Wall of Spam
By Jean Holewa on February 23, 2012
If my Facebook wall could talk, surely it would break into a round of Monty Python's iconic ode to Spam. "Spam! Spam! Spam! Spam! Lovely Spam! Lovely Spam!" Only the spam being served in my newsfeed is pretty hard to swallow.
In the technical sense, spam is defined as any unsolicited commercial advertisement distributed online. Spam can be delivered in many ways including but not limited to bulk emails, newsletters, blog and article comments as well as social media updates. That means marketing messages from personal non-business Facebook pages to 'friends' are spam. If it's unsolicited and commercial in nature, it's spam.
Having been a small business owner, I recognize the need and value of keeping everyone in the know and up-to-date about business activities. Entrepreneurs, in particular, have great difficulty separating their personal selves from their business identities. Understandable, and as far as I'm concerned, an occasional post about what's happening in your business would be totally expected. It's part of your life and friends talk about work amongst friends.
But is there a secret society somewhere that is awarding points for how many other businesses you can promote on your wall? I recently read a post that went something like this:
Rick’s auto shop (hot linked) has a special on tune-ups and oil changes this week. But if your car is on its last legs stop by Busytown’s Auto Lot (hot linked) and tell Jim Peabody (hot linked) Mona from Happy Home Cleaning (hot linked) sent you.
Or how about the multilevel marketer that posts 10 times a day about how great her products are and how much money she's making? Several others I know routinely pitch other businesses along with their own, sometimes 2-3 in a row. I'm pretty certain their business networking groups are awarding gold stars for the most referral-type pitches made in a single day. I know one woman who could start building a model of the constellation Pegasus with all of her stars. How effective is it? It isn't.
I have the choice to 'friend' people and 'like' businesses. Of course, in real life I like people too. What I don't like is when friends make an excessive amount of business pitches on Facebook. Sometimes it rankles me so much I want to scream out like the lady in the Monty Python sketch "I DON'T LIKE SPAM!"
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