Your Facebook “Friend Requests”: Bad for Business… Annoying to Me!

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” (Note: this was written before the change to “Facebook Timeline”): 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.
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