Facebook Fan Page “Parties” or networking events seem to be very popular and can be a great way to make new connections and build your fan base. But you want to be careful that in the process of networking you are not overstepping the guidelines and boundaries set up on Facebook. So here are 5 tips for Facebook networking that you may find helpful:
Tip #1: “Like” other Pages as your Personal Profile
This is important for 2 reasons:
(1) Likes from a Fan Page do not increase the physical “Like” count on a page. So you are not helping another page’s official numbers increase when you are logged in and “Liking” as your Fan Page.
(2) Some page owners do not appreciate other pages leaving comments as a Page ; it can come across as “spam” and appear as if you are only commenting as your Page for self-promotion.
Tip #2: Don’t leave the same message or comment on each Page that you’ve Liked
Many Page owners like to leave a comment on a new connection’s page, letting them know how you found their page. A typical comment may say something like: “Stopping by from the networking event/party. Great to connect with you.” I’ll leave those types of comments myself.
The problem arises when you leave the same comment, word-for-word, on many different pages. That comment may look like a canned post that is being used to “spam” other accounts.
So make sure you are leaving unique comments when you visit new Pages.
Tip #3: Be cautious with Friend Requests
Sending out too many friend requests in a short period of time is a quick way to get banned from making future requests. There is debate on the maximum number of friend requests you should make per day. Note that Facebook’s official terms are “You should send friend requests to people you have a real-life connection to…”
Keep in mind that many Facebook users really want to keep their personal connections totally separate from their business connections. So they may not appreciate your Friend Request if you have not developed an online business relationship first. You may want to develop a connection through their Fan Page before becoming “friends”. If a user has turned on the Subscribe feature, then that’s a great way to initially connect with someone you do not know.
If you accept friend requests from people you have connected with through networking events, then you may want to create a Custom Friend List for business/professional “friends” and keep your personal information (photo albums, specific posts) hidden from them. Just click on the “Friends” section in the left navigation panel of your profile’s Home screen. Create a List. When you add Friends, immediately add them to a Custom Friend List.
Click here to read a blog post I wrote when Facebook initially launched Custom Friend Lists and the Subscribe feature.
Tip #4: Don’t get carried away and start posting every hour
Once you’ve acquired all these new Fans through networking events, you naturally want to make a good impression and show how helpful your Page can be for them. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that means you need to start posting updates every hour, if that is not how you’ve previously managed your Page.
Remember that your new Fans have probably connected with just as many pages as you have and all of a sudden are seeing a lot more posts in their News Feed. Your Fan Page may stand out (in a negative way) if your new Fans’ News Feeds are filled with post after post from your Page.
We recommend posting 1-2 times per day, then checking your Page Insights for the engagement on your posts before increasing the frequency.
Tip #5: Build relationships by visiting Pages (use Interest Lists)
Once you’ve Liked all these new Pages (and they have Liked your Page in return), you should start building relationships with them.
You may have Liked a Page that is not necessarily in your niche or industry during a networking event; a Page you may think you’d never visit again…but you never know what that Page may share that you (or your target audience) finds useful.
As you’ve probably already noticed, the more Pages you Like/Friends you have, the more “cluttered” your Personal Profile’s News Feed becomes. Use the Interest List feature on your Personal Profile and create a new Interest List for the networking events you attend.
Interest Lists make it so much easier to view updates or posts from topics that you define. Simply create the Interest List (from left navigation panel on Home of your Personal Profile), add a Page to that List (right when you Like the Page, see image below) and then view that Interest List in your Personal Profile’s News Feed.
You can keep your Interest Lists private or make them public (and open to subscription) to help others at the event organize their new connections too. For more information on setting up Interest Lists, see this post: Tips for Setting Up and Using Facebook’s Interest Lists
Then after the networking event has ended, you can just click on the matching Interest List several times a week, view posts from only the members on that Interest List and easily interact with the new connections you’ve made.
Hopefully, these tips will make your networking events on Facebook a more successful, social experience.
Top image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net