Probably like you, I own a small business. Who doesn’t these days right? Also like you, and everyone else that owns a computer, I’m on Facebook. And just like everyone else on Facebook, I get inundated with “Become a Fan” requests at least 6–8 times a week. These requests are generally for fan pages of small businesses, either that friends of mine own, or friends of a friend of mine own.
Now, let me be honest, I think my small business is AWESOME. But I also realize, that unless I’m giving you money, or you’re a client of mine, you really have no reason to “become my fan” on Facebook. It’s great that we’re friends and all, but I don’t expect anyone outside of my industry, or who I do work with, to find anything that I do professionally, exciting or worthy of fandom.
It reminds me of Eddie Murphy: “What have you done for me lately?” — I especially don’t want to become a fan of business pages who’s business I don’t even use, read, or know about! I can’t endorse something that I don’t use. That doesn’t mean we’re not friends, or that I don’t like you, it just makes sense.
I know that everyone out there by now has heard that this social media thing is all the hype, but signing up for a Twitter account and creating a fan page for your business on Facebook doesn’t mean that you’re “doing it”.
If you’re a small business and trying to kill it with social media, you need to think about what you’re providing your users. Most people aren’t going to like you just because you’re you, even though you’re wonderful. Try a few of these things:
- Create some face-melting content
- Give away stuff, people love that
- Run a contest that users might actually have a chance at winning
- Respond to your users
- Don’t go missing, if you’re not if front of your audience, someone else will be
Rather than just putting up a fan page with links to your site, put your back into it and do something valuable for your users. Then you might actually have something worthy of becoming a fan of. Don’t expect to sign up for a couple of accounts on the most popular social networks and thing that everything is going to work out for you. People now more than ever are looking for reasons to not pay attention to you. Between all of the media channels, Facebook games, Twitter, YouTube surfing and the like, there is more than enough distraction in our lives — we don’t need another vanilla install fan page to be a part of that will spam our inbox with notifications that we really don’t care about.
What does work are the brands and businesses that go out and do all of these bullet points to the max, and then some. Think about the websites that you repeatedly visit, even when they don’t notify you that there’s something new to see. What are they doing that you’re not?