Paying it forward and other nice stuff you can do for other people on Facebook
You’ve probably heard of the ‘pay it forward’ movement. You probably think it’s a great idea. I know I do. You probably also don’t do it or if you do, don’t do it very often. And completely without expectation of anything in return.
Recently someone very dear to me was having a really, really tough time. She was in melt-down mode and reached out for help. I took her to the Drs and she was prescribed anti-depressants. Taking her to the Chemist to get her script filled, I was wondering if this was actually the best way for her to feel better. At the shopping center, I bought 2 bunches of flowers and asked her if she’d like to choose someone to give them to. She immediately brightened up and got the spring back in her step. She approached an older couple and offered the flowers. The man received them happily and said it was his wifes birthday yesterday and passed the flowers to her. They were both very happy. (Hey, wouldn’t it be cool to invent a backstory to this – the wife had her birthday and would have really loved flowers but didn’t receive any for her birthday. Next day at the shops, a random girl walks up and gives them flowers….you never, ever know…)
Next we went to the Chemist to collect the script. She walked up to a counter and handed the bunch of flowers to one of the girls at the counter saying, ‘I know you do a lot to serve us with a smile no matter what is going on in your life. I want you to know I appreciate it.’ The girl was truly grateful for that gesture. She also passed the flowers to the Chemist who owned the shop and the Chemist found a vase and put the flowers on the counter. She thanked us and said it had been a particularly tough day with irate customers and the flowers were welcomed and they changed the atmosphere of the shop.
This person left the shopping center with a completely different demeanour. She was smiling, walking fast (she was shuffling and in pain before).
I ‘m sharing this with you as I believe all too often we are so wrapped up in what we want for ourselves, we do forget to reach out and connect with others, and we do this on Facebook also. In fact we’re pretty good as being bad on Facebook in this way.
I’m in a couple of leadership groups and inner circles for social media and in one of them we have recently started a version of the pay it forward. My story above was more a ‘random act of kindness’, and was just as impactful. Paying it forward in the context of your business is something that everyone with a business/fan page can do here on Facebook.
How do you do it? I’d suggest you do what you feel is right, here’s it plays out for us. Pick one day a week, fortnight or month (which ever resonates most with you). I wouldn’t make it longer than a month or people will forget. If you can, do it weekly. Post on your page you are playing ‘pay it forward’ and offer a service or part of your service (preferably a part that is self-contained) to 1, 2 or 3 (or more) people, perhaps the first 3 who comment below they would like to access your service. I also ask that people inbox me to let me in case I miss it in the post. Connect with those people and deliver the service. It’s that simple. No expectation, no selling, no reciprocation, no nothing except giving away pure value to someone or someones because you want to.
You can participate in programs like #SuperSaturday (as found on Social Media (Facebook) for Small Biz Owners group) and tie it in with that as it’s a really great way to reach people. For those who are not familiar with #SuperSaturday, it’s a weekly program that I run in the group where people like, comment and share on each others biz/fan pages and this helps each other with engagement and organic reach on each participants page.
Taking it a step even further, you can invite people to play ‘pay it forward’ on YOUR page, in the comments thread under the post. You will get much, much higher levels of engagement AND you will also have a smorgasboard of other services you can choose from to access as well. People will begin to know you as a person and as you are doing this value-adding to their lives, they will like and trust you too. When they are in need of the services/products you offer, you will be front of mind for them. They will also more willingly refer their friends to you and you will do the same as you connect with more and more people.
This is a win/win/win/win ad infinitum. Not so long ago I wrote an article asking if you were a seagull or a dove. You can read it here. Let’s all aspire to be doves. This is one of the most dovey things I know of to do. Together we’ll help each other win here on Facebook.
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