1. I’m not a customer.
Don’t get your feelings hurt. Maybe it’s because I just don’t need your services. Maybe you’re a very nice independent insurance agent and my husband already works for the best insurance company in the world. (Not a paid endorsement.) Maybe you sell fertility vitamins and I would gouge out my eyes with a rusty nail before I would try to get pregnant. Maybe you’re hawking high-calorie shakes geared towards helping people bulk up and, seriously? DO I EVEN NEED TO EXPLAIN WHY I’M NOT SIGNING UP?
Of course, it could also be that I’m not a customer because I had a bad experience, like another company better, or think you’re in an industry responsible for eroding the America I know and love.
Either way, I’m not going to fan your page. Because first, I don’t volunteer to get marketing messages from a company I don’t use. And second, becoming your “fan” is a subtle endorsement. And I don’t endorse things I don’t use just to be polite.
2. You’re a tool.
Even if I do like your business, if when I look at your page, you are posting nothing but specials and advertisements, and not really interacting with customers, I’m not becoming a fan. Social media is soft-sell and relationship-based. I don’t want to be looking through my Facebook news feed and see advertisement after advertisement for buy one, get one free widget sales.
3. You’re A No-Show
On the other hand, if I go look at your “fan page” and you haven’t posted anything or responded to any questions from customers, I’m not becoming a fan, either. Don’t get a Facebook page just because someone said you should and then ignore it.
Worst example I’ve ever seen of this? Chrysler. They’ve gone in and cleaned up their fan page, but for a while, it was nothing but angry customers wanting answers about problems with their cars and getting no response. You really don’t want to put up a page where all that’s happening is people talking about how bad you suck. (Which, Chrysler? You pretty much do. But that’s a story for another post).
4. You have posting diarrhea.
I recently “de-fanned” a business because while the owner was at a conference, he went on a rampage and posted several dozen messages in a row, mostly tagging people in videos that had been uploaded in a batch. Your business is an invited guest to my social stream on Facebook. When I log on and see an entire page of your updates bumping everyone else off my page, you are off the guest list. If you would not send your whole business email contact list 28 messages in a row without taking a breath, don’t do it on Facebook.
(On a related note, don’t mindlessly link your Facebook and Twitter accounts so you post every single tweet as a status update. Some updates do double-duty, but when I see a status full of “@” names and hasthtags, I know you’re not paying attention to details, and that makes me wary as a customer.)
5. You can’t take a hint.
If you have invited me to become a fan of your business on Facebook more than three times and I’ve hit “ignore,” STOP ASKING ME. I didn’t “somehow miss your invitation,” I. Am. Ignoring. It. If we have a tenuous social connection and I accepted a personal friend request to be nice, don’t keep pimping your business to me, unless you also want me to sever the personal connection, too.
Got reasons of your own? Add them in the comments. And if you decide the best way to respond is to provide a link to your Facebook Fan Page, see reason #2.