6 Posts on the Company Facebook Page That Make You Look Bad

So your direct sales company has a Facebook Page.  That’s great!  It’s a place where you can find tips and information to share, while expressing your enthusiasm for the company and brand.

But sometimes we forget that the company Facebook Page is NOT a place to communicate anything and everything to the company.  Even if it’s not as extreme as major complaints about products, company policies, etc, what you say can have an impact on the way you and your business are perceived.  They can also cause people thinking about your company, who have not connected with a consultant yet, to steer far clear because of consultant behavior.

So here’s a list of certain types of posts I’ve seen, and the perception they create of the consultant that posts them.

  1. Criticisms of Other Consultants – I recently saw a post by a consultant who complained about how other consultants were dressed onstage at convention.  While you might even be correct in your opinion, posting this type of thing so publicly on Facebook says to the world that you are mean-spirited.  Why else would you try to embarrass people so publicly?  It can also communicate to the world that consultants in your company are less than professional, so why would anyone want to associate with your company?  Overall, it’s just not a smart thing to post on the company Facebook Page.
  2. Self-Promotion – Someone asks about a product or how to find a consultant.  Suddenly 13 people jump on that person, offering their services in public.  Talk about overwhelming.  Or you just post your contact information for the world to see on the company page, trying to use company property for your own gain.  (Nothing says desperate like that!)  If someone actually posts that they’re looking for a consultant, send a friend request to that person, along with a personal message that you’re a consultant who would be happy to help them (the ball is in their court to accept.)  And if you’re just looking for new customers, do it through your own profile…not the company Page.  When you try to market yourself on the company Page, you look pushy and desperate, and it’s a big turn-off for potential customers.
  3. Questions About How to Recruit or Do the Business – Remember that the company Page is a place to promote the brand to consumers.  If you’re trying to get advice on how to do the business, go to the education avenues available through your company…a private message board, training webinars, your upline, etc.  When you try to get advice on the company Page, you are telling prospects and customers who visit the page that your are not well-trained, and have no idea what you’re doing.  Why would someone want to give their business to a company that doesn’t provide proper training?
  4. Issues with Computer Systems of the Company – Technical issues happen to the best of us.  And I promise you that no one in your company intentionally causes critical systems to go down at key times. So when a system goes down when you need it, is the company Facebook Page the best place to tell the company about it?  Of COURSE not.  This says to the world that the company may have faulty systems, and it also says that you don’t have enough sense to escalate issues through proper channels.  The company is of course doing its best to fix systems ASAP, but they don’t have super powers to fix things with telepathy.  Be patient, escalate through proper channels when necessary, and stop making the company (and yourself!) look bad on Facebook.
  5. Questions About Returns – Everyone needs to return a product from time to time.  But do you need to announce it to the world?  When a potential customer reads on the Facebook Page that you are returning an item, that creates instant doubt about the quality of the product line.  And the fact that you’re posting about it says that you’re not completely confident in the product line either…so why would I want to do business with you?  If you’ve got an item to return, do it through proper channels.  Call customer service if you’ve got a specific question.  But use your head and don’t post about it on the company Facebook Page.
  6. Questions and Comments About Backorders – Whether your company has backorders once in a blue moon or all the time, it’s still not license to talk about it on the company Facebook Page.  What this says to consumers is that they can’t trust items to be in stock.  So why would they order from you?  And what it says about YOU is that you don’t have faith in your company (in fact, we can’t figure out why you’re still with them.)  So why on earth should we shop with you?  Backorders stink for everyone, especially the company who is struggling with complex supply chain issues that can’t be fixed in a day, no matter how much we might wish they could be.  (Trust me…I ran a direct selling company…I’ve been there…I know.)  But when you complain about them on the Facebook Page, you are only adding to the headache, and not contributing to the solution in ANY way.  Quit it.

I’m sure you can think of other types of posts along the same lines (feel free to share them in the comments below.)  But the point is, making posts on the company Facebook Page that cast the company in a bad light not only damage the company, they also make you a person’s LAST choice for a consultant.  No one likes to do business with mean-spirited people who don’t have confidence in their own company.

PLEASE….THINK before you post.  Every consultant in your company will thank you.

Your thoughts?

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23 Responses to 6 Posts on the Company Facebook Page That Make You Look Bad
  1. Char
    March 12, 2013 | 6:10 pm

    Great Post!! Agree on all points! One more I thought of that I have seen is the use of profanity – VERY unprofessional! There is ways to get a point across without that. I feel sorry for customers that have to see that in a comment especially from a boutique owner/consultant.

  2. Nancy
    March 11, 2013 | 9:14 pm

    Let me add something else I thought was tacky. A blogger posted an idea on their Facebook page using something like a direct selling company offers to show off their idea. Next thing you know, all these comments were posted “the ____ came from “xyz” and if you want it, contact me and I can show you other items that go with it.” Oh puleez!

  3. Brooke
    March 11, 2013 | 1:31 pm

    I agree to an extent. However, I think that sometimes when we feel our voice is drowned out in the proper channels, Facebook is often a way to get an issue the attention it deserves. I also think that direct sales companies need to be investing more in technology so that they are not having the tech issues that are so frustrating to consultants. If you know that your site bogs down at the end of the month EVERY SINGLE MONTH, perhaps investing in tech upgrades isn’t the craziest recommendation!

