I came across the Brooklyn, New York Facebook page the other day and saw it featured a few different Brooklyn based businesses. Some businesses were put on the favorite pages section; others were put on a special tab labeled “Shop Local”. The page describes itself as “a Facebook community for sharing news, stories, promoting events and connecting with neighbors and lists the administrator’s email address to contact. So I contacted the administrator of the page to see if we would be able to feature the Brooklyn Cyclones fan page (a page created by theKbuzz) as one of their favorite pages and in return we would add the Brooklyn page as one of the Cyclones favorite pages. It was a logical match, at least I thought so.
The response I got back from the administrator of the page really threw me for a loop. What I had thought was going to be a great opportunity for each side turned into a real ethical dilemma. He had emailed me a marketing plan and broke it down as three different levels with different costs associated to each.
Below is a portion of the email I received:
Level 1. "Basic" $75.00 USD
I will add your facebook fan page to the main page in the "favorite pages" section. You can the post on the any wall in my network of local pages. Since spamming is not allowed, you will be limited to 2 posts per week. This level entitles you to 6 months of service.
Level 2. "Featured Local Business" $150.00 USD
All of the above, plus I will promote your business with 2 blasts to more than 35,000 - 60,000 fans. This helps you acquire fans to your page which you can then market to indefinitely and usually results in immediate sales. You can create any message or promotion you want for these blasts. Each additional blast is $50.00 USD.
Level 3. Full Service Social Marketing Plan: $500.00 USD
One full year of service. I will create or optimize your current fan page and promote it in a special custom section on the page called "Shop Locally" which provides permanent links to information about your business. This level includes 6 blasts, and is geared to increasing awareness about your business and in driving revenue directly from facebook. This also includes a consultation on how to best use social media to increase revenue and awareness. Each additional blast is $50.00 USD.
I give the guy credit that he is trying to venture out and be an entrepreneur, however, I do not agree with how he is going about it and it is a problem that Facebook must address. Normally I am pretty even keeled but his email stirred a very lengthy discussion between my co-workers about ethical practices on Facebook. How can I be limited to a number of posts on a page and then have to pay for them? How is it possible that I will be charged for his page to send an update on my behalf? As far as optimizing businesses current fan pages, those optimized pages look pretty basic to me. Their pages are not customized at all and the pages look very boring.
Facebook needs a way to regulate this type of activity. To me this usage of Facebook is one hundred percent unethical (especially since he makes no mention on the page that he will be charging local businesses for listing them on his page) and goes against Facebook terms of service. Am I off the mark on this one? Facebook has a big problem on their hands and needs to do something about it. Hopefully this brings some attention to the issue and sparks a change.
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