Thursday, 8 April 2010

Enough is enough: Annoying Company Facebook Activity

I logged on to Facebook this morning and there were 8 new messages, and knowing my friends use my wall more often than not, I was loathe to open my inbox to see what was in there. And sure enough, half of the messages were from one organisation I follow - a regular offender I must add, and the other 4 were divvied up between 2 others. So I ask of the main offender, why 4 messages in the space of 12 hours? Is that really necessary?

Facebook provides a great platform for businesses to interact with their target audience and engage them in new and innovative ways. Spamming is not new, innovative and in fact, it is annoying and a turn off. Even if you're still using the group you created eons ago, and have not yet gone the way of a Facebook Page (though you really should) have by now), sending repetitive messages to your group members is not the way to go, especially if the message was

1. already sent
2. says nothing new, and in fact, I have gotten the exact same message 4 times from one group. WHY?
3. is consistently pushing your product/service on the receiver

When you continuously send messages that say nothing and mean nothing, chances of me reading future messages from you are reduced drastically. In my role as an admin, I tend to  reserve group messages to matters that I deem interesting, relevant and sometimes time dependent.

The Fan Pages are great in that your updates appear in your fans' live feeds, so you don't have to bombard them with messages, which I must remind the offenders hit my inbox like all my other messages. Your fans will see what you have to say when they check their streams, in much the same way they see their friends' updates about their weekends or relationship statuses. Keep the updates interesting and dynamic though. Saying "Buy my product" 7 times a day does not enlighten me, engage me or interest me whatsoever. It becomes as useless and as annoying as friends' Farmville and Mafia Wars updates. That is not a good comparison, by the way.

On the other hand, you have those businesses who don't interact with fans or who say nothing at all. They invite you to follow and then you realise you have become the fan of a graveyard, where your dreams of brand interaction are laid to rest; where noone updates, noone solicits feedback; fans aren't given a voice and the Page is static like a website.

Find the right mix and use the right messages to be effective. Don't be labelled a spammer by updating too much or flooding the inbox population with irrelevant content. But being an inactive brand is just as upsetting to persons who may genuinely be interested in your company and what you have to offer. The platform which Facebook offers is excellent for hearing what your market thinks about your brand, so use it and the feedback you get can help shape your next steps in terms of message and delivery. Take a look at other Fan Pages to get an idea of what other companies are doing on the social networking sites to get closer to their fans. Take a look at what you are doing and ask yourself, is this working? Are my 240 messages a week on the same thing hurting my brand? Have I gotten the reaction I was going for from my audience? Chances are you may not be.

Perhaps you can frame the message in different ways. So while the status update repeated daily is just not effective in my estimation, think of maybe a short, fun video, or a podcast or a photo with a great caption. You can still take the message out there, but differently. It still appears in the live feeds, but may get a reaction because it is new, though not THAT new. Be creative about it and still be mindful of the timing.

The risk you run of not using the tools properly is sending the people you have captured already and the ones you may hope to capture running for the hills, away from you, your brand and your group or page. I am this close to getting out of certain groups because of the spam messages. So, please...don't do it!


Post a Comment

Thanks for your comments and questions!

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More