You probably already know this but we love Facebook. We use it to share with family and friends. We use it for our business. We’ve learned to make it work for us, and we want it to work for you too.
Hopefully by now you have set up a Facebook page for yourself, and maybe one for your business as well. If so, you’ll have connected with friends and family and other people in your wider network.
Most of us are happy with that.
Until we receive Facebook friend requests from random people, or even clients, who we don’t know very well.
Then we are faced with a dilemma. We don’t want to be rude to anybody, but we also feel we’d like to maintain our privacy.
Does this sound like you? Don’t worry, we have some strategies to help.
We all have different ideas about Facebook and how to use it, especially when we are faced with friend requests from clients and distant acquaintances.
To help us understand why we receive those random friend requests, we’d like to share some thoughts about Facebook personalities, or archetypes.
Facebook is simply an extension of the way that people operate in everyday life. It really is a microcosm of society, with all the different personalities and styles of interaction.
1. Super-friendly people
These people love making friends and collect as many as possible. They use Facebook to organise get-togethers and meet-ups. They love to share. They are open and friendly, and naturally persuasive. They’re social sales people. These types send friend requests to anyone and everyone. Even people they haven’t met. They are just being friendly.
2. Super-brainy people
These people like information. They use Facebook primarily to learn about new things, but tend to keep a low profile. They share links to things they think are interesting, but rarely about themselves. They thrive on information and love to look up sources. These types send friend requests to people if they are interested in what they do, and want to find out more.
3. Super-connected people
These people love making connections, and seem to know everybody. They use Facebook for networking, creating events and chatting with people, just for the sake of it. They get a real buzz from helping others. These types are send friend requests in order to make connections. They love being useful.
What’s your Facebook archetype?
You can probably see a little of yourself in one (or maybe two) of these archetypes. Which one sounds like you?
You will probably have a lot of friends and share quite freely. Your profile photo might be of you with friends or family. You are likely to be a member of a several groups, where you enjoy chatting to people about different topics. You might not have a Facebook page for your business, as you will be happy to keep everyone and everything on your personal page. You don’t have any issues about sending and accepting friend requests, but might benefit from using lists to create a few boundaries.
You’ll mostly have close friends and family on Facebook. You may have not have your real name on your profile, and your profile picture could be of something that isn’t you. You might be a member of a few groups, but until you feel comfortable, you might just read posts instead of joining the conversation. You probably keep a low profile on your personal page. Your security settings will be quite secure and you might even have things set up so that tags or photos need to be approved by you before they appear on your timeline. You might ignore friend requests from people if you don’t know them, or you might stalk them a little before you make a decision.
You probably use Facebook quite extensively. You’ll be active in a few different groups. You’ll have a wide range of friends and connections, including some people you haven’t yet met in real life, but who you’ve formed a good connection with online. You are the type of person who share links that you know others will find interesting, and you probably use tagging to make sure the right people see what you share. You’ll also invite others to events you think they’ll enjoy. You’re probably happy to accept friend requests if you can see there is some benefit to the connection.
(This model was inspired by The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. There is an interesting blog post about business archetypes here.)
Random Friend-Request Strategy
So, what do we do about random friend requests?
As we’ve seen, accepting friend requests is simply not an issue for some people.
If you are not one of those people, and you are not sure what to do, the most important thing is to make a decision based on what you feel comfortable with. It’s your profile, and you can decide who you want to include.
There are two main options.
Invite them to your business page
‘Hi, thank you so much for sending me a friend request. I keep my personal page for close friends and family, but I’d love to be part of my business page where I share loads of great information about homeopathy and you’ll also see photos of my lovely cat. (LINK to your page here.)’
Accept them and filter them into a list
Facebook lists are great. If you use lists, you can make sure your new client doesn’t get to see your personal posts or your holiday photos. (We love Facebook lists and have a whole post planned on them, later this month.)
Once you have decided on your strategy, you can spend less time worrying about it and more time building your connections and growing your page likes.
We hope the sun is shining wherever you are today.