Many consumers are critical of Facebook as they fear for the security of their data. Accordingly, they are skeptical about the use of the network as a sales channel, reveals a study by BBDO, Jelden TTC and Brand Foresight.
This means, dealers must guarantee that high safety standards are in place to ease off the worries of users regarding the handling of their data. After all, they have known Facebook as an information medium and are afraid that the flood of additional sales news will destroy this quality. Retention and data protection should therefore have top priority.
There are just a handful of legally unproblematic possibilities for advertising on Facebook, as advertisers probably slowly realize: Permitted are advertising banners via the official Facebook advertising platform, providing the legally easiest way to advertise. It is officially provided as a standard on all commercial websites, hence, it is generally unproblematic to run an official fan site at Facebook and posting news on this site. The latest news will then appear in the "Timeline" of the users who are fans of the site. Although this news stream is already seen as advertising, the user agreed in obtaining it by clicking on the "Like" button.
Only under strict conditions it is allowed writing a direct advertisement message to a user, namely when the user has given his/her consent. But for getting this permission, the "Like" click on a company profile isn’t enough, as it only means that a user agrees to receive messages in the Timeline, but not in other advertisements. This also applies to invitations of becoming a "fan" on a Facebook page. These are already advertisements for the company and are therefore inadmissible, although Facebook offers this opportunity to get many fans easily. Anyway, be aware that:
- As long as you do not have an explicit consent (which must be documented as legally safe), you should not send any personal advertising messages.
- A comment on a post also falls under these rules, hence, care must be taken to ensure that the advertising is not concealed, since this could also be in breach of the prohibition of spoofing advertising.
- This also applies to a friend request. If the profile name or the visible page does not have any recognizable advertising, the request is allowed. If a user accepts the request and then receives advertising by means of posts on the Timeline, it is however unlawful. Any unauthorized advertising constitutes a friend request, if it is immediately recognizable as such.
- When using Facebook's "Friend Finder" service (which Facebook mainly uses to collect address data), not only Facebook is unlawful but also the user who uses it to advertise his/her business, as the third parties involved unintentionally receive emails.
- This also applies to advertising by private users via apps. When a user installs a Facebook app, it is possible that all friends of the Facebook user receive the advertisements that the app user receives. This represents an unauthorized advertisement of the advertiser in the face of the user's friends, since they have not agreed to install the app.
Anyway, it all seems to be trickier than it seems on the spur of the moment. Just hang in there!