Stop adding me to Facebook groups without my permission. I hear this complaint all the time from clients as well as friends. Consequently, I regularly see memes and complaints about this practice posted on Facebook. Some people are so frustrated with the adds that they have begun to publicly name or unfriend the people who are adding them because it’s such a common problem.
I know, I know. You’re in business, and holding your friends hostage in a Facebook group is great for business. Oh wait, did I say that out loud? In all seriousness, using a Facebook group CAN be great for business, but only if you practice social media etiquette from the beginning. If that’s too late, start following the proper etiquette on a go-forward basis. Here’s your mantra: stop adding me to Facebook groups without my permission.
What to Do
Adding someone to a Facebook group can be great for business if you ask their permission to add them. Alternatively, you may post a link to the group so that person can opt-in to group membership herself. All you need to do is simply ask (when it makes sense) if you can add someone to your group. If she says yes, go for it. However, if she says no, do not add her to your group.
I often see requests for people to stop adding me to Facebook groups in regards to those with home-based, direct sales, or network marketing businesses, although it’s certainly not limited to those. I’ve seen outright flame wars between the “I want my friends to be there because they want to be there” side and the “I’ll add them if I want to and they can leave if they don’t like it” side. It’s ugly. Why? Failure to ask demonstrates a lack of respect. So they get angry due to feeling used.
I’m here to tell you that you will catch more flies with honey. Asking is polite. It is considerate, responsible and fosters a sense of community. When someone wants to support you in another way, respect that. It’s not worth it to lose a friend because you want to drive up your numbers and try to sell her something.
People Don’t Want to be Added to Facebook Groups Without Asking Their Permission
For those of you who fall into the “I’ll add you if I want to add you” camp. Please hear this: many people think of being added to Facebook groups without their permission as harassment. It’s happened to them often enough that they are tired of it, and this can come back to bite you. The last thing you want is to be reported and end up in Facebook jail. And yes, some people will report you for harassment for this. And guess what? Harassment is against Facebook’s terms of service, see section 3, item 6. It’s a bit extreme, but it’s happened before, and you do not want that to happen to you.
In fact, when someone adds you to a Facebook group now, Facebook will prompt you to answer if you wish to be part of the group. I’m glad that Facebook has been listening to people. Answering honestly provides Facebook with important feedback about how you were invited to the group.
4 Things Not to Do in Facebook Groups
1. Don’t Expect Your Friends to Remove Themselves
It is unreasonable to expect someone to remove herself from your group if she isn’t interested. It may seem like she’s been added to ten groups that day. Maybe she had a bad day, and having to remove herself from your group could be the last straw for her that day. Do you really want to take a chance on losing either the respect, or even friendship, of someone over something like this? It’s not worth it. We have so many options for purchasing goods. Moreover, most people will shop where they feel good about shopping.
2. Avoid Offering Incentives to Add Others
Furthermore, you will want to avoid offering an incentive for people to add other people to your group. They most likely aren’t asking their permission.
3. Don’t Re-Add Your Friends After They Leave Your Group
You want to know what really ticks people off on Facebook? Re-adding them to the group after they have left the group.
One day, I was added to over 27 Facebook groups by an acquaintance. She did this in less than an hour. All of these groups were for the same company, a popular direct sales company that makes leggings with consultants who often encourage people to add people to groups in order to win free leggings. I left the groups immediately.
Why did I leave? I don’t know these people, so I have nothing invested in their success. I have friends who sell the product who don’t harass me. And I barely know the person who added me. Why would I stay?
Before I even had a chance to write her to ask not to do that again, she added me back to all 27 groups again! What do you think happened next? UNFRIEND.
4. Avoid Mining Your Friends Contacts to Add to your Group
Moreover, another practice to avoid is mining your friends contact lists for people to add to your group too. You may think that your friend won’t find out, but she will. Consequently, you get to deal with someone else being upset with you.
I hope you’ll think about how you interact with your friends and acquaintances on your Facebook group. Treat your members with respect,and entice them with an invitation and a warm welcome. That’s always a winner. And if you’re thinking about adding me to a group, please remember to ask first. If you don’t, I’ll swiftly remind you to stop adding me to Facebook groups.
This article was originally published on Social Biz Babes. Used with Permission. Social Biz Babes has merged with The Awesome Muse.
A quick note on how to keep people from adding you back to Facebook groups:
When someone add you to a group and you don’t want to be part of it, there’s a way to make sure you aren’t added again. From a desktop or laptop computer, select the option to prevent anyone from adding you back to the group again. When you leave the group, you should be asked if you would like to prevent other members from adding you again. Be sure to select this option if you are certain you do not want to participate in the group.
If you found this article helpful, please be sure to share it, especially on Facebook.
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