    • Jennifer Fong
      March 11, 2013 | 3:08 pm

      Brooke, it is NEVER a good idea to post your complaints on the Company Facebook Page, even if you feel like your voice isn’t being “heard.” A post like that alienates potential recruits and customers, and can make it harder for everyone to do business. Reach out to your company privately/behind the scenes with your concerns, but NEVER in public. You’re just shooting yourself…and every other consultant in the company…in the foot.

      And p.s., investing in tech upgrades costs a LOT. I know because I’ve helped companies through that process. It’s not as simple…or as quick a process…as you might think. And in this economy it may not be possible for your company. I’m just saying that your company is most likely aware of the problem and doing what it can with the resources it has. ALL companies want the best and latest technology, but smart business means they have to work with the resources they have.

  4. Angela
    August 18, 2012 | 1:24 pm

    I just came across your site -= great information.

    As someone who has been looking to get into direct sales, I wanted to comment on point#2. I went to a company’s facebook page that I was interested in (still am) and asked a question. I got some answers attached to the post, then I also got several people that sent me a message. What I found funny/annoying was that their message never answered my question. They just gave me their contact info, and that was it. Now why would I want to contact you when you would not even address my question? Delete…

  5. Karen Phelps
    March 12, 2012 | 4:44 pm

    Great article Jen!

  6. Trisha Jackson
    March 12, 2012 | 1:54 pm

    Fantastic, Jennifer. Thanks for addressing the 800lb gorilla (or elephant – pick your zoo animal) in the room.

  7. Donna De Vries
    April 7, 2011 | 5:28 pm

    Thanks, Jennifer. Now I hope the people that need this info/reminder see your post!!! I did notice my company linked to you so hopefully our consultants “hear” you. We certainly do not need to promote our businesses in any negative way!!

  8. Julie Sullivan
    January 6, 2011 | 2:48 pm

    Great tips, Jennifer! I just tense up when I see these things!

    -Julie

  9. Angie Russell
    July 22, 2010 | 8:07 am

    There are some great points here. I’m sure they are done all the time and people don’t realize the damage that can be done when these rules are broken.

  10. mike mikovich
    July 20, 2010 | 5:05 pm

    You make a great point! I love the one when someone is trying to find a consultant! Poor person sees 13 links on there, that is funny! I see that alot
    Also I was on a Generic networking site and people will start spamming you as well on facebook, I just politely tell them I am happy with my company. Just use common sense when on facebook, don’t make it a spam board!

  11. Veronica Studt
    July 20, 2010 | 11:29 am

    This is so true. I contacted the president of our company to ask them to take down a blog one time, because it was so negative. In their desire to communicate with the field they opened up a blog but it was not fulfilling that purpose. Could it be a generational thing? The young people today simple react, rather than thoughtfully respond. By typing the first thing that pops into their heads, without giving enough thought to how the words will impact others, it seems to be an emotional reaction rather than a thougthtful response.

  12. Donna K
    July 20, 2010 | 9:50 am

    Thanks for the reminder. Great post.

  13. Jenny Dammann
    July 20, 2010 | 9:24 am

    amen.

  14. Amanda Jett
    July 19, 2010 | 9:09 pm

    Jennifer- I have to say I agree with you. This is a fantastic post. I deal with this type of thing everytime my company posts a status update. It is a stream that goes on forever and it just looks horrible. I like to respond to posts with meaningful content but it just gets lost in the sea of want to buy check out my site. Thank you for the wonderful content you provide.

  15. Cheryl Freye
    July 19, 2010 | 1:52 pm

    Jennifer, excellent post! It makes be cringe when I read some things that get posted to the company facebook page. I only wish everyone could read this and understand the consequences of their posts. Another item is when they post they can’t make minimums and it is somehow the fault of the company.

  16. Tanya Hommes
    July 19, 2010 | 11:50 am

    This is perfect Jennifer! Well said and to the point. It can be extremely frustrating when people complain or put their links all over the site. I am looking forward to sharing this. Thanks a ton! Have a fabulous week and thanks for sharing all of your knowledge with us!

  17. Diane Aksten
    July 19, 2010 | 11:37 am

    Jennifer: Another great post; it really would behoove all of us to just take a step back, take a deep breath and ask ourselves, “What effect will this remark or post have on my company as a whole?” People don’t seem to realize that when they disparage their company, they are limiting their own chances for increased sales as well.

  18. Jay Cusimano
    July 19, 2010 | 11:36 am

    When posting anything we need to read it ourselves, and stop and think. If you have 400 friends on and half of them are with your company and you are in any way upset about anything and post it, not only are you hurting your business and your company, you are hurting your friend’s business too. How we treat others is the greatest part of our credibility!

    • Angie Russell
      July 22, 2010 | 8:10 am

      Hey Jay,
      I like your post on this subject too. HHey, thought of you the other day when hearing about a saddle expo in Brighton?). I wondered if you’d be there or not.
      Hope to see you in Atlanta!

      Angie

  19. Laurie Ryan
    July 19, 2010 | 11:13 am

    Jennifer – Excellent, timely advice, as usual! 🙂

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