Productivity, popularity, or problematic. The kinds of friends you have determines what they do, and ultimately what they can be, for you and your business.
I’m not talking about character and personality of the people you have befriended, I’m talking about if their friendship benefits you.
That may seem selfish, but really if it doesn’t benefit you it’s not doing either of you any good. So think about it, the 3 P’s they can be for you and your business can be answered by asking 3 questions, first on a majority basis and then on an individual basis: do they encourage your productivity, give you popularity, both, or are they simply problematic?
The good news is that no matter what kinds of friends you have, you can maximize what they do and can be for you by recognizing their role in your friendship and taking the appropriate action.
So, the first step you have to take is figuring out the kinds of friends you have. Breaking down the words productivity, popularity, and problematic can help you determine your friend base, and then what to do to maximize them.
Your Productive friends:
A productive base of friends encourage your productivity because they are valuable to your business, in other words they will be within your target market for clientele.
If you made a single post about a success your business or industry has just had, or a new house, car, dog, or toilet for sale, besides your family who just wants to see you happy, how many of your friends would really care, or better yet, benefit from knowing that? If the numbers are slim, and you are seriously trying to use Facebook as business tool, chances are you need to revamp your friend base.
Having a productive friend base does great things for you and your business. When people visit your page and interact with you, the conversations, even when they are not about business, will be stronger and more targeted because they are coming from a similar group of people – your target market. You will find that common topics will surface among you, your friends, and their friends and soon you will be seen as solid connection and common ground that people turn to when they need your service or product.
This type of friend also helps you to be more productive because your time spent for marketing on facebook is so efficient. You are only speaking to people who you know have something to lose from not engaging with you, because your friends are all in your target market.
Your Popularity friends:
If you have a high number of friends, but they are not people you know personally or are part of your productive base then they are there simply making you look popular.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s not a good thing either because you miss out on common threads that tie you, your friends, and their friends together. You become just another random friend that makes them look popular too, and there is no mutual connection, common ground, or benefit.
It’s great to be friends with people of all walks of life, but if you’re a wild horse whisperer and only 1 in every 100 of your friends has or cares about horses, then any time you spend marketing on facebook is a waste of time. Why bother telling all those people about the latest psychological development between horses and people, or that they just made a movie about how great you are, if they aren’t ever going to need your services?
A base of these friends makes your facebook for business weak. It fills it with holes and randomness, makes you forgettable, and diminishes the value of your presence and posts on facebook. There are rules that need to be followed about the ratio of personal vs. business posts, but when you do post about business to a base of popularity friends…. no one will care.
You also want friends that are going to interact with you, participate in your questions, discussions, and groups, and show interest when you make both personal and business posts. If all your friends do is make you look popular, then they probably don’t care anymore about your babies taking their first steps than they do about your work. Who wants friends that don’t care?
Your Problematic friends:
Hopefully you wont have mass numbers of these types of friends. Chances are if they are annoying they are problematic and you have already gotten rid of them. There is no real formula to what makes a problematic friend, and most of the time you can rely on common sense but below are a few guidelines.
It is easy to assume that if all a friend does is make you look popular, that they are also problematic. However, just because someone doesn’t know you, isn’t in your productive base, and doesn’t engage with you doesn’t mean you have to get rid of them.
A person can become problematic when they make so many posts a day that it fills up your wall, or when they bombard your wall with spam-like posts selling everything from suntan lotion to urns. Remember that when someone is your friend they can see your wall and everyone’s statuses and comments on threads that they’ve posted to.
If you’re in this for business, it’s probably a good idea to remain tasteful with the types of friends and posts you allow, after all, it takes years to build a reputation but only seconds to ruin one.
Ask yourself if specific friends are hindering your efforts to build your relationship and reputation with your productive base and your target market. If they are actually specifically ruining it, then they are probably problematic.
You can have multiple types of friends in your base. Now that you’ve analyzed your friends as whole, do it again on a smaller scale – individually.
To be continued –
Find out how to maximize what your friends can be for you and your business
Friendship on Facebook – How to conquer the 3 P’s for you and your business: Step Two
Contributed by: Elizabeth Erkel
Evernote, the solution for me and all of us athazagoraphobics out there. We just don’t want to forget so we to try to remember everything.
