When does social media self-promotion turn into SPAM? Are there limits to what you can and should post when you are promoting your business on a personal facebook page? Other agents advertising their business on my personal page seems like a clear breach of etiquette. Such activities include agents posting their new listings, advertising their own website or asking for a professional recommendation on my personal facebook wall.
A number of local Realtors have signed up for the peer-recommendation service on Stik.com. Stik requires users install an application on their personal page. In addition to the required access of a user's personal information, Stik requires access to my facebook friends' information.
I know about stik.com because:
1) it shows up on user's own profiles, asking their facebook friends to sign into the application & recommend them. You can turn this on or off, similar to the many game & misc application posts that litter status updates.
2) A number of local Realtors have posted a request for a recommendation on MY facebook wall, asking me and my own facebook friends to recommend them as an agent on Stik.com. This builds their social media presence, not mine.
I have no problem with what other agents post on their own facebook wall - you can market yourself however you see fit on your own social media page.
One agent, a former business partner, has posted some stik.com requests on my personal facebook wall and the walls of many other agents around town. He has previously advertised his business website by posting on my wall. As an agent, do you appreciate other agents promoting their business to your friends on your facebook wall? Posting a request for a recommendation on the walls of other agents (many who work at other companies) is just bad Internet etiquette. Do we treat the Stik.com network as a reciprocal link exchange, where agents can help each other promote themselves or do we keep our social media promotion to our own friends and sphere of influence.
I believe many of these facebook applications are a new form of SPAM. I have a problem if the goal of an application can post content not only to your wall, but to post updates to your friends' walls on a regular basis. This is the equivalent to signing up for an email newsletter with an opt-out, but then having the newsletter be sent to everyone in your contact database.
It is one thing when the latest Zynga game boasts about your new high score or the fact that your farm was invaded by mafia thugs. Using an application to post about your business on the walls of your competitors crosses a line.
I'm not blaming facebook here - they have created a wonderful platform for people to communicate. But as facebook users, we need to be careful as to what applications we install on our personal pages and our business profile pages. I doubt your customers and friends would appreciate this SPAM, and I know mine don't.
I'm not writing stick.com off just yet - sometimes application developers need time to create the right balance of social media exposure and privacy controls.
What are your thoughts on stick.com's new service? Does it help you promote your business? Do other agents misuse it and cross a line by asking others for recommendations? Do you think social media should have a more defined set of rules and etiquette?