Instead of Posting Your Ad to Someone’s Facebook Wall…

This week I’ve had a few folks that thought it was appropriate to advertise their businesses on my Facebook wall.  Yet I think I see where the confusion came from, because we WERE talking about their company, and commenters on my wall expressed interest in the product line.  Since these folks who expressed interest clearly did not have a consultant, a few enterprising folks thought it would be appropriate to post their businesses to my wall, in hopes of gaining these folks as customers.

So what should they have done in this situation?

Again: I had very clearly talked about my love for a particular direct selling company’s product line.  (They happen to be a corporate client of mine, but despite that I would have rhapsodized about these products…truly unbelievable.  That’s one of the reasons I love direct sales so much…we have the best products in the world!)  Some folks commented on my status update, and it led to the fact that the only place you can get these is through a consultant, not the grocery store.

Now if you were a consultant for this company, how should you approach this?

Well, one consultant simply put a comment that if people needed anything, she would be glad to help them.  While I thought twice about it, I allowed it. Why? Because there was no link attached, and people would need to contact her personally to find out more.    In fact, I did see that happen.

Another consultant with the same company posted a link to her catalog on my Facebook wall.  Now that I wasn’t so cool with, and took down.  Why? My wall isn’t a place for other people’s advertisements, there was a link attached, and it wasn’t part of the conversation.  This link made it look like I was endorsing one consultant over another.  And that’s NOT OK.

However there was a better approach that both of these well-intentioned folks could have taken.

What they SHOULD have done is, within the context of the conversation, talk about how much they love their company, and put it in the context of my original post.  For example: “You love product X? You should try product Y! They just told us it’s coming out this spring and I can’t WAIT to share it with my customers.”  Then, they should have sent a friend request, along with a private message, to each of the folks expressing interest, providing their link IN PRIVATE and letting them know they’d be happy to help them with anything they’re interested in.  Perhaps even commenting on what they saw the person said in response to my original post.  That way, it becomes a one-on-one activity that does not put an unwilling participant (Me!) in the middle of your advertising.

It is never OK to advertise your business on someone else’s Facebook profile wall.  It puts your friend in an uncomfortable situation, and it is inappropriate.  There are still ways to find new customers, without losing friends in the process.

Have you experienced this?  How have you approached it?  Would love to read your comments below.

Image credit: Darcy Norman

16 Responses to Instead of Posting Your Ad to Someone’s Facebook Wall…
  1. mel
    September 30, 2013 | 9:02 pm

    Whilst I agree that it’s not cool to post on someone else’s wall, I would prefer that someone mention their product and that they are a consultant for that product in the comments so that I could then message them rather than have an unknown consultant ‘friend’ me with a message. That’s an invasion of privacy to me.

  2. Becky Sattler
    February 26, 2010 | 2:43 pm

    Jenn, Thanks for the GREAT post! Hopefully we DS consultants can learn how to behave ourselves under your tutelage! 😉

  3. Lorian Rivers
    February 26, 2010 | 1:22 pm

    Thanks so much for bringing this up! There is common courtesy in DS as well as real life!

  4. Janette Stoll
    February 26, 2010 | 12:06 pm

    Although I haven’t had that happened but have gotten direct emails promoting their business. That is just equally annoying and disrespectful I’d much rather that person sends a private email introducing herself/himself rather than using my friend’s connection to spam me with their business opportunity. This is definitely why people run away when they hear about direct sales or network marketing. It’s the ambush technique and our instinct is to run when we feel like we’re being hunted. I will definitely share on my Facebook. The truth is, I hit the delete button the minute I scan anything that looks like a “salesy” pitch. No one likes to be sold to yet not sure why we try to sell to others. The invite on Facebook is another one that I never look at. Okay, going off on a different subject now but this post got me all fired up, lol.

    Thanks for the great post! Anyone else feel the same way when it comes to those “invites” on Facebook?


    • Cindy
      February 26, 2010 | 12:59 pm

      Hi Janette,
      I agree! I try to remember the days when I was not in direct sales and how I would react. 🙂

  5. Jhanna Dawson
    February 26, 2010 | 11:40 am

    Jennifer, it’s so wonderful that you are able to take a step back from the immediate experience of social media, and draw lessons from everyday experiences such as FB. Social media, to most, is so new and it’s interesting to see how true nature comes out, when we aren’t in our controlled environment.

    Above anything, we are guests when we are on someone else’s page or wall. As you mentioned above, if we’re not sure, I think it’s good to privately ask the ‘owner’ of the page what they deem appropriate on their page.

    I, personally, would have sent a private message. I find it much more personable. 🙂

    Otherwise, behave as you would a guest in someone else’s home or social environment.

    Thank you or your insights!

    With Gratitude,


  6. Jill Lee
    February 26, 2010 | 11:30 am

    Love this! It is so true….. and that is how some people give the company and other direct sellers a bad name~~and bad rep! Thanks for the teachableness of this post Jennifer!

  7. Cindy
    February 26, 2010 | 11:04 am

    This reminds me of your philosophy of not posting your sale of the month or other promotions outright on your status. You don’t want to sound like an ad. I think people appreciate one-on-one contact. I know I do!

  8. Julie Ann Jones
    February 26, 2010 | 10:46 am

    Bravo, Jen. I agree totally. I police both my wall and my Facebook group. I have to delete comments almost daily. Some are just ignorance, I think, and some are blatant spam. I’ve unfriended people who are habitual at this because it’s completely inappropriate. I love your solution.

    Julie Anne

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2010 | 10:53 am

      I think most of it is ignorance…at least the ones I’ve seen. I got mad the last time it happened, but this time I decided to treat it as a “teachable moment.” 🙂

  9. Michelle
    February 26, 2010 | 10:46 am

    I don’t think everyone understands how much more personal it is to send a PRIVATE message! If you take the extra 5 seconds to click over to send a message, the person receiving the message is going to be more receptive to that. You are giving them extra personal attention(which I know sounds weird in regards to social media) but they DO appreciate that. Some of them are smarter than we give them credit for, and they do realize the benefit to us if we post on their wall, and they don’t like it! Show them a little extra attention and they will be more willing to listen to what you have to say.

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2010 | 10:52 am

      VERY good point Michelle. Even though social media gives us a more global reach, at the end of the day it’s still about personal relationships.

  10. Paul Young
    February 26, 2010 | 10:21 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    I like your suggestion for the consultant to gently and without being obvious, still put herself out there in front of a prospect. Social media is still so new and the lines are not yet well formed, that generally I think it is just ignorance and not malice that leads people to blunder.


    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2010 | 10:25 am

      Agreed, Paul. That’s why I thought it might be helpful to post a “what you SHOULD do” type of post.

  11. Pamela Fatone
    February 26, 2010 | 10:19 am

    If it were me, and I am educated by you, I would have sent a message to you asking how I could contact them. I would never have posted my link and info on your page. Presently, ( we Votre Vu) consultants are having problems with VV FB stalker of other consultants FB Friends.right now, its just awful.

    • Jennifer
      February 26, 2010 | 10:25 am

      It’s ALWAYS a good approach to ask first if you’re not sure what to do Pamela! But I know you know that! 🙂

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