As you know, Facebook pretty much runs the world now, and they can do whatever they want, whenever they want, without notifying users, nor caring how user friendly or intuitive their user interface may be when changed abruptly. That said, it still is a fantastic platform for business, and well, they will continue to have many of us on that leash, because frankly if done right, it works. A great option in building a business page following, historically, was the ‘Suggest to Friends’ option, as seen to the left.
This is something I always tell clients new to Facebook or growing a business page to use on a weekly basis as they add friends to their personal page, in order to use their personal connections as a portal to growth for their business page, as relevant of course.
Those of you using this function may have noticed it acting a bit odd lately. Something like the grey bar below, where you normally would see the thumbnails of each of your friends. They first announced this as a holding pattern while a bug was fixed. Per this article: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/21/suggest-to-friend-bug/
However, the end result is that this functionality for the non-admin user has actually been removed, as discussed here: http://www.insidefacebook.com/2011/01/28/removal-suggest-friends-pages/
Page admins, do not fret- as a page creator you still have access to this function, and should continue to use it as a fan building mechanism to boost your business page.What you can no longer do is say to your friend with 1300 Facebook friends “Hey buddy, will you help support my business growth and suggest my business page to your expansive group of friends?” Well, you can still say this, but your friend can no longer help you in this way. Or can they…? If you trust this friend, absolutely and unconditionally, both before and after cocktails, there is an option. First ask yourself- would I give this person my debit card pin code? If this answer is yes, consider this possibility… Perhaps if just for a day, you make them an Admin of your business page. (You trust them, right?) If someone is an admin of your page, they can still help you and suggest their Facebook friends become a fan of your page. So this is the workaround solution, one not to be considered lightly. One I don’t like to recommend for privacy sake, but some of you have very influential friends with strong networks, yet a simple ‘share’ is not going to have the impact of a ‘suggest’. People can still “share” your comments to their following, and this is still a good engagement factor to shoot for in your interactions and it can facilitate viral growth as well as boost search engine optimization (SEO). However, it is a much slower step toward growth and is not going to have the potential exposure of a “suggest”. The “share” can sneak past one’s view in a full newsfeed, while a “suggest” will remain in someone’s queue for an action to be taken.
So perhaps you make your highly connected friends or family members an admin, temporarily, so that they can suggest your business page to their friends. Just don’t forget to remove them once the action is taken!
Go forth and grow!