Friday, January 11, 2013

How NOT to do an online/Facebook party for your Direct Sales business...

Much of what I learn about Social Media is from observing.  I like to emulate other people who are successful.  Equally valuable though, are those who annoy me.

I recently received an invitation for a Facebook online party.  It's for a charitable cause / fundraiser and the product is jewelry.  I am among less than 30 people invited (this will be important in a minute)

The event was created "about an hour ago" according to Facebook.  Since that time, the hostess (a business page) has added 53 photos with prices and descriptions.  Three in the last minute!  This is really annoying.  When you're invited to a Facebook event, you get a notification every time someone posts something in the party, until you decline the invitation.  So, I've gotten 53 (55 now - she's still at it) notifications that she has posted.

If I were interested in purchasing her product at the initial invitation, I'm not now!  Perhaps she's not Facebook savvy, but that's hardly an excuse.  If you are going to use a technology, you must take the time to understand it! (56 now)

For every bad example (57), there is a lesson to be learned.  In this case - respect your guests time and privacy! (58)

There are two things that are positive:

  1. There is a small guest list.  This makes me feel conspicuous if I decline the invitation.  If there were 50+, I would (59) be comfortable declining the invite.
  2. It's a fundraiser.  This makes me feel uncomfortable declining - I might look callous.  This keeps me on the wire - not committing, but not declining either.  (This is probably why many of our invites (60) get  "maybe" responses.  They are out of deference for the hostesses feelings, not necessarily an indication that the guest is interested in purchasing anything (61).

(62) So, my Direct Sales Sisters - let's share our best tips for online/Facebook parties (63) keeping the CUSTOMER'S PERSPECTIVE in mind! (64 LOL I can't believe this!!!)

UPDATED - I was contacted by the person who hosted this event and she was very sorry to hear that the notifications were clogging the newsfeed!  She and I have conversed privately, and here is an excerpt of my response to her:

I think that it's sparked some discussion and has generated some positive suggestions.
One is to add the pictures prior to inviting any guests - I wouldn't have thought of that!
Another is to advise guests that they can turn off the notifications for the event (I personally wouldn't want to do that - I want them to see what I have to say!)
Another option is to have a photo album on your page of the currently available items (that you can upload all at once, so it doesn't clog the newsfeed with posts) and then provide a link to the album.
Facebook is a crazy animal - it has good and bad features, depending on how your preferences are set up. It's important to understand how to use it as a tool for business to grow your business and endear you to your customers. You want to provide useful and relevant information that they want to see. It's a delicate balance between providing the content you want them to know about and things they actually want to see.
Check out my previous post with some other tips on using Facebook to promote your Direct Sales party!


  1. Words of wisdom. Thanks for sharing! ~Suahil

  2. Ummmm...if I want to put a crud ton of pictures and info in there for customers to browse, I definitely do it BEFORE I invite them. 67 notifications? Wowsers.

    I put up a post after I invite everyone explaining how to prevent the notifications, too -- especially since we'll play games later in the "party."

  3. To prevent notifications do they just decline or is there a way for them to stay in the event and just not get notifications?

  4. They can prevent notifications by clicking on the "gear" symbol in the upper right corner and then clicking on "turn off notifications" on the dropdown menu.


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