Yesterday was another fun FaceBook Friday! If you missed the previous FaceBook Friday about ways to attract people to your Fan Page, you can read it here.) This week's question was aimed at getting a sense of what small and independent business owners consider when decided whether or not to join a competitor's FaceBook Page. Turns out, they think about a lot!
Below are a few of the many well articulated thoughts of the people who responded to the question. You can read all of the comments here. As always, IBN members are marked with the Indie leaf, and the links are to their Fan Pages, if I could find them! (If you're here without a Fan Page link, it's because I don't think I'm a fan — you must let me know how to fan you in the comments!)
Emily Caswell: “I suppose in some fields this would be a thorny issue, but in this particular group people (even competitors) are so generous and helpful, I don't think twice about supporting their businesses.”
Lisa Rodgers: “Some of my favorite people are ones I have met through social networks and they also happen to be my competition. I'm happy to support them and become a fan.”
Jen Anderson: I'm a fan of a couple of my direct competitor's, but we try to help each other and lift each other up, not steal customers and/or idea's. There's plenty to go around! On the other hand, there are certainly a couple other businesses that I would never become a “fan” of because they practice the opposite view.”
Karrie Welch: “I too, am a fan of several of my competitors, but they are also my friends and inspiration. we build each other up, and support one another. There is plenty of business to go around. They are MY fans too!”
Jeanne Kissman: “I think we can all learn from each other, I don't have any problems with my competitors, they are also my friends.”
JoAnne Bassett: “I fan most of my competitors. It is interesting to interact with other perfumers. All artists – natural product formulator/creators have different styles and techniques. No two perfumes are the same. No two scents or soaps are exactly the same. The packaging is different…the personality is different. Therefore, we can come together and share information regarding flowers or oils and all can learn something.
Question: Is someone continually posting a response to your competition's posts …is that being an opportunist or being part of a FB community?”
Lisa Kasper: “I agree…it turns out as luck would have it, some of my best new online friends are competing businesses. We share similar interests and passions, we can spur each other on. It works out great. ‘Help thy brother's boat across, and Lo! Thine own has reached the shore.'”
Cindy Jones: “I don't consider them competition but rather colleagues and happily fan them to give support.”
Marcia Elston (group link): Chiming in withe the ‘Me Too' for fanning/joining/networking/learning from/sharing with/advising. We are all a community and I love celebrating our differences as well as our similarities. There are times we definitely need each other, too.”
Regina Mowrer: “If you think you'd order something from another formulator, add them! If you HAVE ordered from another formulator, add them! If they bug you with invites every whip stitch, add them? why not!”
Dannette Evans: “Since I am so new on the block, I love being inspired by ‘My Indie Sisters.' I aspire to do good work and put out a great product. Right now I am competing with myself and trying to carve out my niche. I have also found that in my short time I have been able to help others (new) like myself with the information I have learned over the past two years; I don't have a problem answering any question asked of me if it will help someone.”
Tedra Chaney: “When I fan my competitors, I usually base it on the personality behind the page. If your just always advertising your product, rather than having quality interactions, chances are I won't fan you. After all, the ‘indie movement' is about stepping away from the corporations who could care less about their customers, and being a more personable ‘the girl next door' type business.”
Sonsa Rae: “What goes around comes around. We're all here to inspire one another. There's nothing wrong with healthy competition; it helps us to be the best we can be!”
La Shonda Tyree: “I am great friends with a local competitor. We have recently collaborated together and what great synergy we have together without compromising our individual brands. It's all about the intent behind it. We have good intentions to see each other succeed.”
Sarah Powell: “Would artists in the visual arts community not fan each other? Of course not. If we are all artisans and proud of our craft, we should embrace the larger community around us. Their work challenges ours and vice versa. not only does this improve our business, but all indie business. Great topic, though!”
Mary Humphrey: “I love supporting others, especially those in the handcrafted industry, or small business. I love interaction and conversation. I will not join a fan page that is strictly a running advertisement. A community boils down to conversation, sharing, and I look for that interaction and discussion. Thought provoking, dM!
Sharon Elvin (profile page): “If they are honest, have good ethics towards fellow business, make good product do the right thing, have originality and a voice of their own then I support them. If they don't then there are better things to do with time.”
Marge Clark: “Those who refuse to fan “on general principles' are coming from a place of scarcity… where there isn't ‘enough' to go around… so if I win, you must lose. So much better if you can come from a place of abundance, rather than lack. Then you can afford to support and applaud the successes of those who are in the same field. There are some folks you couldn't PAY me to ‘fan' … because of lack of ethics or general shabby behavior over the years. But most of the folks I've met in our industry share the same passions. when one of us succeeds, we ALL succeed.”
I think that's a powerful note to end on, don't you? I love the expressions shared here! They are more than just ideas or notions about what's right. When put into the practice, they form a powerful basis for the success of small businesses nationwide. Again, you can read all of the replies here.
Question: Do you join your competitors's FaceBook Pages? Why or why not?