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