This past weekend, we were blessed with a couple of those gorgeous September days in New Jersey. My wife and I spent one afternoon playing outside with our two-year-old daughter – blowing bubbles, kicking the Dora ball, playing on the swingset, and looking for “squewels,” as my daughter says.
My wife and I tend to snap way too many pictures with the hopes of capturing just the right shot, and 100-plus photos later, we headed inside. In one of the “in action” photos of my daughter running across our backyard, she appeared to be striking the Heisman pose.
It was a classic, just begging to be posted on Facebook. Yes, I’m one of those dads.
As I was uploading and sharing the photo that night around 7 pm, I got a Facebook message from a guy whose name I vaguely recognized. I had accepted his friend request because we’re both members of the same Facebook networking group, even though we had never actually interacted on Facebook or met in person.
His message said, “Hi Scott. Sorry to interrupt.”
How courteous, I thought.
“I just wanted to see if you were open to learning about a couple of income opportunities.”
I told him I wasn’t and wished him luck.
When he asked again, I told him that I thought a random pitch out of the blue from someone I had never met was kind of tacky, but I still wished him well. He backpedaled a bit and said he hoped we could talk about it at an upcoming networking event.
I ended the conversation and defriended him.
If he had done the same thing at a networking event, it would have been annoying, but I expect that approach from some people at those events. If he had cold called my business with that kind of offer, it would have been annoying, but I understand people have to make a living.
People don’t want to be sold to on Facebook. On any level.
This is by no means a revelation. People have been saying it for years. Please take this as a friendly reminder.
Facebook is all about building relationships. That’s the “social” in social media. Constantly bludgeoning people with sales messages, specials and coupons instead of strategically sprinkling them into posts that inform and/or entertain your audience misses the point of Facebook.
Treating Facebook like a billboard on the highway will not endear you to anyone.
Asking people to like your page so you can artificially hit a certain number of “likes” is self-serving. Asking people to like your page so you can win a prize is self-serving. Asking people to like your page or visit your website without offering anything of value in return is self-serving.
It’s also a form of selling.
Instead of pushing a sales pitch on people, pull them in by sharing content they’ll find valuable, relevant, useful or entertaining. I share most content – my own blogs and interviews, links to articles from others, photos, videos, etc. – on my wall and in business groups. Occasionally, I’ll send content privately if I think it will be especially valuable to a certain person or a small group.
And it works.
Facebook can indeed motivate and inspire people to buy when you give them a reason to trust you and want what you’re offering. But a sales pitch, regardless of how subtle or overt, is not the way to close a deal.
That’s a major Facebook faux pas. And it’ll annoy the crap out of people.
Love this, Scott! I get so much out of your posts and blogs! You practice what you preach!! 🙂
Hi Trish – Thanks so much. The last thing I would want to do is annoy the crap out of myself! Hope all is well.
Bruce Mishkin says
What peeves me the most are those “like” requests. Why would I like a product or service with which I’m totally unfamiliar? I’ve found that most Facebook posts from businesses are either inane or irrelevant to my life.
Because you want to help them get to 500 likes, Bruce! 🙂 Seriously, I’m right there with you. But you hit the nail on the head – people will be more likely to “like” you after you’ve made your business, product or service relevant. It’s like when my radio clients used to ask me to put the phone number at the beginning of their commercial. Why will somebody call or even remember your phone number if you haven’t explained how they can benefit by calling it?
Sara @ The Power Lunch Project says
So true! And then people wonder why they get nothing out of their social media activities!
Hi Sara – Yes, it’s a flawed approach for any size business. I’ve checked out the pages for major brands and a lot of them do the same thing. Funny thing is, relationship building is the key to success in most forms of marketing today, not just Facebook and other social media.