Social media has become an invaluable tool brands use to expand their reach and boost sales. However, it’s the unfortunate case that many businesses on the platform use it to participate in outright spammy behavior and may not even realize it.
Spammy behavior is dangerous for social sellers. It can lose you customers, and it can land you in jail– Facebook Jail, that is.
Spam isn’t just annoying to your customers. It goes against Facebook’s Community Standards, which can get your account suspended. To keep in the good graces of both, you’ll need to be mindful of certain behaviors that are considered spammy. Below, you’ll find a list of these behaviors and ways you can fix them.
1. Posting content without value
More content means more sales, right? Wrong! If it doesn’t have value, it can look like all you care about is promoting yourself or your business.
Be thoughtful about your content. Ask yourself these two questions-
1. Is this entertaining?
An example of entertaining content would be a Facebook or Instagram that shows your team participating in an internet challenge. Not only is this fun to watch, but it allows people to get to really know the people who work behind the scenes.
2. Is this helpful?
An example of helpful content would be a fit video that demos the cut, length, and fit of an item! Your customers care about this type of content because it’s giving them valuable information about the items that they’re interested in.
2. Posting unoriginal content
Use original content on each post. When you use the same photos, video, or messaging over and over, it looks like spam to Facebook.
Besides, don’t be boring! Variety is the spice of life, so make sure you have diversity in the different types of content you post. Your shoppers will appreciate you giving them more ways to interact, and they’ll be way less likely to get bored with what you post.
3. Back to back posting
Avoid posting more than once per hour to business pages and groups. Spreading out your post has higher amounts of engagement versus posting back-to-back anyways!
If it’s a static post, change up the text. If it’s a Live Sale, wait a few minutes between sharing to different pages and groups.
4. Promoting your business on other groups or pages without permission
Promoting or selling on other pages or groups without permission is a surefire way to get tagged as spam. If you go this route, be absolutely certain that you have express permission to do this.
5. Questionable tagging
Don’t get too tag happy. If you tag people too often, you’re going to annoy them, and they’re going to eventually flag it as spam.
Facebook is also especially picky about tagging in photos. Never tag people directly in photos if they have nothing to do with it. If you know someone that might be genuinely interested in an image, tag them in the comments instead.
6. Sending out too many friend requests
Sending out an influx of friend requests looks like unusual behavior to Facebook. It also takes note of how many past friend requests have gone unanswered and will suspend you for it.
To avoid this, be cautious about requesting people you don’t know. People expect unsolicited messages from strangers, so it makes sense that they don’t answer your requests or report them as spam.
7. Placing links inside posts
Facebook sees links in posts as spam. However, placing your links inside the comment section is an easy workaround to keep you out of jail. Once you’re finished commenting, you can pin it to the top, where customers can still easily find it.
As an added benefit, it will also keep your customers talking. Those who are just hopping on a post or live video are more likely to spark up conversations about how to purchase with you. You’d be surprised how quickly other shoppers are willing to jump in to help. These discussions will give you a lift in engagement.
8. Posts containing dollar signs or decimal points
Make your prices a nice even number and exclude any dollar signs. Facebook sees posts with decimal and dollar signs as spam. If you’d like to include a dollar sign, use the dollar sign emoji as a workaround.
9. Leaving Facebook’s Sales Format on posts
Marketplace posts are usually an unintentional consequence of posting something for sale on Facebook. When Facebook recognizes a post as something being sold, it enables a pesky sales format that looks like this.
Fortunately, this format is easy to turn off. However, if Facebook sees too many of these posts, which appear to be listings to them, they will restrict the account faster.
10. Abusing Facebook Messenger
Far too often, brands create a marketing strategy that abuses the power of technology. What they don’t realize is that they might be spamming.
Want to know if you’re spamming? Take note of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing (CAN-SPAM/SPAM) laws.
Hubspot defines this CAN-SPAM as “a law that establishes the rules for commercial email and commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law.”
Facebook also recognizes spam as a problem, and will suspend people who do it on their platform. You can continue to send out messages, however, you must be considerate about it. Make sure your messaging is relevant, timely, and interesting to your audience, while giving them an easy way to opt-out. Nobody wants to receive an abundance of messages that they don’t care about.
Social selling is driven by the same principles that drive in-person sales. People buy with others that they know, like, and trust over those that give frequent, unsolicited sales pitches. By making your social media efforts about valuable, entertaining, or personalized content, you have more ways to build familiarity in a holistic way.
Follow these tips as well as Facebook’s terms and conditions to be recognized as a more professional and engaged business. As a plus, you’ll have more sales and less risk of winding up in Facebook Jail.