Every now and then I get a question from a direct seller about whether or not it’s appropriate to post a happy birthday message on a friend’s wall on Facebook, along with a discount offer of some kind.
The answer is, it’s completely inappropriate.
Think about this: what you are actually doing when posting a message like this is advertising your business on the person’s wall, in front of all their friends. Your friend has not given you permission to market to her friend list, but you’re doing it anyway. You’re also saying, “It’s your birthday! Spend money with me!” That’s not a gift. It’s an ad.
I know several people who have had direct sellers post messages like this on their wall, and it is NEVER appreciated.
Don’t use someone’s birthday as an opportunity for self-promotion.
It’s never appropriate to post your business to someone else’s wall without their permission (birthday or not). Offering a discount does not change this. If you want to wish someone happy birthday, go for it! It’s a great way to continue to build a relationship. But leave your business ads out of it. Posting your business to someone’s wall is all about you, not them. People don’t appreciate it, and it can damage all the relationship-building efforts you’ve put in.
I’m going to say it one more time: It is never appropriate to post your business to someone else’s wall without permission. Got it? Good!