Social Media SPAM - Is good for your facebook profile?

Real Estate Agent with William Raveis Real Estate

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 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.

SPAM on facebook

I know about 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  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 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 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.

SPAM on facebook

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 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'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?


Posted by

Scott Silverstone, Realtor®
The Jacobson Team
William Raveis Real Estate
203-815-9118 (Mobile)


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Jane Jensen
Century 21 New Millennium - Arlington, VA

@Nathan: I do appreciate you engaging in this conversation regarding Stik. 

Frankly I was horrified that after I recommended someone (and I had to sign up to do this), I received several recommendations and found out that all my "friends" had received a request on their wall to recommend me. One sent me a message asking what this was about because they were not familiar with your applications (this was how I found out). I did not initiate a request for any recommendations from anyone. I am not adverse to application but the execution has made me very leary and I will not be using it. 

Mar 04, 2011 04:47 AM #12

An old high school friend of mine has had post on her behalf to several of our mutual friends' pages. That alone has kept me from going anywhere near the Stik site, out of sheer annoyance and fear that she's somehow been infected (as all the messages are identical, it reads like what it is: auto-generated spam).

When one of our friends asked her what Stik was, she said, "I DUNNO! I can't get it from posting on everyone's page!!" That, to me, sounds even more like a virus or other unwanted, abusive activity. PERHAPS she signed up for Stik to recommend someone else, but just signing up for a site does NOT mean you want it to spam all your friends automatically.

This sort of behavior is frowned upon more and more by those of us who use social media in our everyday lives (I don't think twice about blocking and reporting for spam any Twitter account that posts an unsolicited link to my Mentions), and I would caution the founders of Stik to reexamine their site's setup before they alienate their entire potential user base.

Apr 04, 2011 10:41 AM #13
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Perry Wellington Realty, Adam Conrad, Broker - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Nathan, thanks for writing this post...I've noticed agents asking for recommendations on and did a search on AR to see what's up about this site....I am not going to sign up for Stik.  thanks for the heads up.

Apr 05, 2011 03:13 PM #14
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

I've been getting tons of these on Facebook too, and I thought it was one of those virus things that keep coming up on Facebook.  I'm sorry, but I'm not about to go to yet another start-up social media site and go through all the trouble of making my 100 plus profile, just to "recommend" a dozen people I only know through networking in FB.

I'm glad to know it's not a trojan thing, though.  I've been afraid to even click the link.

If anybody wants a rating on Yahoo Local,, Judy's Book,,,, Yelp, LinkedIn, YouTube, Google Places, and 50 more I can't remember, feel free to ask.  IN AN EMAIL, with a link to your profile.  I'll be happy to help.

Apr 29, 2011 10:51 AM #15
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

@ ButMadNNW

AMEN!  Sounds like a typical Facebook hack to me!

Apr 29, 2011 10:53 AM #16
Jan Chilton
Myrtle Beach, SC
Real Estate Marketing

Want to get rid of them permanently, ya'll?  Go to your PROFILE page (not home) and find one of the requests.  Run your mouse over the top right of the post.  It will pop up an X.  Click on that and you can remove the post, hide the post, BLOCK entirely, or block the person.  Click and block Stik and you'll naver get another one.  I just eliminated the problem.

Apr 29, 2011 10:59 AM #17
Scott Silverstone
William Raveis Real Estate - New Haven, CT, Connecticut Luxury & Waterfront Realty

Jan - Thanks for your tip!  FYI - I'm still getting hit with Stik SPAM on my facebook page (I should have followed your advice).  Check out my new blog on Stik

May 25, 2011 08:01 AM #18
Whetumarama Tuhua

I'm not able to read your new blog on Stik at the moment, but it looks like spam/scam to me. Apart from trawling through Friend lists, and auto-generating comments, there is absolutely no product, service or outcome. I googled their website, and sure as heck wasn't going to log in to see what they had on offer.

If there's no visible profiles of professionals or trades or business people with their list of recommendees, then there's absolutely no purpose in it, apart from giving the owners of the site access to all your FB and e-mail details, and your networks. 

Linked-In and a couple of other sites you mentioned are legitimate, well established and worth using. Facebook already has excellent networking and business tools in place (except for all the Scam apps!). Stik isn't even a wannabe setup - its just a ruddy nuisance, and I've blocked it. And I certainly wouldn't be overly impressed that they jumped on your blog to comment either - webfetti and other known cyber criminals do the same to try and convince us that they're legit.

Jun 14, 2011 04:01 PM #19
Lisa Broadwater
Cascade Sotheby's International Realty - Sisters, OR
GRI, CDPE - Bend, Sisters, Tumalo, Redmond

Scott -- Thanks for posting this. I just got stuck with my first Stik. Last week it was BranchOut, and I'm sure (sigh) next week there will be something else equally as invasive.

But thanks to your post & Jan Chilton's suggestion (in post #17) I now know how to deal with these unwanted apps.

