Annoying Facebook-ers, Direct Sales Style

I recently wrote a post about how if you have to choose only one social media tool as a direct seller, Facebook is probably a good choice. A large majority of your target market is probably already on Facebook, and it’s a great way to reach people who may be interested in buying, hosting, or joining your direct sales business.  It’s primarily a relationship-building tool, however, and not a direct marketing tool.  You build relationships on Facebook so that later you have the opportunity to market more directly, once someone has opted in.

megaphoneIf you decide that Facebook is the tool for you, it is important that you don’t become “that girl” or “that guy” on Facebook.  You know the one I mean.  The one who makes every status update a pitch for her or his business.  The one that everyone learns about the “hide” button in Facebook for.

So here’s my list of Annoying Facebook-ers, Direct Sales Style.  Don’t be one of these!

  1. The Sales Commercial – This is the direct seller who constantly subjects everyone to a steady barrage of, “My company is having a SALE!”  “I’m so excited about the new catalog!  Check out my website now for all the latest products.”  Or perhaps, “I’m placing my order at 9:00 pm tonight.  Be sure to get your orders in now so you can get your products.”  Seriously, just don’t do this.  People really don’t appreciate it, and will get tired of you quickly.
  2. The Recruiting Commercial – Similar to the Sales Commercial, this is the person who subjects you to a steady stream of why you should join his/her team, the latest recruiting promotion the company is offering, constant invites to his/her opportunity meetings, etc.  Folks, recruiting is a one on one activity that is accomplished after LISTENING.  Your status update is not the place to broadcast your opportunity to the world.  If you really want to recruit people through social media, build relationships and find people that actually need what you have to offer.  Then share your opportunity privately, in a way that meets the needs of the prospect.
  3. The Hosting Commercial – This is the one where you just roll your eyes as they say things like, “I’m giving away $500 in free jewelry this month. Want some?” or “I have 5 slots for 5 lucky ladies to host a party with me.  Contact me to book your date!”  Honestly…this really doesn’t work.  Maybe once in a very blue moon someone will take pity on you and book a show.  But you’ll be much better off building relationships and TALKING to people.  Repeat after me…”Broadcasting doesn’t work in social media!”
  4. The Shameless Self-Promoter – This is the person that constantly tells you how much product they’ve sold at their last party, how many people they’ve just recruited, all the awards they’ve won through their company, etc.  While once in a while sharing your excitement about something is fine, doing this all the time gets old really quick.
  5. The Noisy Player – You’ve played Farmtown, Bejeweled Blitz, or whatever the latest and greatest Facebook game or Quiz is, and you’ve released it into the news feeds of every single person connected to you.  Folks…people don’t CARE.  All this does is clutter up the news feeds of folks that don’t want to see your scores.  And annoying people really isn’t great for business.
  6. All Business Broadcaster – These are the folks that never share anything personal through Facebook.  You have no idea who they are, but only know what they sell.  Folks, this is called SOCIAL media for a reason.  If you’re not willing to let people get to know you on a more personal level, then perhaps social media isn’t for you.  (That’s not to say you have to share EVERYTHING.  Just intersperse the business with some personal, to help people know, like, and trust you.)

If you’re going to use Facebook to help build your business, invest some time to learn how to do it properly.  That way, the contacts you build on Facebook may actually benefit your business.  Why not sign up for my newsletter?  I provide lots of tips on how to use social media to build your business.

What do you think?  Have you experienced any of these Facebook-ers?  Do you have any to add?  Would love to read your thoughts below!

Photo Credit: Roland

31 Responses to Annoying Facebook-ers, Direct Sales Style
  1. Amy
    May 2, 2014 | 2:49 pm

    Jennifer – Great advise! I have been with Origami Owl and I am an Executive Team Leader. I post all the time and this is how I do find my next hostess or recruit but I have become stuck. I just can’t word things right so I don’t get labeled a spammer. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! I want to move up to director so bad.

  2. Tom Doiron
    May 1, 2014 | 9:27 pm

    Dear Jennifer,

    I’ll weigh in as the only guy (I think) so far.

