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