I’ve been thinking about my facebook page a lot lately. You see I have over 100 “fans” of TheValuePagesGroup.com on facebook, but I have hardly any participation on my facebook page. I know that people read, or perhaps scan the information posted there, because many times it comes up in actual conversations with my connections.
I’m also aware that only around 1% of online readers will comment on any given blog post. But since I’m not getting any comments over an extended period of time, I’m forced to conclude that a good percentage of my “fanbase” isn’t reading, or perhaps isn’t seeing the information shared on my facebook page. And I have a suspension that I’m not alone in this problem, which is why I’m writing the blog post.
So in an effort to try and find a solution to this problem, I began examining my own facebook habits. To my surprise I was a “fan” of 42 different facebook pages. I think a lot of people on facebook fall prey to this. I’ll become a fan on your page so you’ll become a fan of mine. Or maybe I’ll just say “Yes!” to every request that comes through so that everyone will like me. Hmm, deja vu…yes, I think I think I experienced this same lesson on Twitter, and here it is again sneaking back up on me. I guess it’s true that life lessons will be presented over and over until we learn them.
How long will it take until we become honest communicators on facebook (and social media in general)?
What I mean by that is how long will it take us to realize that we are diluting our message and squandering our resources by taking a “one hand washes the other” approach to social media? What is going to make it finally sink in so that we’re able to actually be selective about what we endorse and who we follow? In looking at the pages that I had chose to follow, they basically broke down into three groups:
1. Radio Shows. This falls into the I follow you, you follow me syndrome. A lot of my facebook friends also have their own shows on BlogTalkRadio. Some of them are quite good, but honestly I’ve never listened to most of them. It’s not to say that there’s nothing of value there, but I’m so busy creating my own value, for my own network, that I just don’t have the luxury of spending an hour or two a day listening to different shows. I really wish there was a way to get more of that in, but for now it has to remain a low priority. So I have to ask myself, why am I a fan of a Radio show I’ve never even listened to?
2. Charities. Because of the work I’m organizing with Measured Impact, I have a special interest in all of the great and selfless people out there working so hard for others who are in need. This category is so hard, because my first instinct was to feel like a tool for removing myself as a fan of a charity that no doubt supports an important cause and people who work very hard to make a difference. My personal reality is that I’m a man of modest means at the time of me writing this (hopefully that will be changing shortly), and it is totally unrealistic for me to think that I could support or personally make a difference to dozens of charities simultaneously. So after much reflection, it makes sense to me to follow and support specific charities around causes that I’m most passionate about, and charities that are working directly with Measured Impact.
3. People I know and respect. Almost anyone who is self employed and serious about using facebook to promote their business has a facebook page dedicated to their business. These people are ideal clients for The Value Pages Group and I know a ton of them. This is where it gets so tempting to go back to the one hand washes the other approach to facebook connections. The last thing I want to do is alienate a potential client. As I pondered this conundrum, I had a couple of revelations. So much of what I do with The Value Pages Group is free (the business, social media, and marketing content here on IdeaBox, the marketing communities on TheValuePagesGroup.com, and the free trial membership of our networking groups), and all of it is designed to help tech savvy business owners across a wide variety of industries to do more to help their business, build relationships and sell their products and services with less resources. Lots of business owners benefit from these free resources, though not all of them are clients of The Value Pages Group. Whether or not you are a member of The Value Pages Group, I desperately want your business to be successful because I know how important successful businesses are to this economy that we all enjoy and depend on. But at the same time, I now realize that I’m not personally invested in your business’ success unless you are a paying member of The Value Pages Group. Because when you are a paying member of The Value Pages Group, your success is tied to my success. Make sense?
And lastly, when narrowing the number of facebook pages I’m a fan of, I had to add one more ingredient - my judgement. If pages weren’t being updated regularly, or if there was scant evidence of any conversation happening, that page became a target of my cleanse…especially if there was another page on the same topic with better performance.
I realize that by the criteria that I laid out above, many of my “fans” could “un-fan” my facebook page. I’m ok with that. In fact, I would prefer that you not be a fan of The Value Pages Group unless you know what it’s all about and really value the concept, our services, and our information. I would prefer to start from scratch with people who really appreciate what I’m doing than to have 100, or even 1000 “fans” who are absent or not connected. To that end, I’m leading by example. I’m going through all the pages that I’m a fan of and evaluating the value that I receive from that relationship and what I’m actually able to contribute to the relationship. Lots of pages will be cut. Moving forward I’m only becoming a fan of something that I’m actually a FAN of. Things or companies that I love, that I’ve purchased from, that I could honestly recommend, or those that I have a strategic relationship with. This is going to drastically improve the quality of my connections on facebook. Now I finally feel like I can honestly communicate what I’m actually interested in.
I’m really curious to get your take on this idea. Do you feel the same way? Are you ready to change the way you use facebook? Are you looking for more meaningful business connections? Do you disagree? Please leave a comment below. I’m excited to read your feedback!
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