The First Place to Connect With Customers On Facebook

When working with a customer, it’s a great idea to invite that customer to connect with you on Facebook after the sale. Why? Because it gives you one more tool to follow up with that customer, and it’s easy for the customer to reach you again when they’re ready to reorder.

But with the many Facebook options – Profiles, Pages, and Groups – you may be asking yourself where you should connect with the customer first.

My advice is to connect with that customer first through your Profile. (Remember, the Profile is your personal presence on Facebook.) While you won’t be able to share your latest specials and business messages through your Profile (you shouldn’t ask people to spend money through your Profile), connecting here first is smart for a couple of reasons:

  1. A Profile is 2-way communication. This means you can see what’s going on in a customer’s life and can comment on it. This keeps you more visible to the customer, and also allows you to make relevant product and opportunity recommendations when the time is right for that customer, based on what you see going on in her life. You can’t see posts from customers if you just connect through a Group or Page, unless they choose to post directly on your Page or Group.
  2. You control the friend request. Rather than giving the customer the URL of your Facebook Page, and hoping they go there and “Like” your Page, you can send a Friend request to the customer, which she’ll be notified about through Facebook.

Now this is not to say that you can’t later invite that same customer to connect with you on your Page or in your Group. (This is a great conversation to have when you’ve called that customer to be sure she’s received everything and is satisfied.) Once they join you in a business environment on Facebook you can share those specials and other business-related content. But the relationship begins through your Profile.

Sure, you’ll have to be sure that what you share through your Profile is appropriate for your customers to see. But that’s a good idea anyway, since your social networking content can go a lot further, and last a lot longer, than you may anticipate. Better safe than sorry!

How do you connect with your customers online? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!

5 Responses to The First Place to Connect With Customers On Facebook
  1. Dory
    September 24, 2012 | 1:51 pm

    I have multiple businesses so I use one business card with one website that lists all my online presence locations. I don’t currently make friend requests of customers because I heard that if you have to many unreplied-to friend requests, Facebook can shut down your profile. If I wasn’t so worried about that, I would make friend requests of each customer and use Facebook’s Lists to tame down the resulting feed.

    • Jennifer Fong
      September 24, 2012 | 2:19 pm

      My feeling on this is that if you let customers know ahead of time that you will send the friend request, they will be looking for it and are more likely to accept. It’s all about building that relationship at point of sale!

  2. Tina "The Book Lady"
    July 31, 2011 | 4:54 am

    Hi Jen – thanks for such a great article. I agree with you that Facebook is very helpful for keeping contact with our customers. I like that it’s not a pushy way to stay in contact. I just found a new site that helps business owners put together a welcome page or information page for their business – it can be small business, home workers (business or personal), teachers, services, etc. I used pagemodo.com to built my page. There is a FREE option or you can pay a monthly fee depending on your needs. (I used the FREE option)

    Tina “The Book Lady”

  3. Heather
    July 27, 2011 | 11:40 pm

    I also love connecting via my profile with my customers so I can invite them to events. I have mystery hostess parties online and enjoy using facebook events for that.

  4. Sushila Renfro
    July 27, 2011 | 11:27 am

    Another really powerful thing that happens on facebook between the first time you meet someone at a party and the next time you see them is something called “ambient awareness” . You get to know them in a way that is like sitting next to them as they live their life. By the next time you see them, the intimacy of your relationship is so much greater than if you weren’t on facebook together. What that does in a relationship industry like direct sales is so amazing. Now they are loyal to you because they feel like they are your friends as well as your customers. What used to take months if not years to achieve can now happen a matter of days!

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