Social media, especially Facebook – where would we be without it? I love social media and I’m particular with how I use it. I use Twitter to catch up on news as I find the constant updates are more timely than conventional news sites. I view Instagram for friend’s holiday snaps, their cafe meals and selfies. And I use Facebook to catch up with school friends and relatives. I also join the odd local group to stay in the loop of upcoming festivals, local news and events.
Facebook is great if you run a business too, as you can set up a ‘page’ and keep your ‘fans’ up to date with what’s happening with your company. All well and good. I’m a ‘fan’ of a few pages and I enjoy seeing the new products or services or recipes that some of the businesses I ‘like’ post. But… You knew this was going to turn into a gripe, a rant, a bitch. But, what I find really, really, really off-putting is when you accept a ‘friend request’ from an acquaintance and you think – great, lovely, they want to connect/re-connect, how nice – when in fact, once you accept their request, they send you a request to ‘like’ their business page. Basically, they’re not interested in being your friend, they don’t want to connect with you, they simply want another ‘like’ for their statistics. Urgh!
Another example of this nonsense happened just recently, spurring me to rant this out, purge it out of my system once and for all. I’ve been invited to ‘like’ a new business page started by a Facebook Friend. I say Facebook Friend, because they’re the type of friend who initiated the friend request to begin with, however they never comment on my posts, never like any of my posts and in turn never seem to post anything themselves. In recent days two of these Facebook Friends have started up ‘businesses’ and have sent me requests to ‘like’ their new businesses. Of course I’ve hit ‘like’ because…because…because…I don’t know why…. Urgh!!! Just because!!! *bangs head on desk, cries, sniffs, composes self*
Let’s call one of the businesses “ABC Cleaning”. (They haven’t started a cleaning business, but for the purpose of this post, let’s say they have). I’ve checked out their business page and I’m not even interested in what they are promoting. Urgh. Everyone owns a broom and mop these days, why do I need to hire someone to use those tools when I can do a good job myself… Anyway. A quick search to see if “ABC Cleaning” had an external website yielded a surprising result – there are other very similarly worded businesses who happen to provide exactly the same service as this Facebook Friend’s new business. There is “ABC Kleaning”, “ABD Cleaning”, “ABC Cleanings” – for example. This confusion poses a whole host of questions – what if potential customers confuse the businesses? Is it even possible to have a business name so close to an exisiting business in the same field? Why didn’t this Facebook Friend do appropriate checks before going to the trouble of setting up a page? Why didn’t they think of a unique name, rather than the obvious and clearly well covered name? Wouldn’t you want your new business to have a stand out name? And looking at their work, I can’t say I’m impressed with their level of workmanship. I can clean better, for example. And wouldn’t it be better for business and ‘friendship’ to write a general post to all the friends letting them know you’ve started “ABC Cleaning” and inviting them to ‘like’ the page, rather than send a request out of the blue? That would surely spur conversation and be far more engaging than the more sterile request method. Do they even know how to ‘business’?
You know, I’ve recently embraced sketching again. I’m impressed with my results. My family is impressed with my results. The real life friends I’ve shown my sketches to, are impressed with my results. Does that mean I should start up a Facebook ‘business page’ and send invitations to all my friends – many of whom are artists – inviting them to ‘like’ my new sketching? And maybe I can call my new business page “Banksey Sketches” because that would be a great and catchy name… No. No, just because I have received a few compliments for my sketches does not mean that I should go out, start a business page using an all-too-familiar name, and invite all and sundry to ‘like’ my page!
So if you have a hobby or a passion and you excel at this hobby or passion and you are constantly asked by others – who are not your family or friends – who see your work to please set up a Facebook business page so they can be kept up to date with your hobby, then please feel free to start up a Facebook business page. In fact send me a link so I too can ‘like’ your page. But if you simply base your feedback on what your family and friends tell you, then don’t. Your family and friends love you and they will love anything you produce, no matter how shoddy your cleaning really is.
In the meantime, from an etiquette point of view, how long before I can ‘unlike’ these pages? And should I really care?