This God-awful circus known as the 2016 Presidential Election season has taught me the very important practice of filtering one’s Facebook feed.
Unfollowing people has helped keep my blood pressure low, prevent online debate and generally promoted my life’s valued of harmony, peace and non-stupidity. In other words, I’ve unfollowed A LOT of people in the past year – some of them are even good people I like otherwise. I just can’t handle too much emotionally incendiary rhetoric in my Facebook happy place.
It isn’t just fringey political types I unfollow.
I’ve unfollowed quite a few other direct sellers as well. I won’t name names here (*cough* ItWorks *cough*) but before I discovered how to unfollow, my feed was becoming overwhelmed with random disembodied before and after belly shots. If it had been a campaign for bodily self-acceptance, I would have been all about it. Instead it was a neverending stream of photos of how you could fix your lumpy unattractive lower half with some sort of magic wrap. I would see these images over and over and over again from multiple sources. It was spammy and tiresome and admittedly, somewhat effective because after a while you really do start to wonder if your mommy belly is a disfigurement you need to fix and a wrap is exactly what you need to achieve happiness.
Let’s talk about Spam
I can hear some of you now. “It’s not SPAM! It’s marketing!”
Let’s be clear: Spam is a form of marketing.
The basic principle is that if you put your name in front of enough eyes, a certain number will buy your product. The more eyes, the more sales. Spam takes it to the next level though. It seeks to plaster the marketing in every available venue at every available opportunity without taking into account who is listening, who isn’t, what their impression is of your company, who you are annoying, the quality and message in your marketing, etc. It puts minimal effort into the creation of content and strategy and just plays the numbers game. Make your spread wide and relentless enough and you’ll hit something. It’s not about quality. It’s about quantity. Basically, it’s being Walmart. It’s numbers over relationships.
Numbers are good. Customers are good. Spam is not.
I sometimes wonder what my business would be like if I could spam my Facebook feed “ItWorks” style. Can you imagine?
Here’s you before Pure Romance. Here’s you after! Look at that happy post-coital face!
Would it work? Would I get more customers? I don’t know and I’ll never know, because I got lucky.
The Business that Could Not be Spammified
Due to our product line (and our sense of propriety and dignity – yes, even sex toy sellers have this), I can’t really get spammy with my business. There’s two main reasons for this:
- I can’t post phallic images on Facebook. It’s against FB rules and our company policy.
- The potential to offend and give wrong impression about my business with untargeted marketing is higher than average. People are funny about sex. They are especially funny when you accidentally expose their kid who is looking over their shoulder to a photo of a dildo.
Being thus deprived of the ability to go out and market my business through incessant spamming, I was forced to go “underground” ie TALKING DIRECTLY TO PEOPLE.
OMG WHAT? Like promote your business ONE PERSON AT A TIME?
Yeah, one at a time. It’s slow. It’s personal persuasion on each occasion. It’s winning them over with my personality and my thoughtful (humorous, informed) presentation of my company and products. It’s building relationships.
Here’s the thing about relationship-based marketing:
It’s based on trust.
It builds loyalty.
It’s actually more effective and leads to a higher number of your contacts becoming actual customers.*
It creates customers and friends that market FOR you by promoting your awesomeness to their friends.
Double Plus Bonus: It doesn’t annoy the spit out people and lead them to unfollow you.
*There’s a reason spammers have to be so, well, spammy. If all you are doing is posting a pic, you need a lot more people to see it before you get a conversion.
What do you think? Do you know Facebook direct sales spammers? Have you tried their products? Do you market by trying to get your info in front of as many people as possible or by building growing relationships?