Is Your Small Business Spamming Other Business Brands on Facebook?

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What – Small Business Owners Would Spam Other Business Brands??

In my role as an online community manager I see many ways of doing things on Facebook.  Occasionally I’ll see something that teaches me.  That’s a bonus – And one of the reasons I love what I do!

However…

image: Virtual Pizza

Social Media Etiquette

More often I see concerning online behaviors.  These acts are usually made by small business owners or entrepreneurs that fit into these categories:

  • Self-marketing.
  • New to social media.
  • Not educated on social media etiquette.
  • Employing old-school techniques, expecting new media results.

Rarely do I meet a small business owner that purposely wants to engage in concerning behavior.  They usually do not know they have blurred the lines of social media etiquette, but once they are made aware, they are happy to take actions that makes other social networkers smile.

Lets look at some examples of online behavior that blur the lines of Facebook etiquette.

Otherwise known as…

Spam

1. Posting self-promotional content on another page without invitation.

Social Media is about building a relationship.  Not broadcasting, or the “hit and run.”  If you reverse the roles, how would you feel if another Page Admin came out of nowhere and posted their self-promotional content on your page?

The Reality:

The only people who see these messages are the Page Admins and anyone that might catch your post in their ticker because you are connected as friends.  Here, your audience is limited.  You are just offending the Page Admins, and they will probably delete it quickly.  So, it’s a high-energy move with little visibility, anyway.

Actionable Advice:

Visit Facebook Pages with the intention of building some friendships and relationships with hopeful collaborators.  Take part in conversation by liking and commenting on post threads.  Visit as yourself, your person, and occasionally as your brand (your page).  Be someone people want to know, like, and trust as an ambassador of your business.  Be the life of the party, prompting people to ask you questions.  Avoid the promotional message and posting your page link in the comment thread unless invited to do so.

2. Sending “Like My Page” or “Purchase My Service” direct messages to the brand on their page.

This is very similar to item #1, but in a more private mode.  The Page Admin has to actually go into the Inbox and respond or perform extra action.

Some social media leaders compare this move to trying to get to third base on a first date.  Reverse the roles again – How do you feel if someone sends “Like My Page” or “Click My Junk” messages to your Facebook Page’s inbox?

The Reality:

Again, very similar to #1, yet sometimes more annoying.

Actionable Advice:

Woah – Date a Page Admin a bit!  Take your hands off the like button, and talk to them a little bit!!  Same goes here: Create a relationship that will lead to collaboration, and you can share all the messages you want.  Provide links & promotional details when asked.  If you network well, you will be asked.

3. Posting frequently on a page only as your brand (your page).

The opportunity to interact on Facebook as your brand (your page) is a terrific feature!  It allows you to create recall of your business name.  At the same time, the purpose of engaging on social media is to create relationships.  A small business owner’s goal should be to create and instill the “know/like/trust factor.”

The Reality:

If a Page Admin sees only your brand name, they don’t know WHO to like and trust.  Further, if you are there very frequently in this mode, you could appear spammy and even out of line.  Some would take this as an attempt to “cherry-pick” fans.

Actionable Advice:

By allowing fans and Page Admins to learn about your brand, and get to know you – the ambassador of your business – your chances of creating long-lasting, productive relationships are greater.  You then actually get TWO chances to make a good impression.  People know where to find your business, and they know who should receive their questions.  Perhaps to the Facebook Page inbox – as a well-earned business lead!  :)

4. Frequent tagging of the same page or pages.

Have you posted a picture of a sale flyer, and tagged all of your favorite pages?  Have you found a really groovy photo and tagged many pages when the image or subject matter really has nothing to do with that page?

Reality:

If so, you’re guilty of spamming a page with a tag!  The Page Admin sees this tag, and is probably confused at first.  A friendly sort would hop over and leave a nice comment or a like.  But if you keep doing this, it is annoying and bothersome, and even self-serving.  This will result in less people paying attention to your messages – The reverse of your ultimate goal.

Actionable Advice:

Use tags to give tribute, or recognize someone or a brand that is in an image.  It is a gesture to show honor.  From time to time it is okay to gather some good business friends together to comment on a fun image.  Every once in awhile.  Many times per week is excessive.  Once per month…maybe.  Make it a periodic celebration instead!

So, is your small business spamming other business brands on Facebook?