    Facebook didn’t come with an owner’s manual. I am not even sure it was called “social media” at its onset. The standards and rules have been made up by members and “trainers/consultants” with the “facebook police” jumping in now and then. Generally accepted practices and accepted standards are therefore mostly subjective.

    Judging from all the obnoxious, misleading ads the clutter the right hand margin, the “facebook police” don’t seem to give tickets for marketing on their platform.

    Wishing You Plenty To Live,
    Tom Doiron

  3. Ruth
    May 1, 2014 | 5:07 pm

    Hi Jennifer.

    I guess I can definitely see where you’re coming from. There has to be balance. But I do have a home based business and I do promote it on Facebook. I book parties all the time, I get new team members all the time and every time I post sales I get orders. Facebook is a BIG part of how I market. My business is thriving and I just got a free vehicle from my company (Tupperware) in January. There are MANY ways to do it wrong, and I cringe when I see people “begging for business” but I’ve definitely made a lot of posts that you say are horrid and I get great response. LOL. I try a 10 to 1 rule. 1 business post for every 9 personal posts.

    Games posts are definitely a no no. Nothing more annoying or irrelevant out there. But I think you can use FB to share information and it can work. When I post about free trips I’ve earned and when I got my car my LIKES go crazy. People like to see people being successful. I have a Page and my personal profile and I still get a big portion of business through my personal page. I’m very careful with what I post, but some definitely fall in your no no categories. Lol. Just wanted to say, it’s ok to talk about what you have to offer. I don’t have any type of opt in forms. People follow me if they want to stay up to date on what’s new in Tupperware. Just wanted to give my 2 bits 🙂 R

  4. Sara Mully
    May 1, 2014 | 2:52 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for this post. Would love tips on how to do Facebook right and where to use all the material our direct selling company gives us.
    Sara

  5. Sara Mully
    May 1, 2014 | 2:41 pm

    Hi Jennifer,
    Thanks for this article.I now know where I am going wrong. Would appreciate tips on how to do Facebook right for your business and where exactly to share all the info your direct selling company gives you.Thanks. Sara

  6. Pascale
    May 1, 2014 | 2:21 pm

    So many of these are oh so true! People who broadcast constantly get overlooked easily. I probably advertise my biz in some form or another on my PERSONAL profile once every other week or so and find it’s more effective that way. Everyday-ers are too much! Another annoying FB post DS-style is the person who advertises their biz a lot and posts lots of counteractive posts too…for example a romance rep who broadcasts their marriage issues or a health rep who posts candy-filled fatty baking recipes! lol

  7. Pamela Fatone
    September 7, 2009 | 10:30 am

    I look forward to your next class on using facebook.

    Thanks! Jennifer

  8. DH Harvey
    September 2, 2009 | 1:38 pm

    Wow!!! I’m truly appreciative of this information. No one wants to lose valuable business by being annoying do they? Hope not. Thanks!

  9. Tracy
    September 2, 2009 | 8:54 am

    Thank you so much for these tips. I know I have been guilty of a few but always working to do things right.

  10. Debra
    September 2, 2009 | 8:44 am

    Thanks for a great article. When I first joined facebook, I was guilty of quite a few of those things. Now I just chat and have fun.If they want to look at my business, they will.

  11. Yvette Mason
    September 1, 2009 | 8:34 pm

    Thank you so much for your insight & tips. Just signed up for you newsletter..can’t wait to learn more!

    Yvette Mason
    Meal Planning Consultant
    Homemade Gourmet

  12. Cindy
    September 1, 2009 | 7:19 pm

    Thanks for the great tips. I want to learn more about using facebook to promote my business but all I seem to do is get all this junk on poker, sending hearts, building a farm. I just don’t have time for all that and I hate to be rude. I just want to make new friends and hopefully eventually my new found friends will feel comfortable enough to start ordering and/or join my team. How can I stop all the annoying pings?

  13. Donna Rose
    September 1, 2009 | 7:01 pm

    Thank you Jennifer for sharing such a timely piece. With Facebook exploding, we all need to be reminded of proper “netiquette”.

