I get a ton of Facebook friend requests. I already have more than 99,000 public followers and 3,500 friends. There’s a 5,000 friend limit, so I can’t friend everybody, and there are dozens of people from around the world that request my friendship per day. I’ve already written about this in The Biggest Networking Mistake Everyone is Making on Facebook… subsequent to that I did get one personal message explaining why someone wanted to connect with me, but it really didn’t do a great job of explaining why I should connect to them. I didn’t want to be a jerk about it with my answer but I also didn’t want to ignore it, so here was my answer:
Hey I don’t want to ignore your message- I’m going to be completely transparent- the key questions you to answer for somebody like me are:
- “What do you want from me?”
- “Why do you want my Facebook friendship?”
- “What do you have to offer me?”
- “Why do you need Facebook friendship to do that?”
So far you told me you’re in social media and inbound marketing which is awesome but there are thousands of people in that- and actually there are probably 50,000-100,000 of them internationally and since I can only have 5,000 facebook friends, I can’t connect with everyone who requests me on Facebook, so to be honest you have to do a better job of standing out and connecting- which is a great marketing lesson and networking lesson- what do you and I have in common and how can you evoke emotions around that in your message? You could use graph search to figure that out- I tell you that so you could apply it to networking with not just me but other influencers too.
It’s much more effective to friend someone on Facebook AFTER interacting with them somehow- in message comments or private messages or on the phone or LinkedIn or some other social network or in person… the absolute best way is when you know you’ve made an emotional connection already- you talked about your kids or pets or you shared a joke or a hobby. Then a Facebook connection makes sense. Sometimes people will connect without that, just on a business basis, but there’s a chance they won’t.
But to be stranger and completely unknown and friend request without a message- you’re going to get ignored. If you do message an influencer, make sure you answer the questions above.