Simple Tips for Using Facebook Invitations Effectively

Today I want to talk to you about invitations on Facebook.  We have the opportunity to invite our friends on Facebook to an number of things: Groups, Pages, Events, Causes, etc.  And when used well, invitations on Facebook can be a powerful part of your Facebook marketing strategy.

I find, however, that invitations are also one of the most abused portions of Facebook, resulting in what I call “Over-Invite Syndrome.”  Every day, it seems, I get invitations from direct sellers for things that I don’t have the slightest interest in.  Maybe it’s a local event in your area, and I’m half a country away.  Maybe it’s a cause I don’t believe in.  Whatever the case, each invitation says to me “I don’t care if this wastes your time…I care more about myself and my message than in who I’m inviting.”

And it does waste the invitee’s time.  Sometimes I feel like I waste half my life declining invitations that have nothing to do with me.  Not a great way to market your business.

And don’t even get me started on multiple invitations to the same Page or Group!  Sometimes I decline an invitation only to find that the same invitation is sent over and over and over again.  Do that too often, and you’ll find yourself unfriended.  Now I know that Facebook doesn’t make it easy to track who you have and have not invited.  But if your invitations have been sent thoughtfully to those that you’ve built a relationship with, you should be able to keep track of who you have or have not invited.

These simple tips will help you use Facebook invitations more effectively:

  1. Build relationships first. When you build a relationship with an individual before inviting them to join something on Facebook, you know their needs, and whether or not they might have an interest in what you have to offer.  Then you have a much better chance of that person responding favorably to your invitation.  And you can avoid annoying them.  That’s important.
  2. Keep a list. When you’ve invited someone to something on Facebook, take an extra minute and put that person’s name in a spreadsheet or other list, so you can keep track.  (It would be nice if Facebook let us keep track of whom we’ve invited, but that functionality doesn’t currently exist.)  That way you don’t risk inviting that person multiple times, and annoying them.  If they didn’t accept the invitation the first time, there’s a reason.
  3. Target your invites. Remember way back when we talked about defining your target market, based on your goals?  Part of the reason we do that is because not everyone is interested in the same things.  Rather than mass-inviting the world to everything, target the things you invite people to on Facebook to specific individuals, based on their interests, as well as your goals and market.  That way, you avoid over-inviting the same people to everything, which results in invitation burn-out.

Inviting people strategically on Facebook can be an effective way to engage your target market, and provide value as part of an overall content marketing strategy.  But abused, this can be a way to damage your credibility, and undermine all you hope to accomplish through social media marketing.  By using these simple tips, you can get the maximum benefits from invitations on Facebook.

Now it’s your turn!  Have you experienced “Over-Invite Syndrome?” 🙂  Do you have specific suggestions for direct sellers that use invitations?  Would love to hear your thoughts below!  And do you know someone who needs this message?  Why not share this post with them today?

7 Responses to Simple Tips for Using Facebook Invitations Effectively
  1. Kathy Graff
    April 22, 2010 | 1:50 pm

    Great information! I’ve taken to even “sending invite as a message” so that I can send it more personally…with a personal message instead of “hey, everyone, come on out!”

    Thanks for the tips!

    • Jennifer Fong
      April 22, 2010 | 1:52 pm

      Love it! What a great idea!

  2. Todd Pillars
    April 21, 2010 | 8:49 am

    In my experience this is right up there with “friends” spamming your wall – and it get propagated the same way; Somebody says “Send an invitation to all your ‘friends’ and you’ll get (more friends, a great response, etc)” and it _sounds_ like it _should_ work so they do it… and do it… and do it.

    The self proclaimed teachers, mentors, and gurus are the ones that mostly need education – but my fear is selfishness will keep them promoting bad behavior.

    I try to go back to “Educate, don’t berate”.

  3. Karen Shillieto
    April 21, 2010 | 8:47 am

    There is someone on Facebook I know who has sent an invite to me every month to join a group that I have absolutely zero interest in because I am not at all part of her target group. If she read my profile or knew me at all she’d realize that I have grown children, no grandchildren so no matter how great the products, I currently am not in the market for baby, toddler items. I’m this close to removing her since sending a private message hasn’t even change her marketing strategy. It’s very annoying.

  4. Donna
    April 20, 2010 | 9:15 am

    SUPER article! Thanks Jenn

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