If You Don’t Actually Know Me, I Don’t Want to Be Your Fan

The whole FaceBook Fan page thing has me really wearied. I get fan invites from everybody and their dog. Most of them don’t know me. Not really. If they have never bothered to make any kind of personal contact, why in the world do I want to be their fan?

Lately though, if you allow a Friend connection with anyone you do not personally know, the first thing you get from them is a fan invite.

I think that the whole fan page thing is sort of run wild. When fan pages were not so well known, you had a chance that people might want to subscribe. But now, since everyone has one, the competition and lameness factor has risen to such a fever pitch that it is now far more difficult to create an effective one that actually serves a purpose, or to get it noticed.

Now let me assure my clients that I don’t mind when they send me an invite. After all, I KNOW them, and I have a vested interest in their business. But I don’t subscribe to all of those either – some cover topics I am not highly interested in.

And I don’t mind when my real friends send an invite either. I KNOW them, and they KNOW me. There is a relationship there.

But I’m selective about which pages I subscribe to. There is only so much time in the day, only so much room for STUFF in my life. If I subscribe to a page, it has to MEAN something to me. If I don’t, it isn’t an insult. I don’t like lime green, I dislike jazz music, I’m death on get rich quick scams or anything that even comes close. Lots of other personal quirks… I choose based on my likes and dislikes.

Right up there with Fan pages, are Causes. I don’t do FaceBook Causes. They are pretty much a useless gesture. A bunch of people sitting around commenting on a problem, but nobody really doing anything other than joining. It doesn’t change a thing. If I want to change the world, I am going to get busy doing something effective, not just gathering a group of people to notice that there is a problem. And then I’m selective about what I take on also – there’s only so much of me to go around.

I don’t live my life on FaceBook. I don’t play games there, and I don’t expect life to revolve around it. I live out here, and drop in for newsbites once or twice a day, and drop a little info of my own. Beyond that, it isn’t even real.

Most fan and cause notices I receive are deleted without further investigation. If I do not recognize a name behind it, it doesn’t even show on my radar. I don’t think I’m unusual in that… at least in final outcome.

Maybe a lot of people DO subscribe without really paying attention to what they are doing. Those people aren’t valuable contacts. They subscribe with the same degree of attention they pay to your announcements.

The key to effective networking is relationships. You can’t build relationships unless you get to know people. A fan invite is an assumption of an existing relationship – smart people just don’t respond unless the relationship is already there. And if you KEEP sending them (I get them from some people several times a week, even though I consistently ignore them), you just annoy people. Annoying people you want to reach is NOT a good idea!

Spend less time broadcasting, and more time making meaningful contact. It will get you further.

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