Q: “Dear Indie Business: What do you think of competitors posting to your FaceBook Page as their business instead of as themselves personally? Do you wonder about their motives? Are they being supportive or trying to use your page to introduce their competing business to your customers? What do you do in instances where it seems more of the latter than the former?”
– Candance Sweeney, Nakee Natural, Jackson, MI
dM’s Answer: “Candy, thank you for this insightful question, which combines the issues of competition and congeniality that all business leaders face. I work with many entrepreneurs who struggle to find a balance between being open and welcoming while not being taken advantage of. Here are a few things to consider.
Let me answer your last few questions directly:
When a person’s comment is designed to use your FaceBook Page to introduce their business to your customers, delete the comment.
Now, for a bit of commentary.
Your FaceBook Page Is For Your Customers
Yes, it’s nice to have support from your competitors, but at the end of the day, the whole reason you have a FaceBook Page is to connect with your customers.
Let me confirm (in case there is doubt) that, unless you are invited to do so, it’s NOT OK to use another business owner’s FaceBook Page to promote your business. I work with many entrepreneurs who feel guilty when they assert themselves to defend their FaceBook communities, so I wanted to mention this up front. Don’t feel guilty about ensuring that your FaceBook Page serves the primary purpose for which you established it: to engage your customers.
It takes a lot of hard work, focus and dedication to build up a FaceBook community. As a business leader, it’s your job to make sure your Page strengthens your brand and your community. Anyone who is there with the intention of supporting you in that cause, even if it is a competitor, should be welcome.
But when a person’s post is clearly designed to steal your customers or undermine your good intentions, or it clearly comes from a position of scarcity instead of abundance, you should have no problem deleting the comment — and banning the person who made it, if they continue.
Sometimes, these decisions will be back and white and easy to make. Other times, things won’t be so clear. To make sure you are consistent, it’s important to know where your own line is.
Know Where Your Line Is
Define what crosses your line. Then, when you see it, you won’t have to waste a lot of time thinking about it — you’ll just act according to a decision you have already made.
As For People Who Post As Brands …
As for your question about whether people posting to your FaceBook Page as their business, instead of as themselves personally, have ulterior motives, I don’t think that’s the case all of the time. Some people don’t like to use FaceBook much personally because they don’t want to get a lot of “friend” requests from people they don’t know, and/or because they don’t trust FaceBook from a personal privacy perspective.
Having said that, I think some people do post as their FaceBook Page in the hopes that doing so will drive up their number of likes. I suppose this might work as a short term strategy, but in the long run, if that’s all they do, not only will they not have likers for long, but they also won’t have a business for very long either.
I hope these tips and ideas are helpful to you as you lead your FaceBook community.
Good luck, Candy!
– Donna Maria”
Learn more about Candy Sweeney and Nakee Natural at here.
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