Everyone I ever met.
Take a moment to think about all the key moments in your life: Reception age school, junior school, secondary, college, and so on before you start work. My previous work has taken me from nightclub promoter in Sheffield, gig booker, marketing manager across Leicester, Bournemouth, and Sheffield for a national venue organisation.
I have been lucky enough to travel for work across London, Austin and more. I’ve travelled to Vegas, Abu Dhabi, Spain and beyond. All in all, I’ve most likely met a lot of people. And I’m grateful for that.
Each phase in life brings with it a different context. And my Facebook profile very much reflects that. During my club promoting years in Sheffield I spent my days during the early part of Facebook connecting and building relationships with key people and stakeholders in the industry who would most likely be my market for club nights and live events. I connected with student groups, student society heads, halls of residence, other venues, bar staff, promotional staff, and so on. I reckon 90% of the staff I employed and connected within this industry were students. They were on a journey and Sheffield club promoting was a stopping point for them on the way to somewhere else.
In Leicester, I made friends with suppliers, vendors, more students, local press, PR mags, printers, and so on – because, in the context of my employment, it was completely right to meet, connect and get to know these people. I was a key part of the local music industry and that conversation was happening on Facebook.
Today, I help business owners get to grips with marketing strategy, Facebook marketing, and business development. People travel from all over the UK to come to our Built To Last training sessions in Sheffield.
We’ve helped people from Scotland, Devon, the south coast, east coast, Wales, and more all get a better understanding of business development. We build genuine relationships and of course, connect with them on Facebook and other social channels.
It’s as if each period of my life, professionally and personally can be counted as a different colour M&M or sweet. My connections jar is full of a multi-coloured and sweet mix of connections!
Should I invite all my friends to my Facebook business page?
Connections in context.
The point is, friend gathering over 10 years has built a rather muddled and colourful retrospective picture of me. The average person could meet up to 10,000people in their lifetime; that’s a heck of a lot of people! (Source: reference.com (https://www.reference.com/world-view/many-people-average-person-physically-meet-lifetime-72cdc2307255db8e)
You change, your business changes and the reasoning for connecting with people continues to change and evolve.
Why Facebook pages are still relevant
You need to shift your focus when it comes to using Facebook for business. You need to become less promotional, more educational. Most people seem to think that simply adding those countless connections to your Facebook business page that this is marketing. How is this effective marketing?!
This excellent article from Brandtastic helps offer some suggestions about Facebook pages and their relevance in late 2019, leading in to 2020.
My mantra is often treat a Facebook page like your website within Facebook. It is one of the several platforms within Facebook that also includes your group and your personal profile. If you aim to build robust and full profiles, communities and pages you will fast be able to build a much brighter brand profile. For business pages, this starts with getting the right people to like you in the first place.
What can we learn from Google about our Facebook pages?
Google will reward websites that offer solutions to a problem and quality value content on that website via the relevance for the people visiting. What does that mean? Well, you write content for a specific group of people. When those people come, they spend more time on the site, visit more pages within the site and more likely to copy and paste the link and share. This is Google’s way of telling that your page is relevant and deserves to be seen by more people (improved rankings).
Apply this to your Facebook page and we can quickly come to the same conclusion. If you sell meat (for example) and have invited 500 vegans from your friends list to like your page, do you think the organic engagement of your finest cuts will inspire much conversation, sharing and positive brand sentiment? Of course not!
The example is the same for any business, it’s especially the same for your business!How the basic workings of Google can apply to your Facebook business strategy.
Just because you have 2000 friends doesn’t mean they all want to see or hear about your latest project. And by inviting them to your page, expecting them to jump on and support and share your content and then getting shocked when your engagement drops through the floor is key to this article. You must adapt your way of thinking and stop stuffing your page full of numbers that mean nothing!
The Sheffield Beatles Project example.
I run a page called The Sheffield Beatles Project. It is a band in Sheffield we have helped build to something quite special for the Sheffield music scene. Each year we produce and promote a 30 piece band show celebrating one of The Beatles classic albums. In 2017 we offered Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, in 2018 The White Album and in 2019, Abbey Road. The band page grew organically from 400 to 700 and now 1100 likes. I’m delighted with this. It’s not 10,000 likes no, but it’s 1100 fans who are dedicated to seeing, sharing and commenting on our content. Have I invited all my friends to like the page? Definitely not!
From this page, we have built a live concert product that is promoted almost solely through the use of Facebook via a mix of Facebook Ads and organic traffic. The page has just over 1200 likes and hits organic reach of 2500+ when the relevant content is shared to the page. We now have a fan base that wants to hear from us. Would this be the case if we had simply invited all my friends, my project partners friends, and the friends of all 30 band members? We could have invited 3000 people to that page but the engagement I would suggest could be a heck of a lot lower than building organically and with an eye on relevance.
The Facebook brand building relevance trio.
We need to tell Facebook about the products and brand we build in order to get the maximum from our pages. By inviting all our friends, no matter of their location or likelihood of buying or engaging with the brand we are confusing Facebook and inflicting damage to ourselves by affecting on of the three key relevance areas that it takes to build a good Facebook business presence.
Suggestions for improving your approach to Facebook pages and marketing via Facebook for your business.
So in summary, I advise quite strongly about inviting all your friends to like your Facebook page. You can have multiple brands on Facebook but not all of your networks will care. Ask yourself why are you inviting these people and will it add any real long term value beyond vanity and to appease your own belief that this is effective Facebook marketing?
Some suggestions to help you on your Facebook marketing quest…
- Don’t rely on Word Of Mouth.
- Only invite people who you think may be interested in what you are sharing on your page
- Focus on quality over quantity
- Don’t get hung up on vanity numbers.
- Spend 30 minutes now hand picking 50 to 100 invitations to your page
- Focus on the content and message you want to be known for – with the people you want to know it!