This past weekend I had the experience of someone trying to advertise their direct selling business on my Facebook Profile wall. While I had heard of this sort of thing before, I had never actually experienced it, and really had never expected such a blatant misuse of Facebook. Essentially this person had tried to hijack all of my contacts, reaching them with her message. She even stated in the message that she was trying to reach my contacts, and that if people weren’t happy with the income they were making, they should contact her.
In truth, the fact that someone would violate my Facebook wall this way made me really angry. I work with consultants in a lot of direct sales and network marketing companies, and would NEVER violate the trust of any of these people through recruiting bids. In fact, one of the key tenets of my Facebook group is that no cross-recruiting is permitted. So the fact that someone would come into my space and try to reach my people in a way that I so clearly would not approve of was completely appalling to me. I of course immediately deleted the post, and posted that I was shocked anyone would do such a thing on my wall.
But what I didn’t anticipate was the private messages I received from people asking if it had been THEM that made the offending post. (It wasn’t.) And this made me realize that there is still confusion about what posts show up where on Facebook. So I decided to address that today.
Let’s start with the post that started all of this. In order for the person to advertise on my wall, they navigated to my profile first at http://facebook.com/jenniferfong, and then they used the publisher box to post something that all the people who navigate to my profile would see. I also received a notification from Facebook that someone had posted something to my wall.
Now when you post things for the rest of your friends to read, such as your status update, you can do so from the publisher box on your own wall (what is shown above is my wall, so if I typed something here myself, it would show up as my status update). You can also type a status update or link from the news feed (Facebook Home Page) as shown below.
One of the biggest sources of confusion I’ve seen when working with direct sellers is, “Who sees what I post?” I’ve seen direct sellers that avoid connecting with customers through Facebook because they’re afraid that their customers will see posts from that consultant’s friends or family. So let me explain how this works.
- Each person’s news feed (Facebook home page) is an aggregation of the posts from people they are personally connected to. I see the posts of my friends. You see the posts of your friends. Even if we are friends of each other, I won’t see the posts of your friends unless I am friends with them too.
- The only time I will see anything your friends write (unless I am friends with them too) is when they comment on things that you have posted. So if you post a link to a great website, and your friend talks about how much she likes the link, I will see her comment, because I am friends with you, the one that originally posted the link.
I, of course, could always go through your list of friends and see if there is anyone I want to connect with. But honestly, it’s unlikely that your customers would go to this effort to connect with people they don’t know. Most people on Facebook limit themselves to connecting with people they’ve met in person.
So the moral of this story is that no one inadvertently posted a recruiting ad on my Facebook wall. It was done deliberately, and I have since unfriended the offender. To avoid making this egregious error yourself, simply refrain from posting anything about your business in the publisher box on the profile walls of your friends.
I hope this clears up any confusion. Now go post and be merry! 🙂