Scenario: you decide to sign up for a Facebook account and find out just what this Facebook thing really is. You upload a profile picture and maybe a cover photo, add some details about your life; you then proceed down the path of collecting friends: your family, your college buddies, your co-workers, and maybe even some real-life friends! Perhaps you get caught up in watching funny videos, or taking those silly quizzes (just what color is YOUR aura, anyway), or finding out what’s happening in your community.

 As time progresses, you discover that some of your favorite businesses have a presence on Facebook, so you decide to “like” their page and keep up with their latest news. You are invited to join a group or two—Motorcycle Maniacs of Minnesota or Anytown Buy-Sell-Swap Group—something that is of interest to you. You are really getting the swing of this!

And then, BAM—it happens. A friend recently started her own business selling {cosmetics, jewelry, cleaning products, fill-in-the-blank} with a direct sales company, and now, all she posts about is her product. All the time. Never telling her personal story, just pushing her business, and it’s blowing up your timeline. You are not interested in her product, but just want to be friendly. So now what? Unfriend her? Unfollow her?

Recently, this showed up in my timeline, and it really hit home. I messaged Tiffany and asked permission to screenshot the post and write about it, because honestly, we’ve all been here!


If her friend had been using a Facebook Business Page, as is appropriate and follows terms of service, Tiffany most likely wouldn’t have felt imposed upon. Not only that, the business owner would have access to important statistics and insights, the ability to purchase ads, and respect her fans and followers.

Another option for Tiffany’s friend is to promote her business/product in a group, as long as again, she follows the terms and conditions set forth by the group admin. Too many times, however, a business owner will create a single post and then proceed to blast the exact same post to multiple groups all in a matter of five or ten minutes. Chances are pretty good that Tiffany is a member of more than one of the groups she’s posting in, and there Tiffany is again, being bombarded with the same, repetitive message. The best practice when promoting in groups is to change up the message, or at least post them at different times or days.


Even when using a proper business page, or promoting in a group, it’s important to respect your fans and followers. Business coach and social media specialist Des Walsh says you wouldn’t choose to be intrusive or boring at a barbecue or lunch, so don’t do the same online. “Find out how to participate in conversations on social media — share information and ideas without constantly saying ‘buy my stuff,” Walsh says. “That way you will build trust and people will recommend you.”