If you think self promotion is evil then you really shouldn’t be in business for yourself.
I was reading an article recently by Lisa Barone of Outspoken Media on creating Facebook fan pages that your customers want to join. In it she made several great observations on what small businesses should be doing with their facebook fan pages to engage their public and bring their fan page to life (definitely check it out after you read the rest of this).
She reference another article by Pat Sexton of SEOish. He’s completely sick of Facebook fan pages, so much so that it makes him want to vomit. Graphic, I know, but a point well made.
What brought these two articles together for me though was the first comment left on Pat’s article by Aaron Weiche of Five Technology web design and internet marketing blog. I think his comment pretty much surpassed the whole point Pat was making in the article.
“Requesting to be “fanned” one time just serves as notice that you have a presence on Facebook. I’m OK with that. If you hit me up 10 times in a month, that’s crap. A one-time reach out to let me know you exist is cool.
If I’m a business owner, and I am, I can’t rely on the community to rally around me all the time. Sometimes you need to start the ripple yourself, I know I do.”
I think that’s very succint Aaron and a brilliant point.
It’s also a point that Lisa made right at the end of her article on creating Facebook pages people want to join.
The Point Of This Post
If you can’t be bothered reading the background above of what I’m trying to get across here is the 5 cents that matters:
People you are passionate about a topic will search for information on it. That’s a given and something that the online industry survives on.
However (and this is a massive “however”), just like Aaron said, if the request is genuine, or it’s a situation where a business owner needs to promote something just to let their “future customers” know that they exist, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
To round it up into a more industry recognised term, it’s called targetted advertising.
It’s not evil, and it shouldn’t make you want to vomit. You should do it to sell products and services with advertisements in niche magazines, advertising on niche websites, and appealing to niche communities. There is nothing wrong with it at all – as long as it’s not spamming of course, sometimes I really just don’t want to be a fan of your stupid facebook page and I reserve the right to ignore you much like 90% of people ignore 90% of advertisements.
While it’s great to have people rallying their support for you and your business, sometimes you really do just have to start the ripple yourself. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Photo credit: bixentro