    Donna Rose

  14. Paula McKinney
    September 1, 2009 | 1:17 pm

    Love your blog, thanks for all your insight. Will definitely pass it on!

  15. Jackie Ulmer
    September 1, 2009 | 12:04 pm

    This is SUCH great insight and if noly more people would “get it” things would be easier for the rest of us in Direct Sales, using Social Media.

    It must always start with the relationship, thanks for sharing!

    I blogged about this recently, too, and missed a few key pieces! This helped!

    EXPECT Success!

    Jackie Ulmer

  16. Michelle
    August 28, 2009 | 2:50 pm

    Jennifer,

    You always give great advice. I especially love the don’ts in this one. I find all those things really annoying. Facebook is a great way to add team members and make sales, but it is all about balance!

  17. Julie
    August 28, 2009 | 9:14 am

    So so true Jennifer, i will be sharing this out to people i know and hopefully some will get the message,

    Julie

  18. Dhea
    August 28, 2009 | 2:30 am

    How did I miss this article Jennifer
    Yes creating interest in your business is one thing but sharing it every single post means annoying fans and friends…
    treat people in facebook like you would clients at your parties or one on one’s…
    thanks again Jennifer on great tips

  19. Lynden Boehm
    August 27, 2009 | 7:33 pm

    Thanks Jennifer, great blog and sooo true – I’m only fairly new to Facebook and still finding my way around – I agree that it’s all about building relationships, not speed networking, so thanks for this info.

  20. Larna Pittiglio
    August 27, 2009 | 5:03 pm

    Hi Jennifer

    Great article… I have unfollowed and unfanned myself from other direct sellers who overkill on the product and opportunity promotions….. particularly when there is no engaging me with valuable content that is useful to me.

    Also, just read some great info on the importance of ‘likeablility’ when people are making buying decisions…. this kind of behavior on facebook sends your ‘likeability’ through the floor and people will not think of you when ready to purchase…..

    Have shared the article and am happy to be proactive about sending this message out into social media world….

    Cheers
    Larna

  21. Cindy Taylor
    August 27, 2009 | 11:54 am

    Yup…that was me in the spring…before I took your course!! I just didn’t know any better! And I think a lot of folks just think they are providing a service to their friends…it is all about education…thanks for summarizing it so well so we can pass it along!

  22. Melissa Laverty
    August 27, 2009 | 10:11 am

    Thanks Jennifer. I try to mix business with pleasure on FB. But you reminded me that I need to spend more time on the pleasure stuff! Great article.

  23. Diane Edwards
    August 27, 2009 | 10:10 am

    Jennifer: Once again, you hit the nail on the head…I’ve actually had to block the Farmtown players because I don’t want all that junk on my feed. Like Jill, I don’t mind an occasional mention from someone about their products but don’t subject me to a constant barrage about your company and/or your products or the fact that I need to buy RIGHT NOW–nothing turns me off faster…

  24. Jill Shea
    August 27, 2009 | 9:49 am

    Great article Jennifer! I go to Facebook to get to know people better not to be sold to. An occasional mention about someone’s products or company doesn’t bother me. However, if that’s all someone talks about it can get old quick. I love it when people share more about themselves and engage in conversation. Direct sales is a people business; relationships first, business second. Thanks for the GREAT read!

  25. Christan
    August 27, 2009 | 9:45 am

    Excellent recap. I’m going to forward this to a few people who..er…need to read it.

  26. Eryn Cadoff
    August 27, 2009 | 9:43 am

    So true! Every word! Just like the drive-by taggers (you know, the ones who put up ugly pictures of you from 15 years ago?), the constant barrage of “buy this now, join my team immediately, etc.” gets old quickly.
    Cheers,
    Eryn Cadoff

    • Jennifer
      August 27, 2009 | 10:05 am

      I love that one, Eryn! “drive-by taggers!” LOL

      Jennifer

  27. Cindy
    August 27, 2009 | 9:38 am

    Jennifer, You hit it on the nose with these tips. And yes, I have found the hide button very useful for gamers!

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