then it will take real work. Firstly your current friends on social media sites probably aren’t your prime target customers. These people already know you and they would buy from you anyway, if they’re in the market for your products. The customers that you really want are those that don’t know you and haven’t heard of your business.

The best way to use social media is to be a real person and invest the time to participate in the communities where your potential customers are. Add comments to interesting post or respond to other peoples comments. Whether it be on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube or chatboards and forums establish yourself as a helpful expert in your field and the person to go to when someone wants help or advice. Cultivate relationships with key contacts who your potential customers listen to as if they’re reading their blogs, tweets or videos then they’ll see you commenting and responding too.

A personal example from myself on how this can work is the eBay UK PowerSeller board. For a period covering several years I was a very active member of the PowerSeller board and as well answering general eBay trading questions I made sure I always responded to threads where PowerSellers discussed printers. I never specifically published the fact that I sold printers, but a steady stream of PowerSellers purchased laser printers from me over the years. As more and more PowerSellers owned printers they’d bought from me they themselves started advising other sellers that I was the place to source a quality printer.

So how do you make social media and specifically Facebook work for you? Join groups which discuss the products you sell. By all means set up a business page but use your personal Facebook account as well and be a real person. Don’t simply ask your current friends to become a fan or like your business page – if you really want to grab potential customers attention as your friends to suggest that people that aren’t your friends but could be interested in your business like your page.

I might not personally like your Facebook page, but it’s not because I don’t like you or your business, it just means that I’m not your potential customer so marketing to me isn’t a good use of your resources. Spend your time becoming an expert with the audience that could be your potential customers and you should see a better return from social media than by asking me to like your Facebook page.

18 Responses

  1. Vodafone and Firebox are an often quoted example of how businesses use Social Media as a well run sales and customer service tool – Firebox use their social media to judge new ideas, and trial offers.
    VF in particular are aware of how very open and public the twitter feed is, and have a team of people dedicated to it, hence why it is becoming the preferred method of contact.

    On the facebook matter though, constant posting of new items for sale, and the same old messages day in, day out, cluttering my news feed is a very effective way of reducing friends and fans!

  2. Please don’t take this the wrong way as it is not my intention to ridicule you Chris but…….. You completely miss the point of Social Networking by advising people not to ask their friends to like their pages!!

    Your recommendation for people to position themselves as experts within related communities is sensible but to not to all your existing friends is a luxury only those with the largest followings can afford. Why is this?
    The clue is in the word “network”.

    You are not just connecting with only one friend or fan at a time but in fact their friends and their friend’s friends and so on. You totally miss out on this Viral aspect, i.e. a given friend may or may not already be customer but their friends might be interested when they see your interactions.

    This, coupled with the fact that you need to have at least 100 followers to be eligible for a vanity URL, makes it perfectly acceptable to add existing friends.

    Possibly, as your follwing grows you could start specifically targeting, possibly (although you didn’t specify any exceptions to your rule in your article).

    I mean see how far you get convincing someone, who’s just set up an account on Facebook with no friends yet, not to add anyone that they already know.

    Please, please, please, add some provisos and exceptions to your advice rather than making blanket recommendations as there are a lot of newbies to Facebook out there who will be scratching their heads at this.

  3. Hi, I actually know of Vicky (who made the previous comment) and whilst I don’t always agree with her comments on other web forums I do think she is spot on here with her criticism of your article.

    Everyone has to start somewhere with their Facebook network and adding existing contacts is a good start.

    But even if you are not just starting out it is highly unlikely that all of a given friend’s contacts will be common friends. So there will always be people connected to them that haven’t been exposed to you. In fact, it should in theory be easier for you to convert them into customers than pursuing new prospects because the original friend in common serves as a vote of approval.

    Being known as a friendly expert definitely makes good sense too.

    The Moral: Your friend’s friend’s friends may serendipitously turn out to be the best customers you ever had (so avoid burning your bridges)

  4. Yep, I too disagree with this article.

    In traditional marketing it might not be a good use of resources to try to convert someone who is not a potential customer. As well as not getting the sale they wouldn’t recommend you to their friends. However on Facebook you only have to “like” something and all your friends will see that even if you never buy anything in the end. One of those friends might take a closer look and end up buying.

    Simple really. Why do you think there are so many offers and competitions at the moment just for liking a page.

  5. Interesting view Chris, I have no idea if you are right or wrong as social media is not my strong point.

    I’ll share our experience with a recent dabble into Facebook.

    So what we did mid October was offer an extra 5% discount on our websites for buyers you came along to our Facebook page and become a fan, to date 35 people have used the 5% discount, now they could have ordered anyway and I may have just given away 5% when I didn’t need to but I knew this at the beginning and it’s not why I set up the page, the interesting part for me is going to be seeing how they share there experience after they have taken delivery, between them those 35 people have over 5000+ friends, we always follow up every delivery encouraging buyers to let us know what they thought of our service/products etc we are now actively encouraging them to share those views on Facebook.

    The whole thing could be a monumental waste of time I honestly have no idea but it’s good to give things a go.

    One final point if your just starting out on FB, one of the advantages to asking your friends to like your business page is when you reach 25 likes you can claim your unique URL, so instead of a the 60+ character URL supplied you can claim your own http://www.facebook.com/thewhirlpoolbathshop which is what we did, more google friendly I would guess and much tidier if you want to display it on static backgrounds like twitter, biz cards etc etc

  6. How does one go about getting the shortended facebook URL? Do you need to request it, as ours is still a long messy affair.

  7. if you ignore it you business will surely fail’

    I am not on Facebook and I will never be on Facebook. When will my business fail?

  8. Most followers on facebook only seem to follow to see how your running your business page anyway. Look at your competition who are members of say the create forum, the create forum follow which other. There are not protental customers of each other as they like to see what other forum members are doing. I do agree with the comments about facebook members clicking the like button. I find most people on facebook fake. They don’t seem real.

  9. Chris, why are you always so negative?

    I asked 30 of my buyers to like my Facebook business page and half of them have so far.

    The rest said they don’t have Facebook yet and two of those said they will like my page when they do get a Facebook page.

  10. I am always worrying about this question: why the visitors do not like my facebook page? who can give me some advise? i will study this article carefully.

  11. Jal
    The article does not really help you to find out why people don’t like your page.

    It just says that Facebook is a waste of time.

    But I don’t agree with that.
    So how do we get people to like us more ?

  12. they wont like our facebook page its invisible, we dont have one
    sod that for a game of soldiers,
    were experts in our field and knowledge is king in our business , nobody is learning nowt from us

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