Over the past couple of years and epidemic has evolved due to the way direct sellers are using Facebook and virtual parties to market and sell their products. Direct sellers across many companies have found themselves in FACEBOOK JAIL because of the strategies they’ve implemented in their businesses.
Facebook is an ever-increasing part of our daily (minute-by-minute) lives, and it is natural to want to use Facebook and its features in our personal life and in our businesses. But, it’s important to respect the rules and follow the guidelines to make sure you have continued access to the platform. It’s like I say to my kids about almost everything … it’s not a right, it’s a privilege.
As a direct seller, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the whirlwind of what everyone else is doing and assume that because others are doing something, you should too. However, when something that works for one person is DUPLICATED literally by hundreds or thousands or more, it looks like a SPAM FEST. Facebook is continually looking to make sure that the content on its platform is unique, valuable, ORIGINAL, appropriate and SHARABLE.
So, just let that sink in for a moment. Do you ever take an image someone else has used and post it on your own timeline or business page? Do you do Facebook parties and use images that have been provided by your company, created by another consultant or came in some sort of a “swipe” file? Are you automating the posting of links in your events or on pages or in groups in a way that looks like you are just posting the same content over and over? All of these things can get you thrown into Facebook jail.
Very simply, the things that can get you thrown into Facebook jail include: duplicate images, duplicate links, duplicate videos, and duplicate post copy (the literal wording especially if you cut and paste it) or anything done in rapid succession that looks spammy to Facebook. In addition, with the emergence of Facebook Groups as a great way to build community, many direct sellers have relegated to automatically “adding” people to their groups without permission, posting or streaming spammy messages into all of the groups in which they belong and adding people without permission to events. Without understanding the potential “unintended consequences” today’s direct seller can systematically undermine his or her business by blindly following the strategies that others have used to achieve their success.
10 Ways to Avoid Being Sent to Facebook Jail
- DO NOT COPY AND USE THE SAME GRAPHIC or IMAGES AS OTHER PEOPLE
- DO NOT POST THE SAME GRAPHIC or IMAGE IN MULTIPLE POSTS IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
- DO NOT USE IMAGES YOU FIND ONLINE WITHOUT MODIFYING THEM SIGNIFICANTLY (AND WITH COPYRIGHT PERMISSIONS).
- DO NOT PASTE THE SAME LINK IN MULTIPLE PLACES REPEATEDLY.
- DO NOT POST MANY TIMES WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME.
- DO NOT POST THE SAME WORDING MULTIPLE TIMES IN MULTIPLE LOCATIONS
- DO NOT USE YOUR BUSINESS NAME IN YOUR PERSONAL PROFILE’S NAME
- DO NOT POST ON OTHER PAGES, TIMELINES, GROUPS or EVENTS WITH THE NAME OF YOUR COMPANY JUST TO TRY TO ATTRACT ATTENTION
- DO NOT SEND PRIVATE MESSAGES WITH PROMOTIONAL CONTENT TO MULTIPLE PEOPLE
- DO NOT SELL OR OVERLY PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS ON YOUR PERSONAL PAGE
- BONUS: DO NOT SELL ADD PEOPLE TO GROUPS or EVENTS without first ASKING FOR PERMISSION!
The first point to understand here is that posting and sharing are two different things. When you post something, you are the one originating the content on Facebook. You’re uploading the image or video and writing the post copy. When you share a post, you’re taking someone else’s post and just sharing it with others, preserving the originator of the content. Sharing is what Facebook wants to see. Posting duplicate information, images or videos is NOT what Facebook wants to see.
For direct sellers, what this literally means is that you need to create ORIGINAL graphics and images for all of your posts – on your personal timeline, in a group, on your business page or in an event. So, if you’re using graphics your company has provided or you got from some other source, and you know it’s been posted by other people in other posts, just don’t do it. Take the time to create your own. Use one of the simple-to use graphic creation tools I talk about in this post.
When you do create your own graphics, the next thing you need to be careful with is posting that same graphic multiple times in multiple locations. So, if you post on your personal timeline, SHARE it elsewhere but don’t keep uploading it to other locations. If you’re doing “Facebook parties” you’ll want to avoid using the same graphic in each event, over and over and over. Yes, this makes it more difficult, but it is the act of automating this process that is likely to get you into jail if you’re automating duplicate posting of the same content event after event.
My suggestion is to look at the way you’ve created your “party experience” in Facebook and make it look (to Facebook) and feel more unique for each one. Live video is a brilliant way to do that. The old “post and scroll” parties are dead — because they are not experiences that people OR Facebook want replicated over and over and over! Did you know you can post live video right to your business page, group or event from your phone or desktop — with some tools you can even share slides with the images you want to show. And, what’s going to be hot in 2018 is bringing your HOST into your virtual party with you! Check out this course to learn more about how you can learn how to livestream with us. There are so many ways you can leverage the power of live video in your business. It’s a smart strategy to learn and one that keeps you out of JAIL!
