Even though we want to get messages out about our businesses, we don’t want to do so in ways that will make our customers upset. This is one of the reasons we avoid spam by only sending email marketing messages to people who have opted in for them.
Up until now, Facebook Groups have been opt-in. This means that people have had to decide whether or not they want to join. But the newest change to Facebook Groups has changed all that. Now, anyone on Facebook can add anyone they want to a Facebook Group. And as soon as they do, every message posted to the group is sent by default to a person’s email.
Now on the surface, this seems like it fixes an inherent problems with groups in the past…people are now notified of what happens in groups. But in reality, this is incredibly annoying. Imagine being added to a group, and suddenly having your inbox fill up with marketing messages you haven’t asked for?
Because of the change in the Facebook Groups product, I can no longer recommend that direct sellers use Facebook Groups. When the first thing you have to do is advise people to opt out of notifications, it’s not a good tool. Even though Facebook Pages bring their own set of challenges, at this point I think they’re better for direct sellers. Opt-in is important. We cannot be using social technologies in a way that will annoy our customers.
This week I’ll be talking about making the switch to Pages, and ways to keep Facebook Pages in perspective, so that they don’t become all-consuming and a waste of your time, should you choose to use them. And if you have an old group, you’re still OK (at least for the moment). It’s only groups created since Facebook announced the change last week that are affected.
But get educated on this! It’s important to understand what’s going on so you can make good choices for your business.