I have had several opportunities lately to introduce clients to the power of networking on Facebook, and they generally have one of two reactions: a puzzled expression with head cocked to one side, or a light in their eyes that they are about to learn something they’ve been longing to know.
So, assuming you are one of the former, I’ll start at the beginning.
Why network on Facebook?
The more basic question really is, are your target clients on Facebook? If you are a coach of almost any kind, the answer is probably yes. but if your target audience is teenagers, you may find they are spending time elsewhere. The point is, these trends shift, and, like with every kind of networking, you have to know your clients and know where they gather.
Okay, so say you know they are on Facebook…
First of all, it is much easier to network on Facebook if one has a business page in addition to your personal Facebook account. Lots has been written about the pros and cons of this, so if you’d like to spend time reading tons that may not apply to you on that subject, please try Google. The short of it is – for the solopreneur or small business – Facebook gives you data on your page that you can’t get on your personal account, there is a limit to the number of friends you can have on a personal account that does not apply to a business page, and you can keep most of your private life separate from your business (it’s often good to share a little of who you are on your business page). And as I mentioned above, networking gets easier with a page.
So, you have a Facebook page, what can you do to drive traffic to it and increase engagement? Well, you can invite you friends to “Like” your page, you can post interesting content, and you can practice what you would like others to do for your page, you can engage with their pages – it’s called connecting.
Of course, you can visit other pages, “Like” them, and even leave them a note, but if you do this randomly, you may or may not get much in return. A more organized way to connect on Facebook is by participating in FanPage Parties, like my Make the Weekend Productive Networking party. You’ll find it at https://www.facebook.com/IndieSalesCoach.
Most parties list instructions in the post. Just follow them carefully, and you can get started right away!
Many parties happen only on Fridays (mine goes Friday through Sunday), though the number of “weekend shares” seems to be growing.
But what good are the “Likes” for your page if they are not all from your target audience? There are layers to this answer too, but for the page starting out, know that Facebook reacts differently to pages with higher numbers of “Likes” and, if you network with the right crowd, you’ll gain more than numbers – you will build relationships and gain valuable engagement!
Watch this blog for best practices and tips, and keep an eye out for a possible ebook giveaway on Facebook networking tips!
Until then…Happy Networking!