Creating unique content doesn’t mean scouring the internet for images you have not seen other people use. Most of what you’ll find online is copyrighted and should not be used without explicit permission. If it is found in a Google search, saving it and using it on Facebook is likely to get you tagged as a spammer.
There are places online where you can find royalty free images for use in your posts. When you use these images, be sure to modify them creatively so that they stand out as different from someone else using the same original. Check out this post for some good places to find images you can use as a starting point for your unique graphics.
Using duplicate images is not the only activity to avoid. Posting the same link multiple times in multiple locations will also get you tagged as a spammer. So, imagine you have a few “go to” links you use in Facebook for sharing images of products or your business opportunity or something else. When you post that link over and over (even on different days) you might be getting yourself into trouble.
One way to get around this right now is to use a “link shortener” such as Bitly to make the same link “look” different each time you use it. Yes, it is time consuming, but it is WORTH it. There are other creative ways to get around this challenge. We’re talking about this type of “stuff” in our exclusive FB Group found HERE.
You’re likely getting the gist of the things that get you thrown into Facebook jail. So, now it probably makes sense that posting in rapid succession will get you noticed by the FB Police force, too. This typically is not a problem if you are just posting about life, interesting topics and some business sprinkled in. Or on your business page posting just a few times per any given day. But, if you’re posting in rapid succession (especially with duplicate content) Facebook will be alerted. If you’re in a group or on your page and you’re engaging with a group of people, commenting rather than posting can avert this danger. But, it’s smart to be careful.
When we think of something brilliant to say, it is natural to want to use the same wording over and over. BUT, Facebook sees that as spam, especially if you are cutting and pasting in “canned” paragraphs rather than typing them out. Whether in a post or in comments cutting and pasting standard responses will alert the authorities, as well.
It’s natural to want to identify with your direct selling company as much as possible — you don’t want to miss out on search opportunities. But, be sure that your personal profile is identifiable as YOU. Your first name and your last name. Do not include your business name in your personal name or any form of it. Each human on earth gets one Facebook account, and it is important to Facebook to make sure that you’re acting as yourself on your personal profile.
Let’s face it. Facebook doesn’t like trolls. Now, some trolls are cute and cuddly, but most just are not. When you’re engaging on Facebook, be sure to truly be engaging — sharing good ideas, answering questions, commenting with valuable insights. Don’t post on other pages, timelines, groups or events with Your Name, from COMPANY NAME. That looks like spam. Instead, make sure you’ve optimized your personal profile (and business page profile) so that when people read the smarts you’ve shared they can learn more about you. Check out THIS post for a checklist for optimizing your profiles.
There is a trend. Don’t do the same thing over and over and over. So, it is a natural progression to get to the idea that using Messenger for promoting your business to lots of people is not a good idea. Messenger is a communication tool, and Facebook doesn’t want you to use it as a tool to deliver marketing messages. Also, they do not want you to use it as a “cold calling” tool. So, message people you know with real messages.
If you don’t know someone and you message them, make sure you’re not doing this too regularly. It’s ok until someone says you’re spam. So be cautious. Sometimes good old-fashioned email is best. OR ask a friend to introduce you before you send someone a message they’re not expecting.
It’s really very simple. On your personal page, do not SELL. Facebook is not a selling platform. Period. If you marketing your business there, do it in subtle ways. The overt selling messages — before/after posts, specials and incentives, “hurry up and buy” posts are all things that can get your locked out of your account.
Have you heard of the 2/10 rule? 2 out of 10 is a rule of thumb — be smart and use your social media to engage, interact, create interest … and use your selling skills when you have people engaged who WANT to learn more.
When you see the word “invite” on Facebook, first think to yourself … is this actually inviting people OR is it going to automatically add them to whatever I’m doing and then simply notify them? Just as we wouldn’t recommend sending a blast email to invite people to an in-person party or event, the same goes for Facebook. The personal invitation is the key to success.
In Facebook Groups, when you “invite” someone, you may think that you are simply asking them if they’d like to be a part of the group; however, that function actually ADDS the person to the group and they have to choose to leave. In the meantime, they’ll start getting all of the notifications and will feel like they’ve been spammed. When you get too many spam complaints, Facebook removes your privileges. Top leaders having had access to their own groups removed from them because of spam-looking practices.
Basically, think before you post. Don’t do anything online you wouldn’t do offline. And, don’t spam. Be UNIQUE. Be YOU. Be AUTHENTIC. Use LIVE VIDEO and ORIGINAL CONTENT to create curiosity and forge new relationships and conversations.
If you need more help with harnessing your personal brand ME … join us here. Always remember, there is no quick way to the top, and often what you see others doing is just a small part of their complete plan. Duplicate smart strategies — don’t duplicate content. Share great content, like great content, comment on great content — and create your own!
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