UPDATE: 2/15/10: While this is an informative post, I discovered that it is against FaceBook’s Terms Of Service to have more than one FaceBook account, so I deleted the personal account.Earlier this week, I published an article outlining my new social networking strategy. Of course, I continue to receive new requests. This is a good thing, but I cannot accept most of them because they are not from family members and friends. But the action of clicking “ignore” to decline a friend request seems rude and snotty, and I don't like to do it.
I try my best to maintain relationships and appropriate levels of connection with everyone I meet, so ignoring someone's virtual handshake does not sit well with me. Luckily, FaceBook knows that not all friend requests can be accepted, so by including a “Send Message” option, we can send a note to a person before declining their invitation. The notes I have begun to send contain 4 elements: (1) a warm, personal greeting; (2) a short explanation of why the invitation is being declined; (3) an alternative way to connect; and (4) an expression of gratitude. Here's the note I am currently using. Feel free to copy and edit it as appropriate.
What a pleasant surprise to hear from you and see your face. You are looking great these days!
I have two FaceBook pages: one for personal friends and family and the other for business associates and fantastic people I have known through the years, like you! This makes it easier to be connected with a lot of great people, yet still have a FaceBook location just for those closest to me.
I would love to connect with you at my other page! Here's the link. It's focused on my outreach to small and independent business owners, so if you have a business, it's an even better place for us to connect. I hope you will join us there!
Thank you for reaching out to me, David. It's great to hear from you and see that you are doing well. I hope we can stay in touch at the other page.
Have a great day!
Question: Have you taken steps to streamline your FaceBook activities? What do you think of this way of handling things?