Jun 23, 2011 03:53 AM #20
Scott Silverstone
William Raveis Real Estate - New Haven, CT, Connecticut Luxury & Waterfront Realty

I was contacted personally by Rob Runyan of Stik. He asked me to post the following instructions on how to remove Stik from your facebook profile:

If you wish to stop receiving any posts from please follow the instructions through this link: you unsubscribe, even your friends will not be able to post recommendation requests on your wall.  However, you may still see other posts in your newsfeed if your friends continue to use as normal.
Jun 30, 2011 10:58 AM #21
Robin Scott
Robin Scott, REALTOR® - Austin, TX
Broker, CRS, ABR, SRS, REALTOR® - Austin Texas

Scott - I had put the Stik email I received on the back burner until today and decided to research AR before signing up because I was suspicious when they asked permission to access all the information on my facebook account. Thanks for the great post. I don't plan to participate.

Sep 16, 2011 08:28 AM #22
Tim Fennell
The Legends of Real Estate, REALTORS® - Jacksonville, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate

I just got a Stik request and something about it just didn't pass the smell test. About a year ago, I inadvertantly accepted a similar Facebook request to join 'schoolfeed' (I think that's the name?) but never really learned how to use it however because I joined, the app automatically sent out requests to all my friends, etc, etc. I continue to get notifications, requests, etc from others and it's annoying. I've asked others who send me stuff from it how they use it and they all have had the same experience as me.... none use it, know what to do with it, or know how to turn it off. 

I guess my point is this: I HATE SPAM IN ANY FORM! And, Stik just feels like spam to me. 

May 03, 2012 09:41 PM #23
Carol McCarthy
Realty World Select - Lake Ridge, VA

I just deleted from my facebook apps--I hope! It's one thing to be asked to reccomend someone, although, I find that obnoxious, but, there are three times that I have discovered, that is putting posts on others facebook page and saying that it is from me. I'm sorry. There is no justification for that! That is spam. Nathan, you co founded a spam company. I don't know if that can be fixed. 

Jul 30, 2012 09:12 AM #24
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Scott:  I just received a SPAM email from STIK.  It was signed by someone names Jen Anderson... vice president of Realtor blah, blah, blah.

In her email she started out by congratulating me because five people had looked at my STIK profile.  What garbage!  False and misleading advertising.

I do not have a STIK profile, I do not WANT a STIK profile, and am really ticked off by Ms Anderson and STIK polluting my email with their SPAM.

I have not gone to my Facebook page yet to see if that is being polluted, too.  I hope not.  If so, I will surely post a piece of my mind on Facebook regarding their SPAM tactics.                 August 17, 2012

Aug 17, 2012 04:12 AM #25
Susan Ani
Baird & Warner - Chicago, IL

I found your post on through a Google search tonight, after receiving a request through email from another Realtor in my community to recommend HER services to the public. I immediately thought "Why on earth would I want to recommend another agent in my own market, taking away possible new clients from my own business development?" And after reading your detailed explanation of how this program works, there is NO WAY I would participate in it. Thank you!

Aug 20, 2012 12:50 PM #26
Bill Adams
San Marcos, TX

Scott, wish I had read your blog about before I replied to a request from a good friend for a recommendation, now I think Stik has stuck it to my nearly 700 friends on FaceBook for recommendations.  I have unsubscribed and deleted the account but the damage is done.  Stik is a bad product.

Aug 31, 2012 07:47 AM #27
Nathan Labenz - San Francisco, CA

This post has become a center of gravity for folks who've had trouble with Stik, so I wanted to follow up quickly.

Our top priority is and always been to help great business people build their professional reputation online.  We believe that recommendations and reviews from past clients are a great way to do this, and we try to make it as easy as possible to request such endorsements.

We encourage people to make liberal use of our tools, of course, but we always give users complete control of their recommendation requests, not only when they are created, but after the fact.  On this page you can easily cancel any or all pending requests:

Because our system is based on Facebook, some users ultimately feel that our tools are too public for their personal style of business.  For this reason, we have recently added the option of email-based outreach.  This is a relatively new product for us, but we will continue to refine it so that professionals who aren't comfortable networking publicly on Facebook can still get great value from Stik.

To the above posters who had complaints: we apologize for any inconvenience and pledge to keep working to make the site more valuable and easier to use.

Aug 31, 2012 08:08 AM #28
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

I just received a Stik request from a fellow agent.  I was about to comply when I saw that my response had to be verified through FB or LinkedIn.  In other words, my recommendation for another agent will show up on my own social media.  Even though I think highly of this agent, I didn't push the button.

Jun 15, 2013 11:40 PM #29
Lee Hurst
Mortgage Consultants Group - Gold River, CA
Branch Manager, Direct Lender

We just cancelled our Stik account after one month. It was becoming too invasive on my past clients and their facebook friends.

May 21, 2014 03:40 AM #30
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Jun 02, 2014 09:40 AM #31
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