Sorry I’m running a day behind. I had to write a post for SEMRush before my scheduled date, so it kind of threw me off. Mea culpa. But… I learned something on Facebook today that was not just interesting, but something to be aware of.magnasites facebook page header

You know when you get a friend request how you can either accept it or ignore it? Well… I get tons of them, which is great! Many of the people I know have lots of people who know them and so, most of the time, I get requests from friends of friends, which is cool with me. The more the merrier, and I love to see what people post and how they’re doing. The ability to connect like that is just something I really treasure.

No, I don’t “know” some people who send me friend requests in the person-to-person sense, but I want to get to know them better because a friend of a friend is OK with me.

As long as they’re really friends of my friends.

Non-friendy, scammy, creepy people.

Lately, there have been a several people who have been trying to extract money from me. They’ll pop up in chat without me knowing anything about them at all. I used to think, Hmm… Newbie. I’ll be nice. But that was a bad idea. I figured it out quickly, but I really don’t like scammers or spammers.

Dealing with these folks was totally my own fault. I mean, lots of people know me from working at Overcome Everything, but I couldn’t possibly know all of them. So, for years, I’ve just gone ahead and approved everyone’s friend requests.

Bad and kind of stupid move on my part. One guy hit on me first, and when I told him I was old enough to be his mother, he told me that was OK. He wanted me to be like an “aunt” to him. Another told me about his “church” and how he needed money for that. And another one wanted me to buy shoes at discount prices from him. Uh-huh.

These messages were to me, the height of audacity. My scam alert went off right away, but this has happened a few times in the past few months. I mean, like more than ever before. So I can’t approve everyone anymore. Now, I only accept friend requests from a) people that I know or b) people who know a LOT of my friends, not just one or two.

Here’s how it could affect you:

If you’re sending out friend requests to perfect strangers, you could run into a problem with Facebook. When you say that you want to “ignore the request,” a window pops up and asks if you know the person. Apparently when I (or you) say no, Facebook is alerted. If you get too many ignores, you can lose your Facebook account, which isn’t good for business.

Facebok Contests

Another way to get into trouble at Facebook is by not following the rules when it comes to creating contests. First, and very importantly, you have to spell out in no uncertain terms that Facebook is to be held harmless, and that they have no connection to the contest that you’re running.

You also need to use a Facebook app to run the contest. I set one up for one of my clients a couple of months ago and used an app called “Contest Burner,” which works pretty well. It’s approved and it’s an easy way to customize a contest page since it has a WYSIWYG editor built right in. It will also count votes, process gifts awarded and a bunch of other stuff. Plus, it’s free, which is totally boss. (Which means good for those of you born after the 1960s.)

Plus, you can’t use a “Like” as a contest registration. I mean that you can’t automatically register someone for your contest using Facebook’s functionality. So, you can suggest they like your page as part of the contest, but you can’t make it a condition of entering.

Beware of Competitors

If you do run a contest and do it the wrong way, your competitor may report you and then, it’s lights out. I mean, that’s not who I am, but some people will do this. A client of mine actually had me report a competitor to Google for her. I did it, but disagree with that kind of underhanded bullying. Just not my style. But it can happen to you. Don’t let it. If you’re going to run a Facebook contest, be sure to follow all the rules and do things right.

Facebook can be great for business, but if you’re asking for friends who don’t know you, you could run into trouble when they ask to ignore your request. Just because someone lives in the city where your business does, doesn’t give you the right to send a friend request to that person. And, if you’re running a contest, it’s not worth losing your account because you didn’t follow the rules.

I’d miss my Facebook account if it went away. Wouldn’t you?

P. S. If you’re really cool, you can go over to the sidebar and Like Us on Facebook. 🙂

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