We’re not friends.

Here’s the thing, Ford car dealership that shall remain unnamed: We don’t know each other.

Same for you, local police department who sent me a friend request.  It’s not that I don’t like you, your cars or the job you do.  I just don’t get what you’re hoping to accomplish here.

The whole idea of Facebook is to connect people to one other.  I’m even kinda okay with it connecting random people to one another, but not anonymous accounts for cities, businesses, or organizations – with full names squeezed into first and last name boxes.  That’s what fan pages are for. And that’s a sign that it has taken on too large a role in our culture – become too crowded.

I would consider becoming a fan of a restaurant I really like… and then my friendship has some value to both of us.  It has some legitimacy in fact.  I would even consider accepting a friend request from the general manager of the car dealership I bought my last car, assuming it wasn’t a lemon. But a car dealer that can claim it has 500 Facebook friends doesn’t mean a thing if none of those folks have or will buy a Ford.

The use of technology in unintended ways can be terrific.  It can also reach a tipping point.  If you want to embrace the latest social media tool to enhance your business, awesome. But let’s try to use it in the way it was intended. You’ll get more meaningful results.

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