Screen Shot 2013 03 04 at 10.35.08 PM Facebooks Ultimate Fail: Selling Your Friends, While Limiting Your Unpaid Connections With Them

"Facebook is not so fond of you reaching out to your FRIENDS and POTENTIAL FRIENDS without paying them for the privilege."

You may say I'm a dreamer. You may say I use Facebook too much. But whatever you say, you're probably saying, "Wow, Facebook has some things that really annoy me." And if you have to WORK with Facebook as a marketing or communications platform I now you've got some horror stories. In a two-part series, I'm going to look at the two sides of Facebook:

1. Connecting and contacting with people you may not know yet in real life

2. How the Facebook advertising platform has been kludged together from parts never intended to function together.

Here's is part one.

I've been using Facebook for an outreach campaign over the last few weeks. I am searching for bloggers in a certain market and I've been using Facebook as a connecting channel to reach them. I mean, after all, every single one of them has a Friend Me On Facebook link. And the LIKE/FRIEND and MESSAGE method has been working quite well. Email responses are around 2% fo this type of out reach. And on Facebook I've upped that hit-ratio to about 12%. And this is just in getting ANY TYPE OF RESPONSE.

I get that we're all busy. And one of the ways I've found to cut through that noise of marketing spam and false offers is to reach out directly, as a human and person, with a Facebook profile, and pictures of my cats and kids, and say, "Hello, I'm John, and I'd like to see if this program is right for you."

And in terms of communication tactics, once I get a response, we're off the the races. We can communicate quickly. I can describe my offer. They can politely decline or enthusiastically sign up for my idea/community/program. This has been working very well. And then yesterday something new happened.

Screen Shot 2013 03 03 at 1.53.26 PM Facebooks Ultimate Fail: Selling Your Friends, While Limiting Your Unpaid Connections With Them

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After having some success reaching out as an individual to other individuals, Facebook noticed I was adding friends, and they obviously indicated "do not know him outside of facebook" and that sent the alarm bells chiming.

What I think those alarms were saying? "OMG. Someone is using Facebook to connect with others. And they are not paying us to connect with those others. We must LIMIT and BLOCK this activity immediately."

That's kind of a problem, don't you think?

Facebook started out as a network of friends and family. But the "friend" concept becomes more and more suspect as Facebook BREAKS, and INTENTIONALLY BREAKS, their own Privacy policies. Over and over, Facebook changes things, resets your PRIVATE profile to PUBLIC, and on and on.

And if you're IN social media, as in DO IT FOR WORK, you will begin running into problems like this. But the funny thing is, Facebook has ZERO respect for your boundaries and privacy. And the only reason they are enforcing this "policy" of "don't know outside of Facebook" is because they want me to PAY them to help introduce us.

Of course there's little we can do about this.

But I do think we have to be aware that Facebook is not looking out for your privacy or the privacy of your "friends." And if they can make money off the data, photos, connections, preferences, and content that you create, you can be assured that they are working on how to sell it. And I'm pretty sure they are working on it, because their IPO didn't go as planned and now they've got to show PROFIT for their new owners.

We can demand better. But we're probably going to have to wait for a BETTER FACEBOOK platform to come along and supplant the beast that Zuck built.

Here is the Facebook "Why You've Been Blocked" Help Page

Here's all I know about Facebook: The Facebook Resources Page

@jmacofearth (also seen on Google+: jmacofearth)

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