Facebook Is Not A Promotional Tool

April 13, 2012

But it’s a fabulous way to develop and maintain relationships, including marketing-related connections.

Yesterday a Facebook friend posed an interesting question. In her post, she commented that 95% of her FB friends were people who ran small businesses … but her warm and fuzzy posts received most of the comments.

The Disconnect

At first glance, this seems like a strange disconnect. Since most of her FB friends run their own small businesses, one would expect that small business related comments would generate the most interest and discussion.

No doubt her friends have their own reasons for commenting on warm and fuzzy posts but remaining silent on small business posts.

The disconnect however arises more from the nature of Facebook than from the nature of the posts.

All social media, including Facebook, make it easier for us to connect with like-minded people. It’s like dropping by our favourite coffee shop and meeting new people.

As part of getting to know new people, we tend to focus more on sharing and chatting about personal elements (the warm & fuzzies) than promoting our businesses. When we start to shift the conversation to our businesses, others will try to change the topic back to a more personal, less business-focused topic.

Building Relationships

By keeping the conversation on a more personal level, we can start to build relationships with our new friends. And as these relationships develop, our new friends will continue to like and trust us.

Once people like and trust us, when and if they need our help they will contact us.

In my FB friend’s case, her warm and fuzzy posts help build and maintain relationships with her online friends. In effect, the posts make my friend more likable and trustworthy to her online friends.

It is this likeability and trustworthiness that will attract new business.

Like my friend, we should all be using Facebook to develop and maintain relationships with our friends. This is the best … and indeed only … way to attract more and better clients.

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2 Responses to “Facebook Is Not A Promotional Tool”

  1. Hollie Bourne Says:

    Agree, agree, agree, AGREE!!! Excuse my enthuiasm, but I am so tired of business owners and managers thinking that social media is going to bring them a direct sale. I always try and relate it to a real-world example to get them to understand how it works. If you walked into a networking event, let’s say a Chamber-sponsored luncheon, would you run up to people and “throw them a line” (status update) or say “here’s my business, my website, and why you should use my service” or how about “here’s an article you might find interesting that was written by so-and-so expert on a Forbes blog”. NO! You would introduce yourself, ask questions about them, their business, their name, and THEN you might give them a contact for yourself and maybe create a relationship. This is how social media is intended to work as well. Your customers do not want to be inundated with your website over and over in their feed everyday. You will soon be “unliked”. Its SOCIAL NETWORKING, same rules apply as the real world.

    Well thats my opinoin 🙂 It seems like you’ve got a similar opinoin as well! Thanks for the post, most owners need to understand this!

    • Larry Easto Says:

      Thanks for your enthusiasm and comment Hollie.

      As often happens, people look to something new..like social media marketing…as the silver bullet for ongoing problems. Realistically successful marketing is about establishing and maintaining relationships. with other people. It is not about finding new ways to make sales pitches.


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