Should Local Businesses Make “Friends” With Customers on Facebook?

UPDATE: I believe I did a poor job or titling this story, so to be clear I am not suggesting that business create a profile. I am suggesting that individuals create profiles that they use on a professional level. Big distinction there. Thank you, Grace, for being the first to notice I never made that clear and actually misled with the title itself.

There is little doubt that having a strong, professionally-designed and active Facebook page is important for businesses, particularly in the retail and service segments on a local level.

For high-end, long-term sales such as automotive, insurance, and real estate, is it also prudent to establish a relationship profile to profile as a “friend” of customers?

Most would say that an individual’s Facebook profile is personal and isn’t the right venue to connect with customers. A few (myself included) believe that it is a good idea to establish a business Facebook profile as a stand-alone unit for marketing, sales, and customer service purposes. Here’s why:

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When people go to a grocery store, they may be buying meat from the butcher or checking out with the clerk. The idea of becoming friends with these people either in real life or on Facebook is not common. We are friendly, but we rarely become a “friend” who shares thoughts, pictures of the family, etc.

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