Strategies To Grow Your Social Network On Facebook
Just Sharing What I Do
© May 2012
I'm not a seasoned entrepreneur on Facebook or an authority on this subject by any stretch of the imagination, but I have managed to pick up a few helpful tips from some of the more savvy minded and technically advanced experts in the field of online marketing and networking.
The point of social networking is to communicate and connect with others who have similar views and common interests. The objective to become friends, per say, with as many people as possible from all over the world who like doing the sorts of things you do and have the same passion and drive. This way you are able to share your life experiences with them and they will appreciate, participate, and interact in return. You post messages to your wall often that your friends and internet acquaintances can see. Some may engage by pressing the like button to let you know they read your note and agree with you. A few may even respond with more enthusiasm and script a personal comment of encouragement.
Communication is key
Successful network marketing is a give and take proposition. It is important to be available and build your relationships. Take the time to listen and learn from others as well as offer advice and engage in conversations.
One of the mistakes people often make is that they overly promote their opportunities.
Don't send out too many messages to your group's fans that all pretty much say the same thing and are blatantly pushing your business. After the first few, your messages will most likely be automatically deleted without review if this is what you do.
Most of us are eager to read emails from family members and close friends, but we tend not to have time available to read ones we suspect to be advertisements. This is human nature since time is valuable to us and we don't want to waste it on the frivolous unimportant stuff.
I prefer to read messages that are personal in nature, such as notes of well wishes, or inquiries made with genuine concern and friendly interest - Not the ones where someone is promoting their latest greatest get rich quick scheme. These kinds of messages are extremely annoying, they smell of a scam, and they actually sabotage your efforts.
My suggestion is to be very subtle. You can send a "How are you doing?" note and then briefly mention something such as "This has been a stressful week for me, I'm glad the weekend is finally here and I can relax for a couple days..." The place for your website promotional scrap is below your name, like an after thought. A curious friend will investigate to see what your website is about, whereas those who aren't interested won't be as likely to flag your messages as junk mail or spam.
The Number One & Most Important Strategy
Invite friends! Lots of them! The more the merrier!!!
If Facebook is more to you than a place to connect and keep up with a few or your friends, you need to expand your acquaintances as far a possible. There is currently a limit on how many friends you can have. For most of us this isn't a problem, but I suppose for some who have been on Facebook many years and work it regularly like a full time job, acquiring 5000 Facebook friends could happen pretty quickly. I've come across a few who have opened up a second Facebook account to get around the rules and accommodate more connections. Another option would be to sort through and delete some of your contacts that aren't really needed. This is time consuming though because it requires reviewing profiles to see who you want to keep and analyzing and determining who you can weed out.
Back to the subject of inviting friends. You can send a message out with each request. Something like this: "We don't actually know each other, but we have several mutual friends in common. Please accept my invitation if you like making new friends on Facebook." This helps so you don't get responses back that say, "I'm sorry to ask, but do we know each other?"
I used to participate in a few of the games and accept some (but not all) of the game invites that I received.
My favorite game was Cafe World, so I would accept the gifts from this application, ignoring most of the others because I didn't have the time to play too many. I chose to play Cafe World because it didn't require as much of my time as most of the other games did.
When accepting gifts, I would scroll up in between each gift's acceptance to see what mutual friend recommendations Facebook suggested so I could send invitations to them. (Notice I say used to - This does work to build your friend list and connect with people who have a common interest in the game you play, but it became too much of a time waster for me and I ended up letting go of ALL the games to concentrate instead more fully on more productive things.
I remember at the time a helpful gentleman who was in multilevel marketing who tried to warn me that it wasn't a good idea to play the games. He said I needed to stay focused on things that would help me earn money, and the games distract from that, but at the time I thought I knew what was best for me better than he did. Needless to say, I do admit now that he was definitely on the right track here, and I was in fact, just as he said, wasting a lot of my time. If you don't believe me, go ahead and play them, eventually you'll see as I did, that they truly are a waste of time.
Share A Lot
Okay, I said inviting was the number one most important thing. Well, this is the next most important thing: SHARE A LOT. Everything you love, articles you read, photos you take, what you had for dinner. Don't hold back, tell your story on Facebook. Share your life with everyone in your Facebook circle. What? That's Google+! If you have an account with them, Twitter, My Space, share your stuff all those places too. Sometimes you will get comments on what you post, other times you may not. Don't worry about it, just keep doing it. Don't just share your own things. When you come across something you like, go ahead and share, others will see you doing this and begin to return the favor. It's amazing how this works. The more you share the more it can come back to you.
What's the Point of Facebook
While searching the internet looking for some more ideas to trigger thoughts and strategies for building a strong social network on Facebook, I came across Linda Hewlett's Positive Spin blog post entitled "What's the Point of Facebook". Ironic that it's called Positive Spin since the gist of the blog dialog is dealing with the question of whether or not there's a good enough reason for her to keep her Facebook account and a whole list of reasons why it seems to be pointless and unnecessary to keep it. Sorry to say it Linda, but those are pretty lame reasons. We know it's not about true friendships, and that for many of us it is all about building up acquaintances for business. That our real objective is for advertising and marketing purposes, and to increase our prospects and ultimately bring in increased revenues.
It doesn't matter whether or not she sees the point and keeps her account or not, many of us do have good reason to keep our Facebook accounts open and active because they are valuable to us. We connect to others that are already connected to us there. It is our platform. Not the only one, but at the moment it is the best one because the majority of the online community is nowhere else but on Facebook. They are the largest online social network. That in itself is a big enough reason for choosing them over any of the other social networking sites. Sorry Twitter and Google+, you have a lot of catching up to do to be on the same playing field as them.
Facebook will continue to grow. Have you seen the commercial on television yet with Katie Couric? If not, tune in to ABC; they will probably be showing another one soon. Facebook is here to stay. It's addictive qualities breed opportunities that entrepreneurs can successfully tap into.