October 23, 2011

By: 
Rachel Strella

Why You Should Accept My Facebook Friend Request

I often have clients that need advice about separating their personal and business contacts, especially on Facebook. However, I also advise against a big ‘separation.’

While I understand the need for privacy, I’m also an advocate for getting to know people.  It’s that human connection that allows people to get to know you, like you, trust you… and yes –eventually–buy from you.

When I meet someone at a networking event or I engage with them online, I often invite them to join me on social channels, including an invitation to friend me on Facebook.  Most accept my request.

However, I still have a good number that send me a private message and tell me one of two things:

  1. I only connect with personal friends and family on Facebook, not business contacts. I hope you understand.
  2. I’ll accept your friend request, but I like to keep my Facebook page separate for people I don’t know. I prefer to engage with business professionals on my fan page, which you can like here…..

My response to #1: Yes, I understand. Thank you for letting me know.

What I really think about #1: I do understand, but it makes me sad that you don’t get it. You’ve labeled me as a business contact and nothing more.  Guess I won’t get to know you enough to “like you, trust you, and buy from you.”

My response to #2:  Thanks, Jane. I am a fan of your page, however, you haven’t updated it since June, so I thought we could engage here.

What I really think about #2: Way to blow the first one-on-one connection we have with each other.

For those of you who aren’t aware, you can create friend lists and filter your connections. You can allow them to see what you want them to see and you can post updates specific to friend lists. (More on lists)

For those of you who make the privacy argument, the bottom line is still this: don’t post anything online – personal page or otherwise – that you wouldn’t want plastered where the ball drops!

It’s the internet –whether you are aware of it or not–you’re everywhere!

Ken Mueller said in a recent Q&A for my blog, “I DO care what you had for breakfast. I’m building a relationship.”

It’s time to be human, to be real, to be you, and to let others get to know you.

How are you getting to know your current and potential clients? Are you still fearful to embrace this line of thinking?

 

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9 comments on “Why You Should Accept My Facebook Friend Request”

  1. Rachel, I totally agree. I attended a meeting about FB last week and people seemed so worried about their security settings and keeping the profile seperate from the business page, that I think many will miss out on a lot of good connections. Thanks for a great article pointing this out.!

    1. Thank you, Kim! Believe it or not, there were actually members of our GSMMA group that did not want to connect with me via personal FB!!!

  2. I agree completely, Rachel. If you are posting something that you don't want someone to see, be assured it will find its way out (like the flower growing out of the concrete...OR, the weed!). One of my social media heroes. Lindsay Pollack, suggests that the demarcation between personal and business will eventually disappear. Be yourself...

    Here is a blog I wrote on making posting decisions: http://bdavismcdp.wordpress.com/2012/02/09/why-you-should-never-say-quote-unquote/

  3. Hi Rachel~

    Another great blog post from you that has me wanting to chime in! 😉

    For me, its not about posting something inappropriate or that I don't want my clients/vendors to see.

    When I get a friend request on Facebook, I ask myself: 'Do I really want this person (who I don't know) to see my 3rd grade picture?? Or to see photos of my family?? ' In my opinion, it's like introducing a boyfriend to my family on a first date. (being from a very large family, that is a scary thought!)

    I have set up the group lists to give me the option to post things that are interesting only to certain groups. (I have them for close friends, family, clients/work vendors, Sertoma friends, etc) However, I rarely post anything that I need to exclude others. It's just good to know I can!

    Like any relationship, I prefer to get to know someone person-to-person first before letting them into my inner FB circle. So, Rachel, since I've met you a few times in person, we share some great friends and we've shared opinions online, I'd be comfortable allowing you into my FB family! I'll be looking for my request....

    Best~

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