“Friend Seeding” is another one of the magic buzz words surrounding social networking for businesses. To quickly summarize, Friend Seeding is finding friends or fans that “Like” or want to “follow” your company, product or service online. There are few better ways of building relationships with your core audience than by attracting them to your brand through social networking. Adding new followers is also a great way to keep your company’s social networking pages active, interesting and dynamic.
Friend Seeding is a common, acceptable practice and the most popular social networking sites make it easy to do. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn encourage users to Friend Seed by using their existing email address database. If you’re a company with an extensive database of email addresses, this is the fastest and easiest way to grow your fans, followers and connections. With permission from your customers to contact them via email; Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn use software that will search your email contacts and suggest new friends, followers and connections. This software generates emails inviting new friends or followers and will allow you to see who already has an account with these social networks. This automates the process of finding friends.
Facebook and Twitter have become so efficient at automating the Friend Seeding process that other social networking companies are now allowing you to use either of those accounts when signing up for their service.Pinterest is a great example of this. This social networking site allows new users to login using either Facebook or Twitter and then will automatically let you know which of your fans or followers also has an account. Instantly you are able to build fans and followers.
Let’s not forget you can manually Friend Seed as well. Search for your company’s vendors, partners and customers on the social networking site of your choice. Once you’ve found their business you can Follow or Like them, and usually the law of reciprocity occurs and they Follow or Like you back. If you want, you can become a little more creative and leave a note on their wall or direct message them saying something like: “Hey there, we’re looking forward to following you on Facebook! You can follow us on Facebook as well as Twitter. Thanks and we look forward to staying connected.”