We are the change

The ‘like my page’ issue: are you connecting or collecting?

What do you do when you receive a message saying, “Like my page” on Facebook?

I first check whether I know the person or not. If I do not, I delete the message. Harsh I know, but I will explain shortly! If I do know them, I then check whether they had the courtesy to provide a reason to “like” their page or not. To me, when you just say, “Like my page,” without explaining what is to like and why I should make the effort, it tells me one thing loud and clear: you are only in it for the numbers and not for the engagement.  Therefore, you are one person I would not like in my network!

From experience, I have learnt that people who only “collect likes” without engaging are not very likely to communicate with you afterwards. They have got what they want and you will hardly ever hear from them again, if at all. On the other hand, people who “connect” rather than “collect” are likely to share common ground with you and to relate with you on the basis of this common ground. Even if it is just to “like” your posts from time to time, congratulate you on your achievements and mourn with you when you cry!

I know it may seem counterproductive but I regularly prune my social media following and mailing lists of people who do not engage or open my communications. I am in it for the engagement and I genuinely want to connect.

A better way to socialize and build a following on Facebook and social media

Here are my personal “terms of engagement.” You might find something here that will work for you too!

1. If you are on social media to build a community, to which you can give and from which you can receive, then only connect with people you are genuinely interested in. This way, engagement will come naturally and it is more likely to be reciprocated.

2. Connect to engage. Do not “collect” to look good! If you add on or buy followers simply for the numbers, you will build what I call a “ghost town” rather than a community. You will have a list of names but not an interactive community. Names do not buy from you and refer you opportunities. Interactive people do.

3. When sending a connection request, include a message saying who you are, where or how you found them and mention something about them that interests you. Mention specifically why you have decided to connect with them and avoid using the default templates (they are too bland, impersonal and show a lack of true effort).

4. Connect appropriately, meaning, refer people to the right channels. Add your personal contacts to your personal profiles and your business contacts to your business networks. I know this is not easy as many business connections will find you through your own name and not your business name. However, if you start today with the rule to connect appropriately, it will go a long way to establish this order.  The reason I recommend this segmentation is to keep your communication appropriate and to protect your privacy. Remember that connecting from your personal page or profile could give strangers access to your private information, pictures, contact details etc. Remember to adjust your settings accordingly.

5. Make an effort to send a thank you or welcome message to new connections and to stay in touch along the way, even if only on birthdays and special occasions. Of course, social media is give and take. You cannot complain that people do not engage if you do not either.

6. Remember that social media is not a trading floor – there is no need to spam people every five minutes with sales pitches! Rather, follow the 80/20 rule. Send out 80% engagement or connection messages (i.e. staying in touch, sharing helpful information and updates) and 20% promotion where you actually ask for a sale. No one wants to buy from the spammers and those who only connect when they have something to sell.

Which messages are you more likely to respond to?

This kind:

  • “Please “like” my page,” and “Hi, everyone! “Like” my new Facebook page.”

Or this kind:

  • “Hi Julie! This is Oma of the XYZ Facebook group. I am impressed with your helpful contributions and love the video on your homepage! I would love to connect with you and have just sent you a connection request. I believe we have a lot in common and could support each others’ work.”
  • “Hello Diane! I hope you are enjoying the hot summer. I have just launched a new Facebook business page and invite you to connect with me there. Every Friday I share an inspirational video and during the week I share helpful tips. I also pass on referrals to my FB connections and occasional opportunities that come my way. Please share your business page too as I would love to connect with you there. Regards, Oma.”

The same etiquette applies for LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms. These days, people are inundated with requests to connect and not always for the right reasons. Make sure that your requests strike the right cord and yield your desired response. Connecting to engage will grow your business. Collecting to impress, fools only you!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. Bess Obarotimi says

    I totally agree. I always want to connect with people and have done so with some GREAT people. I always find it strange when people strike up a connection but never follow it up. For example, why would you connect to me on LinkedIn or join a group that you never contribute too. You never post an update or share some information. It truly baffles me. However, If you ask me to like your page and I check the page and I like what it does, I’ll ‘like’ it. I couldn’t care less if you like mine back because I am only interested in people that I can convert to customers and not LIKES.

    Admittedly, I never do the personalized message thing, It hadn’t even occurred to me. I’d always figured that if you liked what the page did, you would connect. I’ll give it a go though.

    1. Oma Edoja says

      Yes, Bess. To me, it’s like being in the habit of asking people to marry you and not showing up at the altar! And then wondering why you can’t find a wife/husband as people wonder why they don’t get business from social media. Hopefully, more people will realize the importance of connecting and we’ll have less hit-and-run “likers!”

      1. Oma Edoja says

        Glad you want to try the personalized thank you or welcome message, Bess! As I mentioned, smart people are getting selective about accepting requests. A personalized message helps to increase not just your being accepted but also the chance that the recipient will engage with you afterwards. Why do I say this? Because you strike up a conversation or pique their curiousity in your message. If you lead the way with a heart-felt compliment, for instance, you will most often get a response. You hardly ever get a response by just asking for a “like!” And if you ever need to go back to people for a favour, you already have a foundation to build on. If someone asked me for a “like” today, without an intro, and came back for a favour the next day, I would know better than to grant it! Also, the full benefits of connecting with you may not show on your page. Best to make it clear up front.

  2. Kate says

    It’s easy to get into chasing the number of likes, but connecting takes time; it’s a long term thing putting energy into relationships.

    1. Oma Edoja says

      True, Kate! It’s a long term thing. There used to be a time when you could get steady business by just pitching your products and services at people. However, many are not aware that times have changed and it’s the era of relationship marketing. I think the key is in first BEING before DOING. People struggle when they try to DO without first BEING. If we work on being genuinely interested in others and how to help them, we will not find it hard to connect rather than collect. If we are habitually friendly and helpful in person, relationship marketing will be a natural thing that we flow into and a natural expenditure of our energy. Personal growth comes before personal profit!

  3. Alexandra says

    hi Oma, I must admit this is something I really struggled with and I’ve had to go back to the drawing board. When I first started with social media I ended up spamming everyone (sorry people!) – I thought “oh I know how to use this” from a technical POV, rather than what people actually want to see and engage with. So, I’ve had to take a step or two back and really think about how I’m going to use social media to interact and engage – because I certainly don’t want to be just electronic junk!

    I’m a real person running a real micro-business – so for my clients, it really is all about me – they choose me and not my product – so how did I get it so wrong? Ah well, another lesson learned! 🙂

    1. Oma Edoja says

      Glad that you see it as a learning experience, Alexandra! Most of us “bungled” with social media when we just started out. The important thing, as you have realized, is to be open to learning, growing and embracing what works. All the best!

  4. lotwina says

    Thanks for these great tips. I’m setting up a facebook page for my business so your post is pretty timely.

    1. Oma Edoja says

      You are welcome, Lotwina! All the best with your new Facebook page.

      ~ Oma

  5. Jacalyn says

    Great tips Oma. I am also setting up a new FB page for my business, and as I saw your heading I thought opps! However I am glad to say I do send out request connections and have started to respond with a thank you for accepting my invitation, especially on LinkedIn, so seeing your article has made it all the more pleasing.
    Thank you Oma for always being right on point.

  6. Oma Edoja says

    Thank you, Jacalyn, for your very kind feedback.
    I am glad this article is helpful to you.