Building Relationships on Facebook


In our previous post, Friending on Facebook, we continued our series on Facebook by going in depth about how to build a network of friends and manage that network.

In this post, we continue on with our discussion with a look at how to build relationships on Facebook, via messaging, wall posts, comments, and status updates.

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Use Facebook Messaging to Build Relationships

Facebook messaging is a powerful way to build relationships with your Facebook friends. You can message up to 20 friends at a time, but you can also simultaneously message everyone in a Facebook group. This could be a good way for you to distribute your newsletter, for example.

Comment on News Feeds

Your News Feed is made up of activities of your friends. These activities range from simple status updates and picture postings to many other kinds of activities, such as connecting with others, posting on Walls, recommending a link, or requests from within the ubiquitous Facebook games, such as Farmville or Mafia Wars.

If you find a friend’s stream is annoying, you can block all or certain kinds of their posts from your News Feed. To remove all your friend’s posts, hover over any post and you’ll see an X. Click the X, confirm the removal, and that person’s feed will be removed. You can also remove messages generated by Facebook Apps by going to the bottom of your News Feed and selecting Edit Options. Here you can restore blocked friends and manage whether apps’ feeds are displayed, as in the following figure.

 Facebook hidden feeds

Figure 59 — Block Messages from Facebook Apps

One way to build a relationship with a friend is to comment on their items in your News Feed. Often you’ll find this will spawn a discussion involving friends of the friend, giving you more opportunities to connect to more people.

Change Your Status on Facebook

Like LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social networking sites, Facebook has a status feature. It’s at the top of your News Feed and your Profile.

At the top of your News Feed is a box containing the question, “What’s on your mind?” When you post in the box, your status appears in all your friends’ News Feeds by default.

If you’d like to restrict who can see a post, click on the padlock at the bottom of the box. You’ll see options similar to the following figure.

 Facebook change status visibility

Figure 60 — Selecting Who Can See a Facebook Status Post

If you want even more control over who can and cannot see a status post, select Customize. You see a box similar to the following figure which allows greater control, including the ability to select certain people who can see the post and those to exclude.

 Facebook privacy 1

Figure 61 — Custom Settings for Status Updates on Facebook

Changing this setting only works for the current post unless you check the “Make this my default setting” box. If you want to change the setting permanently, you can also do so on your Privacy Settings page.

You can attach a variety of media and features to your status, including pictures, videos, Facebook events, and links.

You can post pithy, meaningful, or funny statuses. Just don’t post boring (“Today is the 350th day of the year”), trivial (“Just got up. Looking for coffee”), or obnoxious (“Shots shots shots shots for everybody!!!!!) statuses. Look to post at least one status message a day. If you have trouble coming up with one, there are sites that can help you (you knew there would be).

One such site is FunnyStatus.com. Here are a few of their more interesting canned statuses:

  • By the time a man realizes that his father was right, he has a son who thinks he’s wrong.
  • Leisure is the mother of philosophy.
  • Thinking about opening a center for battered fish.
  • My GPS says “Estimated Arrival Time.” I see “Time to Beat.”

If you Like their Facebook page so you can have suggestions when your status well runs dry,[1] or use their Funny Facebook Status Generator.[2]

You can also link your Twitter feed to your Facebook status. Be careful with this if you do a lot of replying on Twitter: People aren’t likely to be too interested in “@somebody You’re right” status updates. To link Twitter to your status, go to the Facebook Apps page and add the app.[3]

Posting on Walls

A Wall is a Facebook members’ public notepad. You can post on your Wall, and friends can post on each others’ walls. The posts will show up in both friends’ News Feeds. With all the other ways people have to interact, actually posting on Walls seems to be becoming less popular.

Next up: Top Things to Do on Facebook


Building Relationships on Facebook is the 123rd in a series of excerpts from our book, Be a Person: the Social Operating Manual for Enterprises (itself part of a series for different audiences). We’re just past page 331. At this rate it’ll be a long time before we get through all 430 pages, but luckily, if you’re impatient, the book is available in paper form at bit.ly/OrderBeAPerson and you can save $5 using Coupon Code 6WXG8ABP2Infinite Pipeline book cover

Get our new book, The Infinite Pipeline: How to Master Social Media for Business-to-Business Sales Success online here. You can save $5 using Coupon Code 62YTRFCV

What Others Are Saying

Infinite Pipeline offers practical advice for using social media to extend relationship selling online. It’s a great way to get crazy-busy prospects to pay attention.”
—Jill Konrath, author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies

“Sales is all about relationships and trust. Infinite Pipeline is the ‘how to’ guide for maximizing social networks to find and build relationships, and generate trust in our digital age.”
—Sam Richter, best-selling author, Take the Cold Out of Cold Calling (2012 Sales book of the year)

Infinite Pipeline will be the authority on building lasting relationships through online social that result in bottom line business.”
—Lori Ruff, The LinkedIn Diva, Speaker/Author and CEO of Integrated Alliances


[1] The Witty Hilarious and Ridiculously Funny Status Updates Facebook Page: bit.ly/bqhD3V

[2] Funny Facebook Status Generator: bit.ly/cluFZq

[3] Apps on Facebook.com – Facebook Developers bit.ly/Z7uWfr – here are several Twitter-related apps: bit.ly/XfOPDl

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About Social Media Performance Group

Social Media Performance Group is a premier enterprise social media consulting company that offers a unique approach to integrating social media into the enterprise — forget about the tools, it's all about the strategy! Rather than focusing on the tactics (do this or that on LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube), first we work with you and your senior leadership to comprehend your corporate strategy. Once we understand your strategic objectives and goals, we show you how a comprehensive social media strategy can integrate with and support your corporate strategy. We take an enterprise-wide view based on our unique Enterprise Social Media Framework, which maps social media to all appropriate touchpoints in your enterprise. We go beyond the obvious quick hits — sales and marketing — and help you achieve social-media-driven results in areas such as product development, customer service, and employee engagement and retention. As a result, social media is not just bolted on; it is integrated with, and provides support for, your company's existing strategy and operations, yielding unprecedented results.
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