No Playing Games

My analogy of the social actions above: “online knock-knock split.”  The equivalent of reaching out with no one there to follow-up.

This is broadcasting – A one-way communication.  Social media is all about a two-way dialogue.  Facebook is no exception.

Hopefully the actionable advice has been helpful in identifying appropriate social media etiquette.

If you are newer to social media, do you have questions?

If you are more seasoned, did you ever unknowingly do any of what is described above?

Please share your thoughts in the comments box below! :D

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Keri Jaehnig
Keri Jaehnig is the Founder and CMO at Idea Girl Media, an international Social Media Marketing Agency. Keri helps business brands, non-profits and public figures achieve social media success and positive online reputation. Keri's work has been featured at Forbes and Social Media Today, Search Engine People, and she has been quoted by Business Insider. She also writes for her own blog at ideagirlmedia.com. In 2013 Keri received a Small Business Influencer Honorable Mention Award, and a commendation for Outstanding Attainment in Social Media from the State of Ohio Senate. Non-fat lattes, travel & quick wit make her smile, and Keri is always enthused to meet new people!
Keri Jaehnig

@kerijaehnig

Social Media Director & Founder @ideagirlmedia helping brands, public figures & non-profits achieve social media & online marketing success! #coffee #SocialMM
@TonnyC Thanks for following! - 25 mins ago
Keri Jaehnig
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Comments

  1. Very helpful post Keri. I like the "Actionable Advice", it makes it easy to correct our mistakes. Cheers

    • ideagirlmedia says:

      Thanks! I believe that if we find something not quite right, we should try to be part of a solution. This seemed to be an approach to cover some major points with easy re-direction. Glad you liked! :)

  2. "This is broadcasting – A one-way communication. Social media is all about a two-way dialogue. " I think this line covers it nicely. Job well done Keri. I am with David, I like the actionable advice. People are often unaware that they are doing anything questionable.

    • ideagirlmedia says:

      David,

      You are correct. So many are not aware they are doing anything incorrectly. We can only do our part to provide good information and hope it reaches the right eyeballs.

      Thanks for your comment! :)

      ~Keri

  3. Thanks for this post. It is on the educational side of things. I am probably guilty of some of these as I wasn't aware of certain things. Always use the tag as a recognition but it cannot be done too often. A lot of actions might be on the blurry side. thanks again!

  4. Great article Keri! So very true and you hit the nail on the head. It is extremely annoying when brands start spamming… I don't think I have a lot of patience for that! :)

    Keep up the great work Keri!

  5. Awesome article. You hit point right on the nose. I am new to social media as a manager and definitely will be remembering these ideas.

    • ideagirlmedia says:

      Aleshia,

      Glad I could offer some helpful insight! If you are newer to social media management, please stay in touch — We could surely exchange stories from time to time!! :D

      Sounds like you're off to a good start.

      Thanks for reading, and for sharing your thoughts,

      ~Keri

  6. ideagirlmedia says:

    Paul,

    Have you ever been motivated by something that tested your patience…? ;)

    Thanks for your positive words. Lets continue to help each other, and hopefully we'll pave an even firmer path to all the good stuff!

    Thanks for your comment,

    ~Keri

  7. Good advice Keri and love the “like MY page!”

  8. Hi Keri,
    Great post :)
    I see things likes this happening ALL the time! I hardly ever respond to people who spam my fan page wall!
    I do have 1 question though…
    As a social media manager I handle several Facebook pages and Twitter accounts, but I don't have access to any personal accounts to chat to other pages on an individual level. Could you offer a way around this?
    Thanks,
    Tom

    • ideagirlmedia says:

      Thomas,

      It does become harder when there is not a personal profile so that others can put a face with a comment.

      What I have done before is gotten permission from the brand HQ and created a Twitter account like, @BrandName_Keri to be more accepted in a tweet chat and give the brand a face over a logo.

      On Facebook that is harder. To accept the identity of the Page owner when you are the admin gets a bit sticky.

      You could communicate as yourself with the Facebook Page admin and let them know you stopped by to say hello, and discuss some professional aspect, then note at a comfortable point that you represent a specific page. Engaging in contests or promotions becomes a bit tougher. And I would be happy to discuss with you more personally at my Facebook Page via direct message box (Idea Girl Media).

      Have you tried the "voice" function on pages?

      Thanks for your great question!

      ~Keri

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