Warning! Have You Been Targeted By These Deceptive Facebook Advertising Practices?

As you get more active on Facebook, with the intent of networking and marketing your business, you will most likely be mentioning your company name.  And once you do, there’s something you need to be aware of.  Have you ever noticed how creepily-accurate those little Facebook ads are on the right side of your Facebook screen? I’m in Las Vegas while writing this, and have mentioned Las Vegas a few times on Facebook.  Guess what I saw today?

Yep, the Facebook ads are very targeted, based on what you do and say on Facebook.  Now for advertisers (which may include you, in fact) this can be tremendously beneficial.  Getting the right ad in front of the right person is what we all strive for.  Laser-focusing your efforts through keywords can really help with your relevance.  And most of this is simply that…giving you info about products and services you may find interesting.

But there’s a seedy underbelly to this that specifically targets direct sellers, and it’s important that you’re aware of it.  I regularly talk about various direct selling companies on Facebook.  And look what appeared on my screen today:

See that nasty one about USANA on the bottom? (and don’t you just love how both ads are using registered trademarks of these companies without permission?)

Now I know the folks over at USANA, and know how ethical and upstanding that organization is.  In fact, Tim Haran from USANA is one of the guest posters on this blog, and they are DSA members, fully in compliance with the DSA code of ethics.

But what ads like this try to do is create doubt in your mind.  And they are specifically targeting USANA distributors.  Now I’m the rare person who talks about companies I’m not a consultant/distributor for.  But some organizations are using their ads to try to pull you away from your direct selling organization, so they can make money from you.  It may not be apparent immediately, when you first click on something (sometimes it is.)  But I have heard stories about people who have commented on blogs and in other ways interacted, and then were contacted by people in these seedy organizations, trying to lure them away from their companies.

What I’m trying to say here, folks, is don’t fall for it.  Companies and individuals that use these tactics are NOT the ones you want to be associated with.  I am fully on board with advertising.  But if you’re going to use deceptive practices, then you’re not someone I want any part of.

Just be wise, and you can avoid the nastiness.

Have you seen ads like these? What are your thoughts?

6 Responses to Warning! Have You Been Targeted By These Deceptive Facebook Advertising Practices?
  1. Tim Haran
    March 22, 2010 | 11:43 am

    Jen,
    Great post as usual. Yes, unfortunately this is something we’re seeing more often on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, my “USANA” search on Tweetdeck is littered with tweets trumpeting “Is USANA a scam?” or “Generate over 50 MLM leads per day” and includes five or six direct selling keywords. The accompanying links generally have little to do with what the tweet implies.

    We are making our compliance department aware of these tactics and working to eliminate such ads. We also continue to educate our associates to ensure they’re utilizing social media tools properly.

    You’re right: folks should not want to be associated with individuals who employ such practices.

    Tim

  2. Yusuf C
    March 22, 2010 | 12:52 am

    It is so annoying to see such a deceptive & manipulated practice. I always ignore such ads specifically the one the always states” your company never told you about this etc…” Are these folks so desperate?

  3. Patty Reiser
    March 19, 2010 | 4:28 pm

    I have also seen ads like you have posted here. As a Direct Seller, I learned a long time ago that the best leads for your business are the ones you generate yourself so I have never fallen victim to these type of ads. I will also say that I have used Facebook advertising to generate my own leads and have been pleased with the results so far.

  4. Rebecca Olkowski
    March 19, 2010 | 9:55 am

    My personal peeve is when network marketing people write articles or blog posts saying “So and So Co is a scam.” Many times it’s about their own company and they just want to draw attention to the article. I have always thought that was a strange and very negative way to advertise. Not to mention what it does for the company’s reputation.

  5. Libby Adams
    March 19, 2010 | 9:12 am

    In the ads you mentioned, can’t the companies get Facebook Advertising to remove them because these people are using their company name/logo without their permission? Now this is provided the company officials are aware of it.

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