If it could possibly be important or I could reference it at a later time, I save it; write it on a post-it, napkin, business card, wrapper, or hand; I take a picture of it; think of a mnemonic; repeat it my head at least seven times; eat a peppermint at the same time; or whatever else I can think of just so I don’t forget. I’m even fearful of forgetting the things I’ve already forgotten, but I don’t know what because I forgot.
The problem comes in the gathering of clutter. Suddenly I have post-its all over my walls; wrappers scattered about with phone numbers, emails, different trigger words, and shorthand that I can’t decipher; photos galore; I find peppermints in my hair; and I have a head full of made up songs that would turn quite a profit as jingles.
It’s gets incredibly chaotic, and in the end I never remember. So, I either gruelingly search for the information through my hoards of pathetic memory cues, or I inefficiently redo all of my research.
There just has never been a good way to store and capture all the things that I want to remember. Until Evernote. I can use it on my computer, the internet, and my phone, and it all goes into the same account. I can take a photos, upload videos, take screen shots of ideas and stuff I like on the internet all while recording the source of the information. I can type a simple text or sing one of my songs and upload it right to my Evernote account, and that’s just the start of what I can do.
In fact just the other day I finished taking photos of all of my business cards and recording extraneous information about the person, organized them all into categories and lists, synced it to my Evernote account and tossed the hard copies! I got rid of SO much clutter.
The organization and search capabilities of Evernote are what makes it a true forget-me-not tool, and they are what sets it apart from every other method I’ve tried in my fight to remember everything.
For me, the icing on the cake of this tool is that I can use it with my mobile phone. Since I have my phone with me almost everywhere I go, every time I think of or see something I record, organize, and store it on the spot!
I must say that when I first tried Evernote, I couldn’t get it to work with my iphone and almost abandoned it after the problem was deemed probably unsolvable. I just figured it was another program that was great in theory but not in reality. However, one day it just magically started working and it’s been clear sailing ever since! I have no idea why or how it started working, but now that I can use it, I love it! It’s definitely worth a shot!
Contributed by: Elizabeth Erkel
While fairly small and unknown in the Midwest and smaller states, Foursquare is booming in the big cities on the east and west coast and for good reason too. It feeds a need for friendly competition while giving small businesses the growth spurt they all desire.
Foursquare is a game played with friends and strangers that focuses on location, local awareness, and connections with each other and the businesses that are right in our backyard, and it encourages and rewards trying new things and meeting new people. Who doesn’t want to do that!
Since it’s growing at an exponential rate on the coasts, it’s practically guaranteed to soon saturate the Midwest. So, be on your toes and help carve the way it takes shapes in your neck of the woods!
The first reason to get in now is of course because it’s so new in the Midwest. It gives the small businesses in the area the chance to be involved in how it takes shape here and to be remembered as doing something different and new.
It’s hard to jump in and be the first on the band wagon, but the advantage you have in this case is the ability to learn from how everyone on the coasts are using it, learn from what works and what doesn’t, and integrate that into the trends happening in the Midwest.
While it is hard to be one of the first on the band wagon everyone loves to know them because they love to be the first to inform all their friends, and if done correctly they will be informing all of their friends about YOU and the cool new game you’re playing.
Secondly, you can develop a name and a reputation for yourself by the kinds of offers you host that entice people to play the game with you. When they do they bring you business, and since you have almost complete control over the rules of your game, you can create goals for your patrons that keep them playing with you and each other, but needing to come back to you for more. The way the rules of the game are interpreted can be geared towards your product, so any small business can play.
Foursquare brings game play to a market that has never seen it before – between clients and their clientele, so whether your business is young or has been around for ages the time is right grow your business and your name by playing games.
Lastly, it’s FREE to use. While there may be some costs in the types of incentives you offer your clientele, you get to control what types of costs you have. Since all companies desire to be recognized, you can easily integrate these costs into your other marketing efforts, but for a much higher payoff because of the loyalty you gain through your “game-play” relationship.
East and west coast profit and non-profit organizations, restaurants, retail, and even the San Francisco public transportation has gotten on board and started to engage their consumers through game play. All in all it’s a versatile online social platform and is definitely worth checking out.
Contributed by: Elizabeth Erkel