Recently, it feels like I’ve seen an uptick in the number of game and cause invites I receive on Facebook. Sometimes someone needs something to complete a game, and sometimes it’s a cause that typically seems like a good one, but no one who sends them ever takes the time to get to know if I would even be interested before sending them to me.
The thing about all these invites is that they typically come from people I know only distantly, if at all, and they are always slightly jarring…as in, why on earth would this person think I would be interested in this? I know that the games encourage you to try to get fresh blood into the game (that’s how they make money) but as a business person, what makes you think sending this sort of thing to a business contact would be a good idea?
If you are using your Facebook account for business, you really must think before participating in the more social aspects of the site. I’ve already written about turning off game notifications, so they don’t automatically post to your wall. This just clutters your wall and your friends’ newsfeeds, and could discourage someone from doing business with you. But when you intentionally select people to send game and cause invites without knowing whether the people you’re sending them to have an interest (particularly business contacts) that is just a big mistake. It wastes people’s time, and will likely result in people ignoring you when you have a message about your business that they might actually want.
In fact, each game and cause invite comes with the ability (on the notifications screen) to ignore all invites from this friend. I use this button liberally, and I would suspect that many others do too. After all, if you don’t care enough to confirm that I’m interested in receiving something from you before you hit the send button, I don’t care to receive any invitations from you at all. And that has the potential to harm your business.
What it comes down to is this: If you are using your Facebook account to promote your business, you must THINK before you send out anything. Your customers and prospects only care about the social aspects that benefit them, not you. While they may enjoy the occasional picture of your children or your pet, because it helps them feel more connected to you (it’s all about them, remember), they will NOT appreciate invasive invitations that require their time to get rid of. You MUST ensure that people have an interest in what you’re sending to them. Otherwise you’re damaging your business reputation, as well as the reputation of your company.
Here’s a list of things to avoid in Facebook, when using it for business:
- Game and cause email notifications
- Game wall postings
- “Join my Team” and “Buy my Stuff” status updates
- Inappropriate pictures and language
- Strong opinions on politics and religion
What would you add to this list? What are your thoughts on game and cause invitations? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below!
Update: Someone asked how to keep applications from posting on your wall. Here it is:
- Choose Account/Application Settings
- Find the application in the list that has been posting to your wall. Click the “Edit Settings” link.
- Click the “Additional Permissions” tab
- Uncheck “Publish content to my Wall”
- Click Okay.
Update 2: Here’s a link to an article about how to stop certain applications from posting updates in your news feed.