Facebook has become an incredible resource for getting more business. Every time you log on, it’s like walking into a networking event — full of potential clients. With over 1 billion mobile daily active users, Facebook has become not only a tool for being social but also for doing business.
The prominence of Facebook for commerce has become so powerful, that Hubspot research found that 74 percent of people say they use Facebook for professional purposes. So, while you may have thought social media is a place to be social, the data tells us the majority of users are also there for business-related reasons.
As a business owner who has a made six figures annually with just organic posts on Facebook (no ads or money spent), I know the power of social media very well. That being said, I’ve also learned how doing Facebook wrong can hurt any entrepreneur’s reputation, retention of clients and relationships.
If you’re interested in using Facebook for business, be sure to avoid these terrible mistakes.
Mistake No. 1: Asking for a quick call too soon
Messaging other entrepreneurs to have a quick call before you’ve cultivated a relationship is a terrible strategy. Sadly, it’s the most common one I see being made. It doesn’t matter if you have just the perfect solution or product for someone — asking for a quick call too soon is like going for third base before you’ve even kissed. Without your being relevant, asking for someone’s time makes you seem needy. Follow a proven process and you’ll get on calls without just about anyone.
Solution and a better strategy: Start reading that person’s posts. Make it a habit to comment, share and like the content. Just doing this got me seen and noticed by Tim Ferriss. Being regularly seen will make the lead-in to a phone call much smoother — and more likely to be accepted with open arms.
Next, if you see a way to provide value, do it. Favors are the fastest way to win someone over. Now, I say this with one small caveat: Doing acts of kindness will help you gain approval and grow your network, but giving out favors is a weak way to grow your business.
This simple strategy of liking, commenting and engaging key influencers has done wonders for me. It’s just one of the methods that I’ve used to get on calls with Jack Canfield (who invited me to write a chapter for his latest book), Marianne Williamson (who hired me to produce her upcoming podcast), and UFC Hall-of-Famer Bas Rutten (who after our work gave me a glowing testimonial). If you slow down and become relevant to someone’s world, they’ll be more likely to give their time and even be more willing to listen to your offers and your services.
Mistake No. 2: Asking to pick someone’s brain
The next most common mistake I see is messaging business owners asking for advice. I see this a lot, from entrepreneurs of all degrees of experience and income. If you catch yourself thinking about writing an expert you are connected with for advice, consider if it’ll come off as trying to get something for free. If it requires more than a few sentences and little time for a response, then it’s likely best you don’t ask.
Solution and a better strategy: Instead of asking for free advice — pay for it.
If you want coaching or help and want more access to your new, valuable contacts, paying for their time will help you immensely. Not only that, if you have truly positioned yourself as a valuable resource when you pay for their time, they’ll likely give you something extra (e.g., more time, more coaching, more leads or more help).
Mistake No. 3: Using Messenger too often for business
With easy access to Messenger, I’ve often found myself in discussions better suited for email or phone. Once I even lost a high-end client by using Messenger when a phone call would have been smarter.
If sensitive data is sent via Messenger, it’s tough to go back into your chat history and find that information. Secondly, if you’re having a hard discussion with an unhappy or upset client, Messenger doesn’t allow you to pick up nuances that good old phone call or in-person meeting would. Lastly, when your conversations get scattered across too many mediums, it’s very challenging to track back critical data.
Solution and a better strategy: If you are doing business-related chats, I recommend you keep them to basic stuff, such as signing up a client. But, when it’s time to send contracts and accept payments, switch over to email. Similarly, if a client is asking easy questions, Messenger is fine. But, if she is saying she’s unhappy or wants better clarity about a project, switch back to email or hop on a phone call.
Facebook is one of my favorite tools for finding leads, cultivating relationships and staying in touch with clients. That being said, it’s become too easy to use Messenger in place of email, phone calls or in-person meetings — and doing so can hurt your business.