I recently had a client request that I write a letter for him to send someone who liked his Facebook page. I can write the letter, but is this going to be perceived as spam by the ‘Liker’ and possibly endanger my client’s Facebook account? Please vote on the poll and if you vote that it is appropriate, please comment on when you believe contact is appropriate.
Note: You can choose more than one option in this poll.
From what the client says they “liked” the page. I don’t believe there is any kind of app. What he wants to send is an email that gives more details on his company, but AFIK, the “liker” has not asked for more details. I won’t be contacting them at all. I would only write the email or message for the client to copy/paste. Actually, there is no reason I can’t write the letter but I don’t like to take on work that will land my clients in trouble. My biggest concern is if the liker feels they are being spammed by my client they may take action at Facebook which may jeopardize my client’s FB account.
I just took a look at the page. It’s a simple business page that has a few tips about a service the business provides, but no apps that I can see. I don’t want to go into too much detail here to protect my client’s anonymity.
However, please understand that my question is not just about this business. I want to hear people’s opinions about if they think it is ever okay to contact a “liker” (other than family/real time friends, etc.) and their opinions on why it is or why it isn’t.
I dislike all forms of business spam which is what is happening in this case but it’s exceptionally bad when it’s out-of-the-norm spam.
By that I mean we all expect random email and certainly some snail mail to come in. We don’t like it, we may negatively associate the company with it, but we aren’t surprised either.
When something is done outside the parameters of what’s excepted and requested it becomes a target and the response to it is terrible. Take text messages for example… there’s only a handful of marketing promos floating around out there but when someone gets one you know all about it and those are from random scams, not identifiable companies.
People who like a page, especially a small page, tend to be the most local advocates or at least engaged customers. Thus when you cross the line to them you are very literally upsetting the people who defend you. This is made worse now that Facebook has become as mainstream as one can get. The bar is set, people know what to expect and crossing that line is insanely obvious.
There are mechanisms to message people about a page but they are not email nor a private communication. For your client it will be an issue. The only question is if they get enough FB complaints to suspend their account or if it only hurts their reputation.
Actually I totally agree, Ted. I did write my client and tell him I don’t think it’s a good move even before I posted this thread, but did want to hear it from others or maybe see a different side to it. Not too long ago, in another thread I asked about even messaging to say “thanks for liking the page” and most replies were not to do that. That’s why I posed the question the way I did. I am looking to see ‘when’ (if ever) people think it’s okay to contact a page like.
If you want people to interact after they like the page (which is why they liked the page in the first place), just keep posting relevant things to the page’s wall. Unless there is some big announcement or change, I really don’t want to be contacted by the page’s owner.
However, if you still want a greeting or introduction, use the “about” page. I always check it for additional information when I like a page. Unfortunately, it is typically underutilized and page owners don’t tend to include a lot of information there.
I certainly wouldn’t want to receive fluff like “thanks for liking our page”, and I would consider that spam. On the other hand, there may be occasional situations when a business offer is relevant and helpful, and I wouldn’t object to that, as long as it was a very rare occurrence and was about a genuine offer and not just generic blurb about the regular product line and prices. But it’s a very tricky one to get right, and very easy to upset and alienate a loyal customer by unwarranted contact.
Liking a page is simply too easy and almost frictionless these days. For a business, trying to email or message every Facebook fan is like trying to email or message every individual who picked up your brochure or stopped to look at what you have to offer in your menu.
However, if your client notices a super fan that frequently likes and comments positively on the content posted on the page, you can safely reach out to the person with a personal note.
The client is trying to shoe horn traditional old school marketing processes into social media. I see a lot of this on facebook and twitter where businesses don’t get the conversational, low-key and soft approach to building relationships, and revert to what they know from traditional media such as TV, direct marketing and radio, i.e one direction hard selling and broadcasting.
It might be acceptable to contact them if they show evidence of real engagement, and true qualification of a likely need for the services, otherwise it’s not worth potentially irritating them - social media is an arena where the customer can bite back.
I would say that it all depends upon the manner of the letter/contact. Sending them a generic “Dear Sir/Madam” communication with very universal content is going to be binned straight away, which could potentially endanger your/your client’s account. I used to work in a Marketing DP and the owner had a similar idea, but outsourced some profile research to get individual reports on every “Liker.” He then outsourced to some Creative Writing students to write him up a letter specifically targeted to the “Liker.” Expensive, but got some great feedback. Depends on your budget.
As a general rule, I’d say leave it unless you have the time and money for this.
Regardless of whether you push the sale or not when you start pitching a product you’ve left the engaging medium you were participating and now into full on broadcast marketing. That’s “not social” its self but to cross the line and step into someone’s world putting a message in their inbox? I don’t care how professional the wording is, it’s still spam and to your most passionate customers.
I can see it is such a big deal for you if you are receiving messages from a person you did not know, but in my opinion, why liking such page in the first place if you don’t want to be bothered at all?
People like, follow, circle, or whatever the term may be for a variety of reasons from seeing special offers to following updates from a company you like to simple affirmation. No matter what the reason it’s critical to realize that a social connection is not the same as a marketing opt-in and treating it as such is poison to the relationship.
The reality of this can be seen in common social metrics… that only a few percent ever return to a brand’s Facebook page directly, that engagement rates are measured in low, or fractions of a, percent speaks for the level of communication people are expecting as a whole. And from all of this there is no expectation that you will ever receive an outbound message from any social page. There isn’t even a way to message fans directly through Facebook and there’s a reason for that.
Social offers the opportunity to share out but more than that to hear back and continue to communicate with customers and prospects. Taking the traditional push-and-push approach is all to common and such a waste.